For many years, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has used a six-part form, the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest, to track shipments of hazardous waste. Under this system, the waste generator is responsible for completing a form, then each entity that handles the waste signs the form and keeps a copy for themselves. Eventually a fully completed copy of the form is mailed to EPA and back to the generator.
On July 1, the EPA’s new e-manifesting system will go online. The system is intended to streamline data entry and minimize errors. Initially, this new electronic system will primarily be an interface between the treatment storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs) and the EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) system. This system will allow the EPA to better police the system by tracking waste shipment discrepancies and exceptions. Eventually all hazardous waste generators will be strongly encouraged to use the system. Manifests will be completed electronically by the generator. Eventually the generator will log onto the electronic system to retrieve copies of fully executed manifests documenting that wastes were properly disposed.
The EPA is also implementing an administrative fee to pay for the development and maintenance of the e-manifesting system. The EPA plans to collect the fees from TSDFs, rather than directly from generators. Because there are fewer TSDFs, it will make collections easier. However, generators can expect that TSDFs will ultimately pass this cost on with. fee estimates on the order of $10-$15 per manifest. Once the e-manifest system is made available to generators, higher fees will be applied to those who continue to use paper manifests in order to encourage them to use the electronic system.