Proposed Rule: Integrating e-Manifest with Exports and Other Manifest-Related Reports, PCB Manifest Amendments, and Technical Corrections (Third Rule)
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EPA published the Third Rule in the Federal Register (FR) on April 1, 2022. This rule proposes to amend certain aspects of the hazardous waste manifest regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), specifically concerning the e-Manifest system, and addresses the following:
- Incorporating hazardous waste export manifests into the e-Manifest system, which includes designating the exporter as the entity responsible for submitting the manifest and paying the requisite user fee.
- Expanding the required international shipment data elements on the manifest form.
- Revising the movement document requirements to more closely link the manifest data with the movement document data for manifest tracking purposes as well as to assist with integration of EPA’s Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS) into RCRAInfo.
- Revising aspects of the manifest form to improve compliance with import and export consents and tracking requirements, which includes adding an email address field to Item 5 of the generator block of the paper manifest, allowing for greater precision in waste data reported in the manifest fields at Items 11 (Total Quantity) and 12 (Units of Measure), and adding form codes to the DESIGNATED FACILITY field of the manifest, such as in Item 19.
- Regulatory changes regarding Exception Reports, Discrepancy Reports, and Unmanifested Waste Reports, which includes using the system to identify when reports may be required, allowing electronic submittal of required reports in e-Manifest, and adjusting timeframes to account for EPA’s Paper Processing Center.
- Conforming changes to PCB manifest regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and other technical corrections to remove obsolete requirements, correct typographical errors, establish definitions, and/or improve alignment with the e-Manifest program.
- Discussion regarding potential future integration of the e-Manifest system with Biennial Reporting requirements.
EPA extended the public comment period deadline. Comments must now be received on or before August 1, 2022.
Pursuant to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, Public Law 112-195, EPA has promulgated two rulemakings related to implementing e-Manifest, a system for electronically tracking hazardous waste shipments nationwide. e-Manifest was launched in 2018.
Initial implementation was limited to the collection of domestic and import shipments because EPA had not yet determined through rulemaking who in the export shipment chain of custody should be responsible for making the submission and paying the fee. Currently, exported hazardous waste must be shipped on a manifest, but export manifests end at the U.S. border and are not collected in e-Manifest. If the Third Rule is finalized, approximately 24,000 export manifests annually would be available in e-Manifest for industry, states, and the public.
The other proposed regulatory and technical amendments are expected to reduce the reporting burden on industry and states, increase information availability, improve compliance monitoring, and prepare for future potential integration with biennial reporting requirements. EPA aims to modernize and streamline the manifest process, thereby increasing expected benefits of the e-Manifest system and encouraging further adoption of electronic manifests through increased utility of the system.