For over a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), individual states, industry and related stakeholders have had a mutual interest in developing a national electronic manifest system that would facilitate the electronic transmission of the uniform manifest form and make the use of the uniform manifest much more cost-effective and convenient for users. On October 5, 2012, President Obama signed the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act into law, which authorizes the EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system.
Highlights of the Act:
- The “e-Manifest” will be developed and will become available to all who manage hazardous waste. The e-Manifest system will create an option for completing, signing and storing hazardous waste manifests electronically. The goal of this national system is implementation by the EPA in partnership with industry and states.
- The Act authorizes the EPA to collect reasonable user fees for all system related costs including development and maintenance.
- The EPA must establish a System Advisory Board within three years after the Act is passed in order to advise the EPA on system performance and user fees.
- The Act requires that the e-Manifest Information Technology (IT) system must be up and running by October 5, 2015
- Requires that the EPA conduct annual Inspector General (IG) audits of the e-Manifest system and submit biennial reports to Congress
- The Act requires that EPA must establish a uniform effective date in all states for e-Manifest, and must implement e-Manifest until States are authorized
About the System:
The system will include:
- A standardized, secure, system-to-system interface to allow existing industry IT systems to communicate with the centralized e-Manifest system
- A web interface compatible with mobile devices (for industry users that do not have an existing IT solution or do not plan to integrate their existing system)
- Data sharing with the states via Exchange Network services
- A public interface for public data access
- Electronic signature procedure that adheres to CROMERR (identity proofing of electronic signature)
- Reduction of the millions of paper manifests generated each year
- The e-Manifest system will give emergency responders greater access about the types and sources of hazardous waste that are in transit between generator sites and waste management facilities
- The system will track the manifest throughout the shipment, capture data and report back to the system every time the manifest is signed by a new party (indicating a transfer of the waste), and provide a means of reporting the status of the shipment (draft, in transit, received, etc.
- Can be used as a tool for hazardous waste handlers to enhance recordkeeping compliance
- The EPA estimates the national e-Manifest system will ultimately reduce the burden associated with preparing shipping manifests by between 300,000 and 700,000 hours, and result in cost savings of more than $75 million per year for states and industry.
- Waste handlers will have the option of continuing to use paper manifests or the e-Manifest system
- EPA will continue to collect user fees from waste handlers regardless of paper or electronic manifest use (example – NJDEP currently charges $11 per manifest for administrative fees).
For More Information
- Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System (“e - Manifest”) website
- E-Manifest Final Rule
- Subscribe to e-Manifest ListServ to receive program updates –Send a blank message