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EPA LAUNCHES ELECTRONIC HAZARDOUS WASTE TRACKING SYSTEM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, has launched the hazardous waste electronic manifest system (e-Manifest). The system is designed to improve access to higher quality and timelier hazardous waste shipment data and save industry and states valuable time and resources at $90 million annually.

“Creation of the e-Manifest system demonstrates EPA’s commitment to innovation and robust collaboration with states and the private sector,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says. “Through this extensive modernization of the hazardous waste program, the e-Manifest system will significantly reduce regulatory burdens and save businesses and states valuable time and resources, while improving protection of human health and the environment.”

Users must submit all manifests, whether paper or electronic, to EPA’s e-Manifest system. There are several ways to submit manifests to EPA, ranging from mailing conventional paper to full electronic delivery.

Receiving facilities will pay a fee that varies based on how the manifest is submitted. “EPA is very excited to partner
closely with the waste management industry to bring much needed efficiency and modernization to how companies track and manage wastes, and how they work with government agencies,” Alexandra Dunn, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, says. “We are confident that updating these systems will yield a reduction of regulatory burden, saving time and resources, and improving protection of human health and the environment.”

The e-Manifest system, authorized by the 2012 e-Manifest Act, enables electronic tracking of hazardous wastes and serves as a national reporting hub and database for all hazardous waste manifests and shipment data. Complete transition to electronic manifests will be phased in. EPA will continue to conduct ongoing outreach to states and industry.

“The successful launch of EPA’s e-Manifest system is a very significant accomplishment,” Terri Goldberg, executive director of Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association, Boston, says. “The New England state environmental agencies are eager to work with EPA Region 1 on implementing the new system and look forward to having the enhanced access to data and information that it will provide. Once the online system is fully functioning and all parties are utilizing its features, the New England states believe that it will reduce the reporting burdens on generators, haulers and TSDFs (treatment, storage and disposal facilities) and help all parties save time and associated costs.”

The agency will also re-evaluate whether additional security measures are necessary for a small subset of manifest data about certain acute hazardous wastes. In the interim, EPA will be working directly with impacted receiving facilities on specific procedures related to those manifests. Additionally, EPA recently announced it would grant receiving facilities extra time to submit paper manifests in the initial months after system launch to further support
industry implementation. Facilities that receive manifested waste between now and September 1 will now have
until September 30 to send those paper manifests to EPA.

Source: PR Newswire