US EPA's proposed "Third Rule" to amend the regulations for electronic hazardous waste manifests appeared in the Federal Register on April 1, 2022. The Agency will accept public comments on the proposed e-Manifest rulemaking until May 31..
A proposed rule to amend the regulations for electronic hazardous waste manifests has been signed by EPA’s Administrator and will appear in the Federal Register soon.
Nicknamed “The Third Rule” by US EPA, the proposal would:
- expand manifest requirements to include export shipments,
- integrate certain mandatory reports into the electronic system,
- revise the time limits for submitting those reports, and
- make conforming changes concerning PCB wastes regulated under TSCA.
Hazardous Waste Exports and the e-Manifest
The proposed rule would incorporate hazardous waste export shipments into the electronic Manifest system. Exporters will be responsible for submissions to the e-Manifest system and payment of user fees.
EPA also proposes adding fields to the Manifest continuation sheet for exporters and importers to enter information like waste stream consent numbers and the exporter’s EPA ID number.
Manifest Reports (Exceptions, Discrepancies, Etc.)
The proposed rule would allow generators and receiving facilities to use the e-Manifest system to submit exception reports, discrepancy reports, and unmanifested waste reports. By adding these features, EPA hopes to incentivize stakeholders to adopt the electronic system.
Under the current regulations, if a large quantity generator does not receive a return copy of the Manifest from a receiving facility within 35 days, the generator must contact the transporter to ask about the status of the waste. If the issue is not resolved within 45 days (i.e., 10 more days), the generator must file an exception report.
EPA proposes to extend these time limits by five days each, to 40 days and 50 days, respectively. The 60 day time limit for small quantity generators to file exception reports will not change under this proposal.
Note: Electronic exception reporting would be available only for generators who are already using electronic manifests. Generators who use “hybrid manifests” would be required to register for an account to utilize electronic exception reporting.
A receiving facility must submit a “discrepancy report” when the type or amount of waste received does not match what’s on the Manifest (e.g., four drums instead of five or a significant weight variance).
Under current regulations, receiving facilities have 15 days to resolve discrepancies with generators and/or transporters. The Third Rule proposes extending that time limit to 20 days.
EPA plans to expand electronic discrepancy reporting to all manifest types—paper, hybrid, and fully electronic.
Unmanifested waste reports
Unlike exception reports and discrepancy reports, for which a manifest already exists in some form, the unmanifested waste report is required when a receiving facility receives a waste that should have been manifested
but was not.
The Third Rule proposes to require electronic submission of unmanifested waste reports and assess user fees for receiving facilities that submit them.
RCRA and TSCA PCB Regulations
The Third Rule would also make corrections and conforming changes to align the requirements for manifesting PCB waste shipments with the e-Manifest requirements.
The proposed rule is extensive and detailed. EPA requests public comments from stakeholders on many crucial issues, including how to best achieve the goals of the proposal. EPA also requests comments about how the e-Manifest system might be used in relation to the generator’s Biennial Report.
For specifics about how EPA plans to achieve the goals of the proposed rule, see the pre-publication text of the signed proposed rule here.
The public comment period will open when the proposed rule appears in the Federal Register
. Lion Staff will update this post at that time.
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