The DHS Opioid Detection Resilience Act (S 3250) would direct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure that CPB officers at lawful ports of entry have sufficient technical capabilities to detect narcotic drugs (e.g., synthetic opioids).
Specifically, the bill would call upon CBP to ensure that the chemical screening devices currently employed at ports of entry are able to accurately detect narcotics that are less than 10% pure. If existing chemical screening devices cannot reliably detect low purity narcotics, the bill would require CBP to recommend alternative means of identifying such substances. In addition, before confirming the purchase of new chemical screening devices, the bill would require CBP to carry out comprehensive testing on the merits and limitations of such technologies for detecting narcotics at different levels of purity.
Furthermore, the types of chemical screening technologies referenced in this bill require analysts to identify narcotics by comparing their chemical, physical, and structural properties against those in a spectral database, a pre-existing repository listing the unique characteristics of known compounds. Accordingly, the bill would direct the Department of Homeland Security to establish an operational plan to develop a centrally administered database of spectral information. This plan would be expected to describe:
- How novel chemical spectra will be compiled and disseminated to ports of entry where chemical screening is being conducted; and
- Who will be responsible for updating and maintaining information on this centralized database.