40 CFR 262.20(a)(1) mandates the use of a manifest (EPA form 8700-22) for a generator who transports or offers for transport a hazardous waste for offsite treatment, storage, or disposal. §262.40(a) requires a generator to keep a copy of the signed manifest as a record for three (3) years.
The requirement to use the manifest and to retain a copy as a record applies only to large and small quantity generators of hazardous waste (LQGs and SQGs). It does not apply to conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQGs) of hazardous waste who are excluded from compliance with Part 262 (and a lot more) at §261.5(b).
Which copy of the manifest to keep as a record changes as the hazardous waste proceeds from cradle to grave. A generator must keep a copy of the manifest that has been signed and dated by the initial transporter at the point of acceptance by the initial transporter. A copy of this manifest – signed only by the generator and the initial transporter at this point – is to be retained as a record for three (3) years from the date signed by the initial transporter OR until a signed copy is received from the designated facility that received the hazardous waste. A copy of this manifest, signed by the designated facility, must be retained for three (3) years from the date of acceptance by the initial transporter [§262.40(a)]. At this point the copy of the manifest bearing only the signature of the generator and the initial transporter may be discarded.
Note: If you do not receive a copy of the manifest signed by the designated facility within a specified time period you are required to submit an Exception Report to the USEPA or your state.
While the copy of the manifest you are required to keep as a record may change, the effective date for the three (3) year time period of record retention does not; it remains the date of acceptance by the initial transporter documented in Section 17 of the manifest (RO 12204).
§262.40(a) does not require you to keep a copy of the manifest on site. Generators may keep copies at a corporate headquarters or other centralized location. However, the generator must be able to provide to EPA information on, or access to, these records (RCRA FAQ: 23002-14593).
Throughout the regulations and USEPA interpretations reference is made to a “copy of each manifest”. Therefore, it is not necessary to keep an original of the manifest as a record; a copy will suffice as long the information on the manifest is visible. Indeed the USEPA will accept a scanned or electronic copy of a manifest stored in a computer database as compliance with 40 CFR 262.40(a) as long as it meets the basic regulatory requirements (RO 14105 & RO 14791).
Though states are not allowed to create their own manifests as they were prior to September 5, 2006, many states enforce their own regulations for use of the manifest. This may include but not be limited to:
- Wastes for which the manifest is required.
- State-specific hazardous wastes.
- Acceptance of CESQG status and/or all of its exclusions.
- Manifest record retention requirements.
- The Exception Report.
- Submittal of copies of the manifest to the state.
Be sure to check with your state to determine its requirements pertaining to the use of the manifest.
If you are an SQG or LQG, some form of training for you and your facility personnel is required. Contact me to discuss your options for Hazardous Waste Personnel Training.