December 14, 2016

Posting of Import/Export Documents on the Internet Proposed

The revisions to the hazardous waste import/export regulations that EPA finalized on November 28, 2016 [81 FR 85696] mandate electronic submittal of import/export documentation. However, the agency has not fully developed and tested its Waste Import Export Tracking System (WIETS). As a result, electronic reporting to EPA using WIETS will be phased in over a period of time. Only electronic submittal of new export notices for hazardous waste or CRTs for recycling will be required using WIETS on the effective date of the final rule (December 31, 2016). EPA will announce the future electronic import/export reporting compliance date for all other submittals in a separate Federal Register notice.

Perhaps more interesting, until WIETS is fully capable, EPA is proposing that importers/exporters each maintain a publicly accessible website [November 28, 2016; 81 FR 85459], where the following documents would be posted:

Each company’s website would be titled ‘‘Hazardous Waste Export/Import Rule Compliance Documents,’’ and the postings would identify the type of document, EPA ID number of the exporting or receiving facility, and the consent number associated with the shipment. If a company has more than one physical site from which it imports/exports hazardous waste, it would have to group the posted documents by physical site.

Documents associated with shipments made during a calendar year would have to be posted by March 1 of the following year. The agency is proposing that the required documents be posted as read-only downloadable images in PDF, JPEG, GIF, or other format. Each document would be available on the website for at least 3 years following the date on which it was required to be posted; however, this information would not need to be publicly available once EPA begins receiving the documents electronically through WIETS.

EPA is also proposing to exclude hazardous waste import, export, and transit documents, as well as CRT export documents, from confidentiality claims. This part of the proposal is consistent with the agency’s February 7, 2014 e-manifest final rule that states that the regulated community can no longer assert that information entered on paper or e-manifests is confidential business information. [79 FR 7517]


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