Many handlers of hazardous waste manifests have been struggling to get up to speed to be in compliance with the new requirements for e-manifests by its June 30th launch date. This has been especially true for receiving facilities, many of whom have not yet completed the steps necessary to modify their software systems and to integrate them with the e-Manifest system so as to enable them to submit paper manifest electronically to the EPA. Knowing that to be the case, the EPA will give receiving facilities until September 30, 2018 to submit all paper manifests they receive between June 30, 2018 and September 1, 2018.
This extension of the submission deadline provides receiving facilities with 60 additional days, over the existing 30 days provided in the manifest regulations, to submit their paper manifests, the idea being that the additional time should allow receiving facilities to complete their software upgrades and e-Manifest system integration.
The manifest rules require receiving facilities accepting a shipment accompanied by a paper manifest to submit the manifest to the EPA within 30 days of receipt through any of these three ways:
- By mailing it to the EPA
- By image file uploads (e.g. Adobe PDF files), or
- By data file uploads (e.g. JSON file with an image file attachment)
Many receiving facilities saw the main problem of not being able to send manifests electronically to the EPA as of June 30th not as a technical hurdle but as a financial burden because the EPA charges receiving facilities a user fee for each manifest submitted to the EPA. The highest fee is for mailed paper manifests, a lower fee for uploads of scanned images, and an even lower fee for manifests submitted as data files plus scanned images. Needless to say, receiving facilities that were already incurring significant costs associated with implementing and managing the new program were unhappy also with the fact that they would be forced as of June 30th to pay the high fee associated with mailing the paper manifest.
So the EPA’s gift of extra time to help receiving facilities submit manifests electronically is no doubt a most welcome one. But this submission extension is only temporary as paper manifests received after September 1, 2018 must be submitted to the EPA within 30 days of receipt, as required by the regulations.