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,” modernized 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. EPA updates these user fees every two fiscal years.
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
- How Does e-Manifest Work?
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.
EPA completed two final rules and one proposed rule regarding e-Manifest. The final “One Year Rule” (2014) established the legal and policy framework for the use of electronic manifests. The final “User Fee Rule” (2017) established user fees and other actions necessary to set up the system. The proposed “Third Rule” (2022) proposes various regulatory amendments and technical corrections. Learn more about e-Manifest rulemakings.
The e-Manifest system has been built as a module component of the existing Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information System (RCRAInfo). Launched in June 2018, e-Manifest now provides the stakeholders listed below with the following functions:
- Hazardous waste generators and transporters: Generators and transporters can create, edit, view, and sign manifests as well as submit post-receipt corrections electronically. e-Manifest stores final copies and status information on electronic and paper manifests.
- Receiving facilities: Facilities receiving waste shipped on a manifest are able to sign manifests when the waste is received, submit the manifests to EPA, make corrections to submitted manifests, and retrieve copies of manifests submitted since e-Manifest launched.
- States and Tribes: State and tribal government users are able to retrieve copies and status information on any manifests associated with entities in their state.
- General Public: e-Manifest data is accessible to the general public 90 days after receipt at the designated facility through the system’s public-facing webpage.
EPA is committed to ensuring that the e-Manifest system meets its users’ needs. To accomplish this, we have conducted user-centered design and development utilizing agile software development methodologies. This approach embodies continuous improvement through pilots and testing, using iterative processes, and regular engagement with users and stakeholders throughout the process.
EPA also provides a host of system development resources, geared toward technical users, on our GitHub page: https://github.com/USEPA/e-manifest. This page includes reference material, source code, and instructions for a variety of e-Manifest user needs. Our GitHub page allows users to review the latest updates to our web services, read technical documentation, access the software deployment calendar, learn to test system-to-system connections with e-Manifest, and communicate with the e-Manifest development team.