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e-Manifest

Learn About the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System (e-Manifest)

EPA is establishing 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 anticipates launching e-Manifest in June 2018.

EPA is establishing the e-Manifest system according to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, 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. EPA is currently in the process of finalizing the 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 preparing shipping manifests by between 300,000 and 700,000 hours, saving state and industry users $75-$90M annually.

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.

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Background History of e-Manifest

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.

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The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act

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 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 Manifest (One Year Rule)

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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

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Final Rule for User Fees for the e-Manifest System and Amendments to Manifest Regulations

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.

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Frequent Questions about the e-Manifest Initiative

EPA compiled this collection of answers to frequent questions to provide additional information about ongoing e-manifest work. Below, please click anywhere in the gray boxes or the plus sign on the right to view the answer to each question. Aside from this collection, additional information can be found by:

  • Will the e-Manifest system be linked to RCRAInfo?

    Yes, e-Manifest will be linked to RCRAInfo and will have the ability to validate information entered on an electronic manifest against information in RCRAInfo. (RCRAInfo is a separate EPA information system that collects information on hazardous waste sites. The public can access information in RCRAInfo through RCRAInfo Web.)

  • Will there be a fee to use the e-Manifest system when it goes live?

    Yes, the e-Manifest Act authorized EPA to collect reasonable user fees for all system-related costs, including development and maintenance. EPA proposed that the destination or receiving facility pay a fee per manifest that would cover costs for the e-Manifest system. EPA did not propose fees for facilities that initiate manifests (i.e., generators) or those that would access e-Manifest system data, such as states and the general public. EPA will issue its final decisions on user fees in its final rule, expected December 2017.

  • Will use of the e-Manifest system replace the federal biennial report (BR)?

    The e-Manifest Act requires that EPA integrate the reporting of information in e-Manifest with the RCRA biennial report process. EPA remains committed to that goal, but will phase in this feature over time to ensure that manifest data are of high quality to support state and federal processes. Therefore, the use of e-Manifest will not yet replace the biennial report when the system launches in 2018.

  • Will the data elements currently applicable to paper manifests change with the use of electronic manifests?

    No, the basic regulations or instructions for completing an electronic manifest will not be materially different from today's regulations or instructions for completing a paper manifest. The data elements will remain the same, and the only differences involve completing an electronic form and signing the form electronically. EPA found that electronic manifests are the legal equivalent to paper manifests in all relevant respects (see 40 CFR 260.10, definition of “Electronic manifest”).

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