Hazardous and Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste Management

Your Options Under the HazWaste e-Manifest Program

Effective October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2021, the EPA will apply new user fees in its hazardous waste (hazwaste) e-Manifest Program. Publication of the Agency’s fee memo provides an opportunity to review the different types of manifests regulated parties may use to meet their legal obligations.

Hazardous waste, chemical inventory, e-manifest, warehouse

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Manifest Forms

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the EPA’s implementing regulations require generators and transporters of hazwaste and owners or operators of hazwaste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) to use the uniform hazwaste manifest (EPA Form 8700-22) and, if necessary, the continuation sheet (EPA Form 8700-22A) for both interstate and intrastate transportation. The forms and instructions for completing them are available here.

Established by Law

The e-Manifest Program was established by Congress in 2012 to replace paper manifests and was implemented through the EPA’s 2014 final rule. Serious consideration of an e-manifest program had been under way at least since 2001. There was extensive discussion about the difficulty of switching from paper to electronic manifests (e.g., security, operational costs), but those concerns were outweighed by the potential benefits. These included one-stop manifest reporting, more effective inspection and enforcement by regulators, nearly real-time shipment tracking services, and consolidation of duplicative federal and state systems. Initial user fees were announced in January 2018, and the e-Manifest Program became operational on June 30, 2018.

Under Section 3006 of RCRA, the EPA may authorize qualified states to administer their own hazwaste programs in lieu of the federal program. Generally, states may choose not to adopt federal RCRA rules that are considered less stringent than RCRA’s baseline regulations. However, the EPA requires strict consistency in the manifest requirements so that any EPA changes to federal manifest requirements that are authorizable to states must be implemented consistently in the states.

In the 2018 rule, the EPA estimated that approximately 160,000 entities in at least 45 industries under federal and state jurisdiction generate 3 million to 5 million domestic manifests each year.  The Agency also estimated that the e-Manifest Program will save the regulated community $66 million per year.

Manifest Options

  • Fully electronic. All handlers must be registered for e-Manifest.
    • Manifest is created electronically in e-Manifest.
    • Manifest is signed electronically by all handlers.
    • Manifest in e-Manifest is considered complete when receiving facility signs electronically.
  • Hybrid. Initial and subsequent transporters and receiving facility must be registered.
      • Manifest is created electronically in e-Manifest.
      • Generators and transporters print out manifest from e-Manifest and sign paper copy of the electronic manifest.
      • Initial transporter, any subsequent transporter, and receiving facility electronically sign manifest.
      • Manifest is submitted into e-Manifest and is considered complete when receiving facility signs electronically.
  • Paper
    • Data + image. Receiving facility must register at least one site manager to upload data + image and pay invoices.
      • Paper manifest form is used.
      • All handlers sign paper copy of the manifest.
      • Receiving facility uploads a data file along with a scanned image of the top copy paper manifest.
      • Receiving facility electronically signs in e-Manifest to submit manifest data and images to the EPA.
      • The EPA validates that the scanned image and data file contain the same information.
    • Scanned image. Receiving facility must register at least one site manager to upload scanned images and pay invoices.
      • Paper manifest form is used.
      • All handlers sign paper copy of the manifest.
      • Receiving facility uploads scanned image of the manifest through e-Manifest.
      • Receiving facility electronically signs in e-Manifest to submit manifest images to the EPA.
      • The EPA enters data from the accompanying scanned image.
    • Mailed paper. Receiving facility must register at least one site manager to pay invoices.
      •  Paper manifest form is used.
      • All handlers sign paper copy of manifest.
      • Receiving facility mails paper manifest (and continuation sheets) to:EPA e-Manifest PPC
        14295 Park Meadow Drive, 5th Floor
        Chantilly, VA 20151
      • The EPA scans paper manifest and enters corresponding data. Image and data are uploaded into the system.

On June 30, 2021, the EPA will no longer accept paper manifests submitted via mail.

New Fees

The 2012 legislation authorizes the EPA to impose and collect reasonable service fees necessary to pay the costs of implementing the e-Manifest system, including any costs incurred in collecting and processing data from any paper manifests submitted to the system. The Agency estimates that the average fiscal year (FY) 2020/2021 annual expenses for the program at $26.4 million. To cover this cost with an acceptable margin of error, the EPA has set its October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2021, annual revenue goal at $26.6 million.

Following is a comparison of the existing and upcoming user fees.

Manifest submission type

FY 2018/2019 user fees

FY 2020/2021 user fees

Mailed paper

$15.00

$25.00

Image

$10.00

$20.00

Image + data

$6.50

$14.00

Electronic/hybrid

$5.00

$8.00

The increase in the user fee for paper manifests is intended to “provide strong disincentives” for this method, states the Agency in its memo.