Monday, October 1, 2012

Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act

Congress passed the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, on September 22, 2012, and forwarded it to the President for his signature on September 25, 2012. The E-manifest Act amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act by requiring EPA to establish a hazardous waste electronic manifest system within three years. The system must allow any person that is currently required to use a paper manifest to elect to complete and transmit an electronic manifest format.

Congress also authorized EPA to impose fees on users to pay for developing, maintaining, and upgrading the e-manifest system, including any costs that come from collecting and processing data from paper manifests submitted once the e-system is up and running. The fees are to be deposited into the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System Fund, a revolving fund established by the Act. Congress authorized appropriations for the program for FY2013-FY2015 for start-up activities to carry out the Act.

Currently, hazardous waste generators must complete the paper Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest any time they transport, or offer for transport, hazardous waste for off-site treatment, recycling, storage, or disposal. The manifest is designed to track the waste from the time it leaves the generator where it was produced, until it reaches the off-site waste management facility. The paper manifest consists of multiple copies of a single form, which when completed contains information on the type and quantity of waste, instructions for handling the waste, and signature lines for all parties involved in the generation, transportation, and ultimate disposition of the waste. The paper manifest, required by both EPA and the Department of Transportation, is a standard federal form. States may not develop their own versions of the form.

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