May 11, 2018

EPA Releases e-Manifest FAQs to Prepare Regulated Community

EPA recently published an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the upcoming e-manifest system. With the go-live date of June 30 less than two months away, everyone in the hazardous waste industry should be gearing up for changes. Below is a summary of some key FAQs, although we recommend a full reading of the questions and EPA’s answers.

  1. How long will EPA’s e-manifest system keep manifest data?

Indefinitely.

  1. Can a transporter, broker, or receiving facility prepare and sign manifests “on behalf of” the generator?

While any waste handler and broker can prepare a manifest “on behalf of” a generator, the authority to sign manifests is more limited. Only the generator, an agent of the generator operating onsite and performing generator responsibilities at the site for the generator, or an offeror may sign in Block 15.

  1. What does it mean if my state has not adopted the e-manifest rule(s)? What if my state has not become authorized for the e-manifest rule(s)?

EPA will implement and enforce the e-manifest requirements in all states until such time as the states are authorized for these requirements. When the states are authorized for delegable provisions of the e-manifest rules, the state will assume primacy for the implementation and enforcement of those requirements. EPA will retain its primary responsibilities to operate and maintain the e-manifest system, implement the user fee program, and collect user fees.

  1. How much will the e-manifest system charge per manifest?
  2. The final fee schedule will not be established until EPA’s 2018 budget is determined. EPA will publish the final fee schedule on its e-manifest website prior to system launch. Best estimates per the January 3, 2018 user-fee rule [83 FR 420] are as follows:

    • $4.00 for an electronic manifest (including hybrid),
    • $7.00 for a data file upload of paper manifest data,
    • $13.00 for the upload of a paper manifest image, and
    • $20.00 for submission of a paper manifest form by mail.
  1. How will the e-manifest system allow for corrections? Who can correct a manifest?

Once the receiving facility submits its signed copy, the e-manifest system creates the initial data record. Any interested persons, including named waste handlers on the manifest and state regulators, may submit data corrections to the system. If a data correction is submitted, interested parties are notified and may respond to a correction notice with their own data corrections. An auditable record of all corrections will be retained, and the last correction made is regarded as the final and correct representation of the data, unless a later notice is received.

  1. How does e-manifest handle rejected loads by the receiving facility and who pays the manifest user fees in this case? What about partial rejections?
  2. EPA does not require manifest submissions or fee payments by generators. Thus, four scenarios arise:

    • If the entire shipment on the original manifest is rejected, the manifest rules allow the rejecting facility to forward the entire shipment to an alternate receiving facility on the original manifest. In such a case, the alternate facility is responsible for signing the manifest, for submitting this manifest to the e-manifest system, and for paying the fee.
    • If a waste is partially received and partially rejected by the designated TSD facility, this facility is responsible for submitting the original manifest to the e-manifest system and paying the related fee for the processing of the partial receipt data. The re-shipment of the rejected portion of the waste to another receiving facility requires a second manifest. The alternate receiving facility designated on the second manifest is responsible for submitting this second manifest to the system and paying its associated fee.
    • If the entire shipment is rejected, the manifest regulations allow the waste to be returned to the generator under the original manifest. In that case, the rejecting facility is responsible for submitting to e-manifest the copy of the return manifest signed by the generator, which the manifest regulations require the generator to send back to the rejecting facility within 30 days. When submitting this return copy to the system, the rejecting facility must also pay the processing fee for the return manifest.
    • A partial rejection by a receiving facility that also involves a return shipment to the original generator can cause the rejecting facility to be responsible for two distinct manifest submissions and their related processing fees. The first is the submission of the original manifest showing waste receipts by the receiving facility. The second is the submission of the copy of the return shipment manifest signed by the original generator.
  1. How does e-manifest address confidential business information (CBI)?

EPA has determined categorically that manifests are not subject to CBI claims.

  1. Will EPA be collecting any other documents besides the e-manifest form and continuation sheets? For example, will the agency collect land disposal restrictions (LDR) notifications? How will the e-manifest system handle any other miscellaneous documents it receives?

EPA will not accept non-manifest documents including LDR notices. EPA will dispose of any miscellaneous documents it receives.

  1. When will the public have access to the e-manifest data?

Access will be available 90 days after the date of receipt at the receiving facility. Certain data from manifests that may involve Chemicals of Interest under the Department of Homeland Security will be redacted from manifests before they are made available to the general public.

  1. In §§264/265.71(l), there is a statement that corrections can be made by interested parties at any time; what is the version of the manifest that will be used in an enforcement case?

Both an initial manifest submittal and a corrected manifest may have relevance. All corrections so certified and entered will be retained and audited by the system along with the original records.

  1. Does e-manifest use the Central Data Exchange (CDX)?

Yes. Users can log in or make an account here. All users will need to associate with their site(s) once they gain access.

  1. Can e-manifest be used for both hazardous waste and nonhazardous waste shipments on the same truck?

Yes.

  1. Will the system generate automated notifications if e-manifests are pending for signature?

Yes.

  1. Can you print out a hard copy of an e-manifest?

Yes, by clicking on the printer icon at the top right corner of the manifest system.

  1. Will e-manifests include state hazardous waste codes (in addition to federal hazardous waste codes)?

Yes.

  1. If a receiving facility is using a data upload to submit manifest info, how will the manifest numbers be generated?

If the e-manifest file is created from a paper manifest, then the receiving facility provides the manifest tracking number from the paper form. If the manifest is created as a fully electronic manifest, EPA creates the manifest tracking number in the e-manifest system and returns it to the receiving facility.

  1. Can you sign paper manifests once the manifest has gone electronic? For example, if a generator or transporter has signed electronically, can the receiving facility sign on paper?

No. Once a generator or initial transporter signs electronically, all subsequent entities must sign electronically.

  1. Does each person need to register for e-manifest? Or can there be one company account shared by multiple users?

Each person needs their own account in order to create and sign manifests.

  1. If I already registered to test the e-manifest system in pre-production, do I need to register for e-manifest when the system goes live?

Yes.

  1. Will the transporter need to register each driver in order to sign electronically?

Yes.

  1. Do receiving facilities that mail in paper copy manifests to EPA have to register for e-manifest?

Yes.

 


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Disclaimer

Considerable care has been exercised in preparing this document; however, McCoy and Associates, Inc. makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with the publication of this information. McCoy and Associates, Inc. expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state, or municipal law or regulation with which this information may conflict. McCoy and Associates, Inc. does not undertake any duty to ensure the continued accuracy of this information.

This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.