Date: July 4, 2016
Source: US EPA
The EPA is proposing to charge facilities that treat, store and dispose (TSDFs) of hazardous waste for use of its planned electronic manifest (e-manifest) system for tracking shipments of hazardous waste, rather than charging generators who produce and transport the waste. EPA says the move will simplify the administrative burden of managing and collecting user fees since there are about 400 TSDFs nationwide versus well over 100,000 generators. The proposal also includes higher fees for facilities that submit some or all of their hazardous waste manifests in paper rather than electronic form, as a way to encourage users to switch to the e-manifest system.
Congress required EPA to develop an e-manifest program to replace paper reporting in 2012 legislation, including a mandate for the agency to charge "reasonable service fees on manifest users as the Administrator determines to be necessary to pay costs incurred in developing, operating, maintaining, and upgrading the system, including any costs incurred in collecting and processing data from any paper manifest submitted to the system after the date on which the system enters operation."
The e-manifest system is expected to increase transparency in shipments, give first responders access to critical information, reduce reporting errors and save costs, according to the agency.
EPA Proposes Methodology for Setting and Revising User Fees for the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System
Mollie Lemon (email@example.com)
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a proposed rule on the Agency's methodology for setting and revising user fees for the hazardous waste electronic manifest ("e-Manifest") system. This is a crucial step in the development of a national system for tracking hazardous waste shipments electronically. The e-Manifest system will improve access to higher quality and more timely shipment data and will significantly reduce burden associated with the current paper system.
The proposed rule requests comment on the user fee methodology, including several key considerations:
-- who must pay e-Manifest user fees;
•the types of transactions that will give rise to fees;
•the formula that will be used to set fees;
•options for making fee payments;
•the process EPA will use to revise fees; and
•the possible sanctions for non-payment.
EPA also proposes to tailor user fees according to whether manifests are submitted electronically or via paper to reflect the varying processing costs of these options. This proposal will be open for public comment for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.
EPA is partnering with the General Services Administration to pilot a new platform for submitting comments on this rule (see https://epa-notice.usa.gov/). The platform is designed to assist readers in understanding the rule and proposed regulatory changes, as well as to assist EPA in collecting comments that are automatically tagged and indexed to rulemaking topics, for ease of analysis and response. Information on the pilot can be found in the Federal Register notice for the proposed rule, as well as on EPA's e-Manifest proposed rule webpage, at https://www.epa.gov/hw/proposed-rule-user-fees-electronic-hazardous-waste-manifest-system-e-manifest-and-amendments.