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U.S. EPA published proposed changes to regulations governing the national electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system in the Federal Register on July 26, 2016.  The USEPA proposal establishes a fee formula and methodology to allow U.S. EPA to recover the costs of developing, operating, and maintaining the e-Manifest system.  The proposed fee formula is designed to encourage fully electronic manifesting, with additional fees for alternate submittal mechanisms (e.g., paper).  U.S. EPA proposes to limit the number of fee transactions by levying user fees on facilities which receive and terminate manifested waste shipments (i.e., Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs)).  USEPA proposes invoicing monthly for actual manifest use, but solicits comment regarding use of alternate options.  The proposal allows USEPA to review and revise the fee calculation methodology every two years without rulemaking, and proposes an alternate fee formula if the e-manifest use rate does not achieve 75% within 4 years of e-manifest operation.

U.S. EPA also proposes several changes that are not user-fee related, including (1) an allowance for changes in hazardous waste shipment routing while the shipment is in transportation; (2) an allowance for the receiving facility to make corrections electronically to previously submitted manifest data; and (3) allowance in limited situations for using a combination of paper manifest and electronic manifest.

U.S. EPA will accept comments on the proposal (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0177) through September 26, 2016.  This proposed regulation also includes, for the first time, a new rulemaking comment option, the Pilot Comment Platform.  Traditional commenting avenues are still available, but U.S. EPA encourages the public to utilize the Pilot Comment Platform and solicits feedback regarding the comment platform.