PHMSA to Reduce Minimum Random Testing Rate for 2023

On December 23, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released its Random Testing Rates for 2023.

Image of a man twisting a valve on a pipeline in a field with a clear blue sky.

The notice indicated that minimum random drug testing requirements for Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) agencies were reduced from 50% to 25% for 2023. This change went into effect January 1, and will remain in effect through December 31, 2023. Random alcohol testing is still not required for PHSMA agencies.

The full notice, which includes the minimum drug testing requirements for all DOT agencies, can be found here.

A chart showing the various random testing rates for each DOT agency.

Why was the PHMSA random testing rate reduced?

The decision to increase or decrease the DOT minimum annual random testing rates is based on the positivity rates for the entire industry. If the positivity rates stay below 1% for two consecutive calendar years, the minimum random drug testing requirement is 25%. Since PHMSA testing rates stayed below 1% from 2020 to 2021, the change went into effect.

What do PHMSA employers need to do?

PHMSA employers should contact their third-party administrator (TPA) to update the target rate for their PHMSA random testing pools to reflect the new minimum testing rate.

If you are a TEAM client, your random drug testing percentage has already been updated as a courtesy. Learn more about what TEAM can do for PHMSA agencies at our Industry Solutions Page.