In This Issue

Proposed Advisory Bulletin on Contractor Drug Testing Data Submittals

The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) intends to issue an Advisory Bulletin to begin collecting annual drug and alcohol testing data for contractor employees performing covered functions in the pipeline industry. The collection of contractor testing data is necessary for the calculation of the minimum annual percent rate for random drug testing, which is based on the reported positive rate for the entire industry. The current rule already requires operators to report testing data for covered employees to OPS, but deferred the reporting of contractor data until a suitable reporting method was developed.

OPS intends to issue an Advisory Bulletin that will end the deferment period noted in the preamble to the final rule. OPS proposes that in lieu of operators submitting contractor data, the operators may opt to use contractors as their agents to report the data. If operators choose this method, OPS encourages them to consider adding language in their contractual agreements to that effect. To facilitate these submissions, OPS would create and assign unique identifiers for contractors to submit annual testing data on the DOT MIS data collection form by mail or by online submission.

OPS encourages comments on this proposed method in addition to suggestions for alternative methods of collecting contractor testing data. Specifically, OPS invites comments on the validity of the method being proposed and ways to avoid duplication and enhance quality. Following the review of timely comments, OPS will issue an Advisory Bulletin notifying operators of the selected method to begin reporting contractor testing data in calendar year 2006. Comments must be received by June 6, 2005 (docket number RSPA-04-19856). For further information contact: Sheila Wright, Program Analyst, PHMSA, OPS at (202) 366-4554, or by e-mail,