Skip to main content
Skip global navigation and go to main content

Congressmen send letter to Chao addressing opioid crisis

Representatives ask Department to align USDOT testing with HHS guidelines

Posted October 13, 2017

Ranking members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter asking for the harmonization of the U.S. DOT drug testing regulations with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines. The Representatives stated, “…we are in the midst of a prescription opioid crisis in America…”

The letter, sent to Secretary Elaine Chao, urged the Department to take action to finalize a proposed rule that would revise 49 CFR Part 40 to align with the HHS “Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Using Urine.” The proposal, published January 23, 2017, has stalled due to the current rulemaking climate.

HHS guidelines were published January 23, 2017, and effective October 1, 2017. They include the following four prescription opioids in the drug testing panel: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. Without a change to its regulations, USDOT is unable to test for these substances.

The letter was signed by the following U.S. Representatives: Peter DeFazio, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rick Larsen, Michelle Capuano, Grace Napolitano, John Garamendi, and Hank Johnson.

Alcohol & Drugs DOT Compliance ManualJ. J. Keller's Alcohol & Drugs DOT Compliance Manual can help you understand and comply with DOT's Alcohol & Drug Testing requirements, including 49 CFR Parts 382 and 40.


J. J. Keller's FREE Transportation SafetyClicks™ email newsletter brings quick-read safety and compliance news right to your email box.

Sign up to receive Transportation SafetyClicks™.