Continuing on our discussion of the electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system, EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed the e-Manifest User Fee Final Rule on December 20, 2017. EPA expects the final rule to be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. The pre-publication version of the final rule is attached here.
Under the final rule, user fees are only being assessed on the hazardous waste and state-only regulated waste receiving facilities. The “billable event” is the submission of the final manifest copy signed by the receiving facilities. In assessing the user fee on the receiving facilities only, EPA stated that it was simplifying the billing process and assuming that the receiving facilities will pass on the fees through to the generators by service agreements.
The users will pay different fees depending on the type of manifest submitted. Given that the user fee is based on cost recovery and that paper manifests are expected to cost more to process, paper manifest fees will be considerably higher than electronic manifests. EPA is projecting that an electronic manifest will cost $4/manifest, while a mailed copy of a paper manifest will cost $20/manifest. Image uploads are projected to cost $13/manifest and data file uploads $7/manifest. These fees are estimates only, based on projections of project costs. Final user fees will be forthcoming when EPA has a final budget and contracts in place for the system. EPA will also be publishing revised user fee schedules at two-year intervals. Based on these estimated numbers, there is a significant incentive for receiving facilities to submit manifests electronically.
The final rule is effective June 30, 2018, which coincides with the launch of the e-Manifest system. EPA will begin collecting fees on that date. Receiving facilities will receive an invoice each month and will be directed to the Department of Treasury’s Pay.gov website to submit electronic payments.
We will continue to follow and provide updates from EPA on the e-Manifest system.