Hazardous Waste Management

Training for Signing the Manifest

Question: What RCRA training regulations apply to a person signing a hazardous waste manifest on behalf of the generator?

Answer: There are no RCRA training requirements specific to the individual signing a hazardous waste manifest. However, training requirements for hazardous waste generators are required by both RCRA Subtitle C and DOT. LQGs are required to follow the personnel training requirements in 40 CFR 265.16. SQGs must comply with the emergency preparedness and personnel training requirements of 40 CFR 262.34(d)(5). EPA’s requirements for preparing and signing uniform hazardous waste manifests are based on DOT regulations.


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 DOT requires that the person signing the manifest have "first hand knowledge" of the information listed on the manifest and the regulations that apply to the waste. The generator must certify that the materials are properly classified, described, packaged, marked, and labeled, and in proper condition for transporting. The generator certification is required by RCRA (40 CFR 262.23(a)) and DOT.

The training requirements for hazardous materials employees are defined in the DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations at 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart H. These regulations specify training requirements for general awareness/familiarization, function-specific training, and safety training. The training must occur within 90 days of employment for new employees, and be repeated every 3 years (49 CFR 172.704).

Question: If the signor of the manifest has been properly trained and signs "on behalf of the company," can the signor be held personally liable?

Answer: Yes. Under DOT interpretations, the offeror is any person who performs the steps of preparing materials for shipment, including signing the shipper’s certification. There can be more than one offeror of a shipment, and the several persons who are offerors can be jointly and severally liable for compliance. While it is more typical for the company represented by the signor to be the subject of enforcement actions, in some situations (e.g., egregious or criminal violations), the signor could be held personally liable.


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(These Q&As about training are a summary of a much longer EPA letter that also addresses what it means to have "first-hand knowledge" of the information on the manifest.)

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