EPA has announced that June 30, 2018 is the date on which the agency will launch and begin operation of the e-manifest system. This announcement was included in a January 3, 2018 rulemaking, in which EPA finalized the method it will use to set and revise e-manifest user fees. [83 FR 420] We summarize below five things you should do now to get ready:
1. Don’t panic. Paper manifests may continue to be used after the June 30, 2018 launch date, in addition to the electronic version. However, there will be higher fees for using paper manifests; EPA estimates that use of paper manifests will result in a fee of $20 per manifest compared to $4 per e-manifest. Additionally, as noted below, paper manifest users must begin using a new 5-copy form with a revised copy distribution notation beginning June 30, 2018. So, if you are currently buying paper manifests for use, you probably want to reach out to the company from which you have been buying them and ask when the new 5-copy form will be available. Also, you may not want to buy any more of the old 6-copy manifest beyond what will get you through June. The list of approved paper copy manifest printers can be found here.
2. Talk to the waste vendor that you primarily use to pick up your hazardous waste shipments. Your vendor has probably been tracking the development and implementation of the e-manifest system for months in order to get its manifest system to properly interface with EPA’s. Your vendor should be able to advise you and (hopefully) provide specific training on what you will need to do for e-manifests.
3. Learn how to complete and distribute an e-manifest. Start by going to EPA’s e-manifest testing website. That website will instruct you to register with RCRAInfo and ultimately allow you to enter a manifest test system and start learning how the e-manifest can be completed.
4. Educate yourself on EPA’s e-manifest system development. Go to the agency’s e-manifest website and read through all of the material. There you will find a list of frequent questions about the e-manifest, monthly updates, and e-manifest webinar events.
5. Keep up-to-date. Want the latest e-manifest information as EPA releases it? Subscribe to EPA’s e-manifest ListServ. When the agency releases information, you’ll get a notification in your inbox.
Changes to the Paper Manifest System
After the e-manifest system becomes operational on June 30, 2018, there will no longer be a requirement for a copy of the paper manifest to be sent to the destination state (page 1 or top copy of the existing 6-copy paper manifest) or to the generator state (page 2 of the existing paper manifest). Instead, both destination and generator states will be able to receive their copies from the e-manifest system. Therefore, by June 30, 2018, approved printers must make available to users a 5-copy manifest indicating that the top copy (page 1) must be submitted to the e-manifest system. (Pages 3–6 of the existing paper manifest will become pages 2–5 of the new manifest.) Paper manifest users must begin using the new 5-copy form with this revised copy distribution notation beginning June 30, 2018. [83 FR 437] A generator will be allowed to sign and retain a paper copy of the manifest (also signed in ink by the initial transporter), in lieu of initiating the manifest electronically. This option will enable the transporter and subsequent waste handlers to complete the remainder of the manifest copies electronically. The initial generator copy will remain as a paper copy (or stored image) at the generator site and will be available there for inspection. [new §262.24(c)(1)]
To satisfy DOT requirements, a generator originating an e-manifest must also provide the initial transporter with one printed copy of the e-manifest. After the initial transporter has signed the e-manifest to take custody of the waste shipment, if the e-manifest system goes down or if the e-manifest cannot be completed electronically for any reason, the transporter must make a copy of the printed manifest for each waste handler and two additional copies for the designated facility. These paper copies will then become the manifest for that shipment and must be signed and handled accordingly by each waste handler.
McCoy. “Five Things to Prep for the e-Manifest System.” RCRA Review: Revisions Proposed to Coal Combustion Residue Rule, 14 Mar. 2018, www.mccoyseminars.com/newsletter/article.cfm?artnum=293.