Federal Bill H. R. 6. the “Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act” or the “Support for Patients and Communities Act” was signed into law on Wednesday, October the 24, 2018, by President Trump.

Of greatest importance to DOT-mandated drug and alcohol testing is Title VIII Miscellaneous Section I Fighting Opioid Abuse in Transportation.   The Act establishes specific requirements on the Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Transportation (DOT) for rule making and implementation of changes to drug and alcohol testing in the transportation industries.  Highlights of these requirements and the timetables for compliance are below:

  • The Secretary of Transportation must publish, not later than two years (October 24, 2020), a rule requiring alcohol and controlled substance testing of employees of railroad carriers who perform mechanical activities. 
  • By March 31, 2019, the DOT must provide a public database of DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing data reported by employers (i.e., from M.I.S. reports) for each mode of transportation. Within two years after the establishment of the DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing database, the GAO shall review the DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Management Information System (M.I.S) and provide a report to Congress including recommendations for use of the M.I.S. system data, its effectiveness, and improvements to the M.I.S. reporting system.
  • Within 180 days, the DHHS must determine whether a revision of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (MG) to expand the opiate category on the authorized drug testing panel to include fentanyl is justified … and whether other Schedule I or II drugs should also be added to the federal drug testing panel. 
  • A status report to Congress on implementing hair testing for DOT-mandated testing is required within 60 days of enactment of the Act, with annual updates until hair testing scientific and technical guidelines are published by DHHS.
  • Not later than December 31, 2018, DHHS must publish a final notice of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid, based on the notice of proposed mandatory guidelines published May 15, 2015 (94 FR 28054).
  • Within 60 days, the FMCSA administrator must submit a status report to Congress on the January 6, 2020 implementation and operation of the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

Read it here.