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AGENCY:

Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of random drug testing rate.

SUMMARY:

Each year, a minimum percentage of covered pipeline employees must be randomly tested for illegal drugs. The percentage, either 50 percent or 25 percent, depends on the positive rate of random testing reported to RSPA in the previous year. In accordance with applicable standards, we have determined that the positive rate of random testing reported this year for testing in calendar year 1999 was less than 1.0 percent. Therefore, in calendar year 2001, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 25 percent of covered employees.

DATES:

Effective January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2001, at least 25 percent of covered employees must be randomly drug tested.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

L.M. Furrow; phone (202) 366-4559.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Operators of gas, hazardous liquid, and carbon dioxide pipelines and operators of liquefied natural gas facilities must annually submit Management Information System (MIS) reports of drug testing done in the previous calendar year (49 CFR 199.25(a)). One of the uses of this information is to calculate the minimum annual percentage rate at which operators must randomly drug test all covered employees during the next calendar year (49 CFR 199.11(c)(2)). If the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 50 percent, we may lower the rate to 25 percent if we determine that the positive rate reported for random tests for two consecutive calendar years is less than 1.0 percent (49 CFR 199.25(c)(3)). If the minimum annual percentage rate is 25 percent, we will increase the rate to 50 percent if we determine that the positive rate reported for random tests for any calendar year is equal to or greater than 1.0 percent (49 CFR 199.25(c)(4)). Part 199 defines “positive rate” as “the number of positive results for random drug tests * * * plus the number of refusals of random tests * * *, divided by the total number of random drug tests * * * plus the number of refusals of random tests. * * *”

Through calendar year 1996, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing in the pipeline industry was 50 percent of covered employees. Based on MIS reports of random testing done in 1994 and 1995, we lowered the minimum rate from 50 to 25 percent for calendar year 1997 (61 FR 60206; November 27, 1996). The minimum rate remained at 25 percent in calendar years 1998 (62 FR 59297; Nov. 3, 1997), 1999 (63 FR 58324; Oct. 30, 1998), and 2000 (64 FR 66788; Nov. 30, 1999).

Using the MIS reports received this year for drug testing done in 1999, we calculated the positive rate of random testing to be 0.7 percent. Since the positive rate continues to be less than 1.0 percent, we are announcing that the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 25 percent of covered employees for the period January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2001.

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 5103, 60102, 60104, 60108, 60117, and 60118; 49 CFR 1.53.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2000.

Richard D. Huriaux,

Manager, Regulations, Office of Pipeline Safety.

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[FR Doc. 00-32854 Filed 12-22-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-60-P