In 1984 US EPA created the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest. An improvement on its predecessor, it nonetheless allowed States to customize the forms to meet their state-specific needs. Twenty three states adapted the Federal form to include a state letterhead and additional data requirements. Thus variation remained between these twenty three state forms and the Federal form, even though the need to use multiple manifests for interstate shipments had ended.
Fast forward to September 6, 2005 and the creation of a nationwide standardized Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest system. The Final Rule published on March 4, 2005 gave States and hazardous waste handlers eighteen months to use up their stocks of the old forms and to prepare their regulations for the new ones. After September 6, 2005 only the new form could be used for transportation of hazardous waste. Besides creating uniformity in the appearance and content of hazardous waste manifests, US EPA also made revisions to the form to simplify the tracking of “difficult” shipments of rejected waste, or containers with residue remaining. It also created a registry of companies that were approved to print the manifest to the US EPA specifications. These and other revisions enacted at that time can be reviewed further on the US EPA website.
As of August 22, 2011 US EPA will authorize changes to the current printing specification regulation if no adverse comments are received prior to July 22, 2011. These changes were announced in a Proposed Rule and a Direct Final Rule, both published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2011. This time the changes are much less sweeping than previously. US EPA will allow the approved printers of Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifests to use distinct colors or other methods to differentiate the copy distribution instructions on the form from the remainder of the print. This is intended to cut down on the number of mistakes made in distribution and allow those approved printers greater flexibility in complying with the manifest printing specifications.
These changes should not affect hazardous waste generators other than the possibility of a slight change in the appearance of the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest sometime after August 22, 2011. All other requirements, including some state specific requirements remain.
Annual training is required by the US EPA for any personnel that handle hazardous waste or sign the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest. Triennial training is required by the US Department of Transportation for any HazMat Employee who prepares hazardous waste for off-site transportation, loads it onto a transportation vehicle, or signs the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest.