Final Rule: User Fees for the Electronic Hazardous Waste Manifest System (e-Manifest) and Amendments to Manifest Regulations
The EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed the e-Manifest User Fee Final Rule on December 20, 2017 and it was published in the Federal Register (FR) on January 3, 2018.
The final rule establishes the methodology that EPA will use in setting and revising user fees in order to recover the full costs of the electronic manifest system. This includes costs incurred in developing, operating, maintaining, and upgrading a national e-Manifest system, as well as any costs incurred in collecting and processing data from any paper manifest submitted to the e-Manifest system after the date on which the system begins to operate on June 30, 2018.
The e-Manifest user fee final rule notice addresses several key issues:
- Who must pay e-Manifest user fees;
- What types of transactions give rise to fees;
- What formula is EPA using to set fees;
- What the available options are for users to make their fee payments;
- What process EPA will follow to revise user fees; and
- What the sanctions are for non-payment.
EPA is also tailoring user fees according to whether manifests are submitted electronically or via paper to reflect the varying processing costs of these options. This action also finalizes several amendments to the regulations governing the use of electronic hazardous waste manifests and the completion of manifests.
Pursuant to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, Public Law 112-195, EPA announced the e-Manifest regulation in the Federal Register on February 7, 2014, which authorizes use of electronic manifests to track hazardous waste shipments nationwide. The establishment of the User Fee rule is an important next step in the implementation of the E-Manifest Act and will inform the agency’s ongoing E-Enterprise initiative. Because the Act grants broad discretion to EPA to determine the fees, and gives EPA authority to collect such fees for both electronic manifests and for any paper manifests that continue in use, EPA issued both a proposed and final rule notice in setting the appropriate electronic manifest and paper manifest fees.