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EPA rule advances development of e-Manifest hazardous waste tracking system

On January 15, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that is a major step forward in the implementation of an electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system for hazardous waste. The rule fulfills one of the main requirements of the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act by legally declaring e-Manifests as equivalent to the paper manifest forms currently used to track the movement of hazardous waste from generator to disposal sites.

“Today’s action is a key step in bringing the oversight of these potentially dangerous materials into the 21st century,” explained Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Once fully implemented, the national e-Manifest system will provide greater access for emergency responders to information about the types and sources of hazardous waste that are in transit between generator sites and waste management facilities.”

The EPA expects the e-Manifest system will reduce the number of hours companies spend preparing shipping manifests by up to 700,000 hours and save businesses and states more than $75 million each year. Several additional steps must be completed before the e-Manifest system can be implemented and launched.

Help safeguard employees handling the disposal of hazardous waste by complying with documentation requirements, educating crews, and providing workers with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, safety glasses or goggles, and respiratory protection.

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