On May 19, 2021, PHMSA will suspend its March 20, 2020 Stay of Enforcement and Notice of Enforcement Discretion as of May 26, 2021. The March 20, 2020 Stay laid out a course of notification that pipeline operators and natural gas storage operators could use to avoid enforcement due to ‘…limited personnel resources and the ongoing need to meet operational and maintenance needs…’. The Stay covered Operator Qualification programs, Control Room Management Programs and Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs.
PHMSA stated in its May 19 Notice that the number of operators using the Stay had steadily declined, and the lifting of certain COVID-19 restrictions and availability of COVID-19 vaccines has made the Stay no longer applicable.
However, the Stay of Enforcement for the Substance Abuse Professional’s face-to-face meeting to review the test results with the employee is still active.