- The Department is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act (Omnibus Act) to follow the HHS requirements for the testing procedures/protocols and drugs for which we test.
- Primary laboratory requirements in this final rule include:
- The Department brought several testing definitions in-line with those of HHS.
- Each Medical Review Officer (MRO) will need to be re-qualified – including passing an examination given by an MRO training organization - every five years. The Final Rule eliminated the requirement for each MRO to take 12 hours of continuing education every three years.
- An MRO will not need to be trained by an HHS-approved MRO training organization as long as the MRO meets DOT’s qualification and re-qualification training requirements.
MRO record keeping requirements did not change from the five years for non-negatives and one year for negatives.
- The Final Rule does not allow the use of HHS-Certified Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITFs) to conduct initial drug testing because the Omnibus Act requires laboratories to be able to perform both initial and confirmation testing but IITFs cannot conduct confirmation testing.
Please note IITFs (Instrumental Initial Test Facilities) will NOT be incorporated into 49 CFR Part 40 as the Ominbus Act prohibits the DOT from from following HHS’ new rule regarding IITFs. The Ominbus Act requires, “that all laboratories involved in the controlled substances testing of any individual under this section shall have the capability and facility, at such laboratory, of performing screening and confirmation tests. Since IITFs do not have any confirmation testing capabilities, the Department must not use them in part 40.”