FMCSA grants OOIDA petition to extend clearinghouse comment period

By Land Line staff | 4/17/2014

With only days remaining in the comment period for the proposed drug and alcohol clearinghouse, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted a petition filed by OOIDA to extend the comment period.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned the agency to extend the comment period, which was originally scheduled to conclude on April 21. The agency extended the deadline for comments 30 days to May 21.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration unveiled its proposed plan for a drug and alcohol clearinghouse that would store positive drug and alcohol test results; adulterated, substituted drug test results; test refusals; and successful completions of the return-to-duty process following a positive test result.

The reporting requirements fall on both prospective and current employers, medical review officers, consortiums, third-party administrators and substance abuse professionals. In the case of owner-operators, the agency is proposing the mandated use of a consortium or third-party administrator to complete the reporting requirements to the clearinghouse.

The complexity of the newly proposed rule prompted the Association to request that the agency extend the comment period for 60 days. The agency granted a 30-day extension.

“This rulemaking concerns the dissemination of information that can have a direct bearing on a commercial motor vehicle drivers’ ability to operate safely on our highways. It governs not only drivers who must follow drug testing rules, but also the institutions that manage and conduct the federal drug testing scheme and the users who now, or will under the rule, avail themselves of driver drug testing results information,” the petition from OOIDA states.

“Given the complexity of the propose rule, the multitude of various interests in the proposed rule, and the timing of the due date for comments on the calendar, OOIDA requests … that the comment period for the rulemaking be extended for 60 days.”

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