President Barack Obama (D) recently signed the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (S. 710) allowing businesses to replace paper hazardous waste manifests with an electronic system funded by new fees. Under the new law, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must develop rules for the program within one year and launch it within three years. The law also establishes an oversight board to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and provide recommendations to EPA, which has reportedly drafted proposed regulations in anticipation of the new rules. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has estimated that the system could save more than $100 million annually.
“By simply modernizing how we collect and maintain this data, we will eliminate millions of paper copies and reduce expenses and labor,” said Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.). “This law will also improve access to public safety and security information for first responders and state regulators, helping to better protect our families and communities.” See House Energy and Commerce Committee News Release, October 5, 2012.