On August 16, 2013 PHMSA published a proposal to amend the pipeline safety regulations. The Administration’s aim is to incorporate all parts of the new, updated or reaffirmed editions of voluntary consensus standards available online. The proposal also includes initiatives to clarify regulatory language and make non-substantive edits.
PHMSA proposes to eliminate in its entirety Sec. 199.111 from the regulations because its requirements conflict with 49 CFR Part 40. According to Sec. 199.111, in the event that a split sample is requested during a mandated drug and alcohol screening the specimen donor is allowed to select the testing laboratory to which his/her split specimen should be sent for evaluation. Conversely, in Part 40, it is the medical review officer (MRO) and not the specimen donor that is responsible for selecting the laboratory to analyze the split sample.
Additionally, Part 40 precludes testing the split specimen via the same testing laboratory that evaluated the first specimen, which is allowed in Sec. 199.111. According to the proposal this practice creates a compliance controversy for both the MRO and the operator as to which regulation to comply with.
Comments on this proposal must be submitted on or before October 15, 2013.
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