Learn about the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System (e-Manifest)
EPA established a national system for tracking hazardous waste shipments electronically. This system, known as “e-Manifest,” will modernize the nation’s cradle-to-grave hazardous waste tracking process while saving valuable time, resources, and dollars for industry and states. EPA launched e-Manifest on June 30, 2018.
EPA established the e-Manifest system according to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (PDF) (8 pp, 216 K, About PDF), enacted into law on October 5, 2012. The “e-Manifest Act” authorizes the EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system and required that the costs of developing and operating the new e-Manifest system be recovered from user fees charged to those who use hazardous waste manifests to track off-site shipments of their wastes. In January 2018, EPA published its final methodology for setting user fees based on the costs of processing manifests.
By enabling the transition from a paper-intensive process to an electronic system, the EPA estimates e-Manifest will ultimately reduce the burden associated with paper manifests by between 175,000 and 425,000 hours, saving state and industry users more than $50 million annually, once electronic manifests are widely adopted.
Benefits of the e-Manifest system include:
- Cost savings;
- Accurate and more timely information on waste shipments;
- Rapid notification of discrepancies or other problems related to a particular shipment;
- Creation of a single hub for one-stop reporting of manifest data for use by EPA and states;
- Increased effectiveness of compliance monitoring of waste shipments by regulators; and
- The potential for integrating manifest reporting with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) biennial reporting process and other federal and state information systems.
On this Page:
- Background History of e-Manifest
- The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act
- Final Rule for the Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System, Electronic Manifests
- Final Rule for User Fees for the e-Manifest System and Amendments to Manifest Regulations
EPA’s initial proposal to transition from paper-based to electronic-based reporting occurred in May 2001. After receiving numerous comments, conducting several national stakeholder meetings, and proposing supplemental notices on the subject, the Agency was persuaded that electronic manifesting would produce numerous benefits. These benefits include cost savings, better, and more timely information on waste shipments, rapid notification of discrepancies or other problems related to a particular shipment, the creation of a single hub for one-stop reporting of manifest data to EPA and states, increased effectiveness of compliance monitoring of waste shipments by regulators, and the potential for integrating manifest reporting with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) biennial reporting process and other federal and state information systems.
The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act authorizes EPA to establish a national e-manifest system to track hazardous waste shipments. The Act gives EPA authority to adopt regulations that 1) accept electronic-manifests in addition to the existing paper manifests and 2) set up user fees to offset the costs of developing and operating the e-Manifest system.
Key features of the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (PDF) (7 pp, 222 K, About PDF) are:
- e-Manifest extends to all federally and state-regulated wastes requiring manifests
- EPA encourages the use of electronic submittals, though the statute allows optional use of paper manifests. and authorizes central collection of data from electronic and paper manifests
- EPA is authorized to collect reasonable user fees for all system related costs including development and maintenance
- EPA must conduct annual Inspector General audits and submit biennial reports to Congress
- EPA must establish a uniform effective date in all states for e-Manifest, and must implement e-Manifest until states are authorized
In addition, the Act required that EPA establish a Federal Advisory Board Committee to provide critical input on the development and operation of e-Manifest. Learn more about the advisory board and its meetings.
Final Rule for the Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System, Electronic Manifests (One Year Rule)
The final rule, published on February 7, 2014, known as the “One Year Rule” establishes the legal and policy framework for the use of electronic manifests. The purpose of the rule is to:
- Codify key provision of the Act touching upon the scope of the users and manifests eligible to participate in e-Manifest
- Codify the provisions of the Act requiring consistent implementation of electronic manifests in all the states
- Finalize EPA’s decisions to establish a national electronic hazardous waste manifest system
- Announce policy decisions related to using and implementing electronic manifests
- Read the One Year Rule in the Federal Register
The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act does not itself set e-Manifest user fees, but instead gives EPA discretion to establish user fees, through regulation, that the Administrator determines to be necessary to offset the costs of developing and operating the e-Manifest system. The final rule, signed on December 20, 2017, establishes the user fees and other actions necessary to establish the system.