Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System (E-Manifest)
EPA is currently working with states, industry and related stakeholders to develop a national electronic manifest system that will facilitate the electronics transmission of the uniform manifest form and make the use of the manifest much more effective and convenient for users. Learn how to participate in e-Manifest user testing.
The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, signed into law by President Obama on October 5, 2012, authorizes EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system. Commonly referred to as "e-Manifest," this national system will be implemented by the EPA in partnership with industry and states.
On this page:
- The e-Manifest Advisory Board
- The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act
- Proposed Rule: User Fees for the e-Manifest System and Amendments to Manifest Regulations
- Final Rule for the Modification of the Hazardous Waste Manifest System; Electronic Manifests
- Frequent Questions about the e-Manifest Initiative
The Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act also established the e-Manifest Advisory Board. which provides recommendations on matters related to the operational activities, functions, policies, and regulations for the system. Learn more about the Advisory Board and its meetings.
Key Features of the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act include that:
- e-Manifest extends to all federally and state-regulated wastes requiring manifests
- The use of electronic manifests is optional for users, 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 (IG) 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
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. This proposed rule is the first step in the regulatory development process to establish the user fees and other actions necessary to establish the system.
- Basic Information on the Proposed Rule
- Read the Proposed Rule in the Federal Register
- Frequent Questions About the Rule
The final rule, published on February 7, 2014, authorizes the use of electronic hazardous waste manifests that will become available when EPA establishes a new electronic hazardous waste manifest system. This modification will provide waste handlers with the option to complete, sign, transmit, and store manifest information electronically in the future electronic system.
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 the e-Manifest system collect manifests for wastes that are not regulated as hazardous by EPA, but that are regulated as hazardous by a state?
Yes, the e-Manifest system will collect manifests for all wastes shipped on a manifest, whether regulated as hazardous waste by EPA or a state.
- Will the e-Manifest requirements become effective immediately on the same date in all states?
Yes, the e-Manifest requirements will become effective on the same date in all states. EPA will officially announce this date, which will be sometime in June 2018, by the end of the 2017 calendar year.
- Once e-Manifest becomes effective, can states collect, or continue to collect, manifests?
Once e-Manifest becomes effective, states may not collect copies of the manifest from the designated or receiving facility. Instead, states will have access to the manifest data in the e-Manifest system. (However, states may continue to collect paper copies of generators’ manifest as EPA will not be collecting these copies.)
- Can a state prohibit hazardous waste handlers from using the EPA e-Manifest system (and thus require facilities to continue to use paper manifests)?
No. A key tenet of the e-Manifest Act was that e-Manifest will be implemented consistently in all states as a unified, national program administered by EPA. Thus, e-Manifest will go into effect immediately in all states on the same date. States must then modify their hazardous waste programs to accommodate e-Manifest.
- I am a TSDF that accepts wastes from states other than my own. If a waste’s originating state requires a manifest for a waste that my state does not require, must I register and submit a manifest to the e-Manifest system?
Yes, per the e-Manifest act, if the waste has a manifesting requirement then the receiving facility must submit the manifest to the system and pay any applicable fees associated with that manifest.
- When the e-Manifest system goes live, will all hazardous waste handlers be required to use the system or can they still use paper manifests?
The use of electronic manifests is optional; EPA will collect both electronic and paper manifests once the e-Manifest system launches. However, EPA will strongly encourage the use of electronic manifests as these manifests will be the cheapest and easiest way to comply with the regulations.
- What options will hazardous waste handlers have for submitting manifests once the e-Manifest system launches?
Handlers will have a variety of options for submitting manifests to EPA, including submitting manifests directly in the e-Manifest system, uploading manifest data from an industry system, submitting a PDF copy of a manifest, and mailing in a hard copy manifest. Additionally, EPA is developing a process where the manifest starts as a paper manifest and then ends with an electronic submission of the manifest data.
- 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 hazardous waste handlers be allowed to make corrections to data in e-Manifest?
Yes. EPA proposed a process for corrections in its July 2016 User Fee proposed rule. EPA will establish its final process for making corrections in its final rule, expected December 2017.
- How will use of e-Manifest relate to the Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous material regulations (HMR) requirement to use a shipping paper?
EPA is coordinating with DOT during the development of e-Manifest. The system will generally allow a user to produce a manifest that satisfies the DOT HMR requirement for a shipping paper. One key point is that DOT currently requires the presence of a hard copy paper manifest during transportation. Therefore, handlers using e-Manifest will still need to comply with that requirement (e.g., print the manifest from the e-Manifest system) unless DOT modifies it.
- Does the use of e-Manifest satisfy EPA and Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous material regulations (HMR) recordkeeping requirements for retention of the manifest?
Yes. Proper use of e-Manifest will satisfy the EPA RCRA recordkeeping requirements for hazardous waste generators, transporters, and receiving facilities. DOT HMR requires companies to retain a copy of the shipping paper (manifest), or an electronic image. DOT allows companies to retain shipping papers electronically, as long as a hard copy is provided to an authorized representative upon request.
- 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”).
- Will a hazardous waste handler claim the data on their manifests as confidential business information (CBI) when submitting it to the e-Manifest system?
No. Manifest data is not subject to confidential business information claims or protections. Many manifests are already currently available to the public without restriction in a significant number of states.