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DOT proposes to add four substances to its drug panel

Agency seeks to align Part 40 procedures with revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines

Posted January 25, 2017

Four additional opioids will become a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) drug panel for safety-sensitive positions if a proposed rulemaking is finalized.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking — published January 23, 2017 — would change lab procedures in 49 CFR Part 40 to harmonize with recent revisions to the “Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.” The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised its Mandatory Guidelines also on January 23, 2017, with an effective date of October 1, 2017.

USDOT is mandated under the “Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act” to follow the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for the drugs for which it tests. Part 40 testing procedures are used by all modes of transportation, including highway, air, pipeline, transit, rail, and maritime.

Proposed changes

In the proposed rulemaking, DOT drug screens would check for the presence of:

  • hydrocodone,
  • hydromorphone,
  • oxymorphone, and
  • oxycodone.

In addition, labs would add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte.

The proposal also:

  • Clarifies certain drug-testing program provisions where necessary,
  • Removes outdated information in the regulations that is no longer needed, and
  • Proposes to remove the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.

Want to submit comments?

It is important to include agency name and Docket Number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) at the beginning of your comments. This is to ensure it is assigned to the appropriate Federal Register document.

For this specific rulemaking, “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Addition of Certain Schedule II Drugs to the Department of Transportation’s Drug-Testing Panel and Certain Minor Amendments,” you must include:

  • Agency name: Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), U.S. Department of Transportation; and
  • Docket Number DOT-OST-2016-0189 or the RIN 2105-AE58.

To avoid duplications, submit comments by only one of the following means:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., West Building Ground Floor Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W-12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366-9329.

Comments on this proposed rulemaking should be submitted by March 24, 2017. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

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