July 10, 2020

Volume X, Number 192

July 09, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

July 08, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

July 07, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hazardous Waste E-Manifest Final Rule Released; Second EPA Rule Establishing Fees and Vendor Contracts Establishing System Details Yet To Come

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator has signed a final rule that establishes new requirements governing the use of electronic manifests (or e-Manifests) as a means to track hazardous waste under RCRA. The rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register and will become effective 180 days after publication. However, the e-Manifest system will not be up and running until October 2015, at the earliest. The specific date will be announced in a separate Federal Register notice.

The final rule decides the following issues:

  1. An electronic signature must be a legally valid and enforceable signature; and must be designed and implemented in a manner that EPA considers to be as cost-effective and practical as possible.

  2. Manifest information (including aggregated data) is not protected from disclosure as confidential business information. However, EPA will not make it available on-line until after 90 days, when it is considered to be a “complete and final document.” This policy does not affect FOIA requests or State release of manifest information.

  3. Generators can “opt-out” of the electronic system. Also, generators can only use the electronic system for waste shipments if they know that all persons handling the shipment also will use electronic manifests.

  4. Even if the generator and transporter use paper manifests, the destination facility must provide the data from the paper manifest to the electronic system.

  5. A paper copy of the e-Manifest must be printed out and accompany the waste, thereby meeting DOT shipping paper requirements.

  6. The electronic manifest meets RCRA record retention requirements.

  7. If the electronic signature method used is undergoing a pilot or demonstration test, all parties must put an ink signature on the DOT shipping paper and that paper must be retained by the destination facility for 3 years.

  8. The e-Manifest system shall: (a) take effect in each state on the same date; (b) supersede any less stringent or inconsistent provision of a state program; and (c) be carried out by EPA in an authorized state except where the state has received final authorization for state program revisions implementing the electronic manifest requirements.

The following issues will be addressed in an EPA contract with a vendor:

  1. The technical details of system design, operation, and security. EPA currently intends to host the e-Manifest system on its CDX portal or other system designated by the Administrator.

  2. Approved electronic signature systems. The EPA rule-making preamble says that first generation electronic signatures will include both a pin/password and a digitized handwritten signature.

A copy of the final rule is available on EPA’s website here:http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/transportation/manifest/pdf/eman_final_rule_011314.pdf

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume IV, Number 36


About this Author

Charles Denton Environmental Attorney

Charlie Denton represents an array of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance solutions and pollution insurance coverage disputes. He also serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral mediator and arbitrator. Persistent and highly collaborative, Charlie can take complicated issues and challenges and then identify a strategic path to achieve the client’s objectives.

Charlie’s representation of industrial, municipal, institutional, educational and individual clients includes judicial and administrative environmental...

Tammy Helminski, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Environmental Law Attorney

Tammy L. Helminski is an associate in the Grand Rapids office of Barnes & Thornburg, and a member of the firm’s Environmental Law Department. Ms. Helminski has experience with environmental due diligence and risk evaluation, project management of large-scale remediation sites involving numerous parties, and assisting manufacturing and developer clients with environmental auditing and compliance. Her litigation experience includes representing clients in cases involving CERCLA, NEPA, RCRA and NREPA, as well as product liability, mold, asbestos, construction and contract litigation...

Michael T. Scanlon, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Indianapolis, Environmental Litigation Law Attorney

Michael T. Scanlon, a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Indianapolis, Indiana office, concentrates his practice in environmental law. He joined Barnes & Thornburg’s Environmental Law Department in 1996 after serving for more than eight years as the environmental services director for Ulrich Chemical, Inc., in Indianapolis. Prior to that, he worked for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Air Pollution Control Division of the city of Indianapolis. Mr. Scanlon has served as an adjunct instructor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana...

Bruce White litigation attorney Barnes Thornburg

With a practice that is national in scope, Bruce White has more than 35 years of experience in the litigation, arbitration and mediation of environmental disputes and administrative permitting and enforcement proceedings. Regardless of the difficulty or complexity of the matter, Bruce is dedicated to being client-focused and solving problems as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Bruce represents industrial and commercial businesses and governmental entities in Superfund, RCRA/HSWA, TSCA, CWA, CAA and NEPA matters. He also advises on compliance with federal and state...