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Request for Information for Electronic Manifest (e-Manifest) System

Posted Date: January 16, 2014

Pending receipt of sufficient funding, EPA anticipates procurement activities for this requirement to begin in the first quarter of Federal fiscal year (FY) 2015, with a target award date in the third quarter FY 2015.

Posted Date: May 30, 2013

EPA has extended the response date to the RFI posted on May 20, 2013. Interested parties may submit responses no later than 4 pm EST on Friday, June 7, 2013. EPA is having difficulty updating the FedBizOpps notice.

Posted Date: May 20, 2013

Procurement Office:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Headquarters Procurement Operations Division, Program Contract Service Center, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20460

Response Date: June 3, 2013

This is a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input related to initial planning for a future electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system, as described and authorized by the "Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act" (hereinafter "The Act"). The Act may be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.710:. This RFI builds on EPA's previous RFI, located at http://www.epa.gov/oamhpod1/admin_placement/emanifest/index.htm, by seeking additional information about existing solutions for system implementation and funding scenarios.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks industry comments in the following areas: (1) EPA seeks to determine if an existing commercial e-Manifest system is available or can be adapted for use by the EPA as the national standard for tracking and transporting hazardous materials as defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In the alternative, if a commercial system is not available, EPA is looking for creative solutions from industry to address the need for an EPA electronic manifest system; and (2) EPA seeks industry comments regarding the Agency?s proposed solutions to the significant funding challenge associated with the e-Manifest initiative and industry's proposed solution(s) to the issue.

II. Background

Under paragraph 3002(a)(5) of RCRA, EPA has the authority to require a manifest system and other reasonable means to track hazardous waste shipments. The current hazardous waste manifest (EPA Form 8700-22) plays a crucial part in the so-called "cradle-to-grave" RCRA management system for hazardous waste. The manifest allows all parties involved in hazardous waste management (e.g., generators, transporters, TSDFs, EPA, state agencies) to track the movement of hazardous waste from the generator's site to the site where the waste will be treated, stored, or disposed.

On October 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, which amended RCRA to direct the EPA Administrator to establish a hazardous waste electronic manifest system. The Act states the Administrator shall establish an e-Manifest system to be used by any user, as defined in the Act and by EPA.

The current paper-based manifest system is inefficient and states and industry stakeholders incur substantial costs to comply with the current requirements to complete, carry, sign, file and mail paper manifest copies. The electronic system will establish an alternative to the current paper-based manifest system and is expected to be funded by a combination of appropriated dollars and the collection of fees from users of the system as appropriated by Congress to the EPA. The EPA Administrator will collect the fees from the users in advance of, or as reimbursement for, the provision by the Administrator of system-related services. However, EPA?s access to user fee revenue will not be available until fiscal year 2015-2016 and will be governed by fiscal year appropriation acts.

Modernization of manifest processing requires a new emphasis on collaborative management between the regulated community and federal and state government agencies. The introduction of an e-Manifest system establishes an integrated solution for hazardous waste transportation that addresses both the needs of current and future users of the system, other government agencies and first responders.

Hazardous waste generators, hazardous waste transporters, owners or operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs), and any other party that is required to use a manifest must comply with Federal and State requirements to track the shipment, transportation, and receipt of RCRA hazardous waste and state-regulated wastes that are shipped from the site of generation to an off-site facility for treatment, storage or disposal. When completed, EPA's e-manifest system will, like the paper manifest, contain information on the type and quantity of the waste being transported, the routing of the waste shipment, any instructions for handling the waste, and signature lines for all parties involved in the transportation process. Each party handling the waste signs the manifest, ensuring a documented chain of custody in the transportation and waste delivery and receipt processes. Once the waste reaches its destination, the receiving facility will submit an electronically signed electronic manifest to the system, and the system will distribute a signed copy of the e-manifest to the generator, confirming that the waste has been received by the designated facility.

III. EPA Requirements for e-Manifest system support

In order to develop, operate, support and potentially migrate the e-Manifest system, EPA will require the following support:

Development of the e-Manifest system: EPA is looking for innovative ideas on the development of the e-Manifest system. EPA is interested in finding a commercially available/commercially-off-the-shelf (COTS) manifesting product that can be used or modified to meet EPA's needs under e-Manifest. If a suitable product is unavailable, EPA would be interested in innovative recommendations for development solutions for the e-Manifest system. EPA is particularly interested in development solutions that do not require the development of a custom coded system with the associated costs for development and maintenance. EPA also seeks a system architecture that will allow data exchange and service integration with existing EPA systems and services, as well as other third party data systems and services. The Functional Requirements for e-Manifest are provided below and should be used to understand the requirements for the e-Manifest system. An important component of e-Manifest will b e the mobile element of the system. This would allow the electronic manifest to accompany the hazardous waste as it is transported by truck to its destination.

Hosting, Operation and Maintenance of e-Manifest: EPA is looking for solutions for the hosting of e-Manifest. EPA is interested in an innovative cloud hosting solution that will enable e-Manifest to react to the increase or decrease in usage over time, making available the appropriate resources as required. EPA will also require updates to the e-Manifest system to meet new user requirements or additional requirements based on future legislation or rulemaking by the Agency affecting e-Manifest.

User Help Support: EPA is interested in innovative solutions to providing help to the users of e-Manifest, many of which will be truck drivers on the road using new technology and unable to visit a local help desk or having a technician visit. Methods of allowing users to provide support to each other, the use of social networks for e-Manifest users, and other methods of providing help in a secure, trusted environment are of interest. EPA also seeks cost effective solutions to the traditional help desk support. It is important to remember that should problems arise they must be fixed quickly. Unsolvable problems may require the use of a paper manifest with consequent higher costs on industry when used.

Data Analytics: Users from EPA, individual states and industry will need to generate reports from the e-Manifest system. The reporting system must not take processing power from the transactional e-Manifest system in a way that reduces response times.

e-Manifest Functional Requirements

The functional requirements for the e-Manifest system necessary to meet EPA, state and industry needs are available on the e-Manifest requirements meetings website located at http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/transportation/manifest/e-man-meetings.htm. Please consult the requirements from the most recent stakeholder requirements discussion. The requirements are provided at the two links below and include an Adobe PDF file grouped by functional area and a "TO-BE" process flow diagram for e-Manifest. The definitions of the functional areas are also below.

Requirements slide deck: http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/transportation/manifest/pdf/emanfst_reqrmnts_slids_webnr2.pdf

e-Manifest TO-BE diagram: http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/transportation/manifest/pdf/emanfst_to_be_diagrm_041113.pdf

Functional areas:

1. User administration: requirements for setting up new users, managing users, deleting users, etc.

2. Miscellaneous: requirements that do not map to a functional area.

3. Electronic Manifest Creation: Covers the process for the initial manifest creation until the generator signs the manifest, including required data elements and user templates. From there, requirements fall into the workflow functional area. Considers interface requirements, offline and online mode requirements as well as CROMERR/e-sig requirements for generators.

4. Electronic Manifest Workflow: Includes requirements for chain-of-custody workflow for generators, transporters and TSDFs, as well as, data validation as the manifest is completed. Also considers offline and online mode requirements, and CROMERR/e-sig requirements.

5. Data QA: this functional area includes, but is not limited to, data quality assurance between handlers (e.g. discrepancy reporting) as well as QA between states and TSDFs.

6. Manifest Format and Communications Standards: requirements for what standard formats or communications (encoding protocols, etc) are necessary to support electronic manifest creation or data access and QA. May just be a sub functional area for variety of other categories.

7. Data access and reporting: once manifest data is approved or final in the system, what the system will need to do to provide access to the data and provide reports out to various users

8. Paper manifest processing: requirements for what the system must do to process paper manifests, which may include document management considerations.

Other Functional Areas for Consideration:

User fee e-Payment and e-Collection: data, processes or other areas needed to facilitate user payments and fee collection (this area may not be heavily defined as user fees will be a new rule next year)

System Security

Scalability: the e-manifest system must be scalable. As the adoption of the system by users increases from the initial launch, more resources will be needed to maintain the system

IV. Funding Challenge:

EPA expects that it will have limited appropriated funding to support this initiative throughout the system?s development and beyond as well. However, EPA has developed four options that may address the issue of limited appropriated funding to award and maintain any resultant E-Manifest system. .

EPA is interested in industry comments on whether industry would accept any of the contract financing options identified below for any resultant E-Manifest contract. Additionally, EPA is interested in any alternative solutions to the funding challenge from industry. The Agency believes fees collected from the regulated community will be available through Congressional appropriations to ultimately defray the contractor?s costs for system development, maintenance and system upgrade costs. However, the collection of fees and their appropriation is not expected until fiscal year 2015-2016. EPA would like input regarding the financing options discussed and any proposed by industry in response to this RFI.

EPA's four funding options are as follows:

Option #1: Multiyear Performance-Based Payment Contract

EPA could use two existing contracting options in tandem: Multiyear Contracting and Performance-Based Payments

Multiyear Contracting (FAR Subpart 17.1)

Under the multiyear contract authority available to the EPA, the Agency would only be required, at the beginning of each contract year, to incrementally fund those costs necessary to cover the current contract year.

Performance-Based Payments (FAR Subpart 32.10)

With performance-based payments, the Agency would pay the contractor based on performance only if, and when, the contractor successfully satisfies the contract's specified milestones or standards. Some of these performance milestones could be set in the later years of the E-manifest contract thereby delaying the outlay of appropriated funds. The contract must be a fixed-priced type, meaning that the contractor must agree to be bound by a fixed amount of compensation, regardless of the contractor's actual costs of performing the contract.

Option #2: Cost-Sharing Contract

A cost-sharing contract, under FAR 16.303, is a cost-reimbursement type contract, usually used for Research & Development procurements, where the contractor receives no profit and is reimbursed for only an agreed-upon portion of its allowable costs in expectation of "substantial compensating benefits." Substantial compensating benefits has been interpreted to mean a reasonable expectation of potential commercial application.

Option #3: Multi-year Cost-Sharing Contract

This option takes the Cost-Sharing Contract from Option #2 and adds the multi-year contracting element from Option #1. However, this option cannot include the Performance-Based Payment element of Option #1. Performance-Based Payments require a fixed-price contract, while a Cost-Sharing Contract must be a cost-reimbursement type contract.

Option #4: Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA)

The Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) authorizes federal agencies to enter into CRADAs with outside parties ("cooperators" include industry, academia, other government agencies) for "specified research and development efforts which are consistent with the mission of the laboratory." 15 U.S.C. 3510a(d)(1). Under a CRADA, cooperators can contribute funds, expertise, personnel, and intellectual property toward effort; federal agencies can make the same types of contributions but cannot contribute funds. 15 U.S.C. 3510a(b)(3).

In this option, an IT firm cooperator could join forces with EPA to develop the E-manifest system. The two parties would combine expertise, and possibly equipment, contractor services and intellectual property, to produce an e-manifest system, and the cooperator could license the building blocks of the joint development (e.g. source code for E-Manifest) for later, commercial application.

V. RFI Deliverables:

Interested parties shall submit responses to this RFI via email to Bradley R. Austin, Contracting Officer, austin.bradley@epa.gov, no later than 4 PM EST on Monday, June 3, 2013.

At a minimum, responses should address Sections III and IV of the RFI and include the following information:

1. Responses to the items in Section III recommending development options, hosting, operations and maintenance options, options for help support and data analytics.

2. Would your company submit a proposal in response to this requirement?

3. What funding option is acceptable (Why/Why not)

4. Does your company have other funding/cost sharing ideas that comply with Federal Appropriation and Acquisition Laws/Regulations to be considered by EPA?

5. Type of contract anticipated and why.

In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a solicitation or obligation on the part of the government. Neither unsolicited proposals nor any other kind of offers will be considered in response to this RFI. No reimbursement will be made for any costs associated with providing information in response to this announcement and/or any follow-up information requests. Interested parties may mark any response to be treated as business confidential information. EPA intends to share all responses with one (1) EPA support vendor as part of EPA?s planning efforts for a future procurement. This vendor will sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of its contract with EPA. Responses to the RFI will not be returned.

Posted Date: February 8, 2013

The presentation slides and list of attendees for the Industry Day conducted on February 7, 2013, are included below.

Posted Date: December 21, 2012

Procurement Office:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Headquarters Procurement Operations Division, Program Contract Service Center, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20460

Response Date: January 31, 2013

This is a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input related to initial planning for a future e-Manifest system, as described and authorized by the "Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act" (hereinafter "The Act"). The Act may be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.710:. Interested contractors should familiarize themselves with the Act and the parameters of funding contained therein.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking responses from industry regarding available approaches, tools, software or other relevant components that might be of utility to the implementation of the e-Manifest system, consistent with The Act. Interested contractors should demonstrate the capability to address the future components and/or performance requirements of the e-Manifest system, consistent with The Act. For example, interested contractors should demonstrate the capability to address the needs of all future users or the capability to address performance standards for the success of an e-Manifest system, consistent with The Act. Interested contractors should also demonstrate the capability to address the draft high level requirements that EPA outlines below as a result of previous stakeholder engagement. For historical background on e-Manifest, including summaries of previous e-Manifest stakeholder meetings, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/transportation/manifest/e-man.htm.

At this time, EPA believes that its requirements for the e-Manifest system will be refined at the conclusion of requirements analysis discussions with stakeholders in the spring of 2013 and are likely to include the following areas:

1. Electronic Manifest Creation

2. Manifest Format and Communications Standards

3. Document and Work Flow Management

4. Electronic signatures and compliance with EPA?s Cross-Media Reporting Regulation (CROMERR) Rule (for more information about CROMERR, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/CROMERR/)

5. Manifest data reporting

6. Manifest data access for states

7. Development of national manifest data repository

8. Standard processing of final copy of paper manifests from Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities

9. Electronic payment and collection of user fees

Interested parties shall submit information via email to Bradley R. Austin, Contracting Officer, austin.bradley@epa.gov, no later than 4 PM EST on Thursday, January 31, 2013. Please limit your submissions to no more than six (6) pages. EPA intends to hold an industry event in February 2013 at Potomac Yard One Building, One Potomac Yard, 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA, 22202-0053. EPA will provide specific room, date and time information once it is available via a modification to this announcement.

In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a solicitation or obligation on the part of the government. Neither unsolicited proposals nor any other kind of offers will be considered in response to this RFI. No reimbursement will be made for any costs associated with providing information in response to this announcement and/or any follow-up information requests. Interested parties may mark any response to be treated as business confidential information. EPA intends to share all responses with one (1) EPA support vendor as part of EPA?s planning efforts for a future procurement. This vendor will sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of its contract with EPA. Responses to the RFI will not be returned.

The point of contact for this procurement is Bradley R. Austin, Contracting Officer, at austin.bradley@epa.gov.

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