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Managing Manifest Requirements for Rejected Hazardous Waste Shipments

One of the three major types of hazardous waste “manifest discrepancies” listed in 40 CFR § 265.72 is rejected wastes, which is defined as a full or partial shipment of hazardous waste that the designated facility cannot accept.

A full rejection occurs when a designated facility receives but cannot, or will not, accept a complete shipment of hazardous waste either because of restrictions in the facility’s permit, capacity limitations or other reasons. If a designated facility accepts a portion of the hazardous waste shipment, but rejects the balance, this is referred to as a partial rejection.

Upon fully or partially rejecting a hazardous waste shipment, the designated facility must consult with the generator of the waste or its representative. Ultimately, the decision about the destination of the rejected shipment is made by the generator.

Rejected shipments may be rejected to an alternate TSDF or returned to the generator of the waste. In both scenarios, all pertinent state and federal regulations for the storage, management and treatment of hazardous wastes still apply.

If a full shipment of waste is rejected while the transporter is still present at the designated facility, the original manifest may be used to transport the waste(s) to either an alternate TSDF or back to the generator. However, if the shipment is partially rejected or rejected after the transporter leaves, a new manifest must be provided from the designated facility.

The Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest (EPA Form 8700-22), put into use in 2006 by the US EPA, allows for the management of hazardous waste discrepancies and waste rejections in section 18 of the manifest.

If the TSDF rejects a full shipment of waste before the initial transporter leaves, then the TSDF completes Item 18b of the original manifest by writing in an Alternate Destination Facility. The initial facility retains a copy of the manifest and gives the transporter the remaining copies. The transporter then carries the load to the alternate facility or the original generator.

If the transporter has left before the TSDF realizes it needs to reject the shipment, or if the TSDF only rejects part of the shipment (partial rejection), then the TSDF needs to create a new manifest before sending the waste to an alternate TSDF or back to the generator.
When a TSDF makes out a new manifest for a rejected load of hazardous waste, it must follow the usual instructions from 40 CFR 262.20, as modified by 40 CFR 264.72 (or 265.72 for interim status TSDFs).

Note that if a new manifest is created the rejecting TSDF will be listed as the “offeror” in  lieu of the generator information, and if returning to the generator the generator is listed as the “TSDF” or receiver.

If the waste goes to a new facility, the new TSDF will either reject the shipment (starting the whole process all over again) or accept it.

If accepted (which is usually the case) by the alternate TSDF it begs the question – who is now responsible for managing the manifest copies including submission to the USEPA e-Manifest portal, who is responsible for the fees and how is responsibility handed over in such cases?

For rejections to alternate TSDFs : (and according to USEPA)

“In such a case, the alternate facility (TSDF) is responsible for signing the manifest, submitting this manifest to the e-Manifest system, and paying the fee. If a waste is partially received and partially rejected by the original facility, the original facility is responsible for submitting the original manifest to the system and paying the related fee for the processing of the partial receipt data. The re-shipment of the rejected portion of wastes to another receiving facility requires a second manifest, and the alternate receiving facility designated on the second manifest to receive the rejected wastes is then responsible for submitting this second manifest to the system and paying its associated fee.”

In summary: The TSDFs – both original and alternate are responsible for submission to the e-Manifest portal and for payment of the e-Manifest related fees.

For rejections to the original generator (also according to the USEPA):

“The submission and fee payment requirements differ somewhat for wastes that are rejected by the receiving facility designated on the original manifest, and then returned to the generator. This is because EPA does not require manifest submissions or fee payments by generators. If the entire shipment is rejected, the manifest regulations allow these wastes to be returned to the generator under the original manifest. In that case, the rejecting facility is responsible for submitting to e-Manifest the copy of the return manifest signed by the generator, which current manifest regulations require the generator to send back to the rejecting facility within 30 days. When submitting this return copy to the system, the rejecting facility must also pay the processing fee for the return manifest.

Likewise, for partial rejections that involve a return of rejected waste to the generator under the manifest discrepancy requirements, the receiving facility of the original manifest is responsible for submitting the signed copy showing its waste receipts to e-Manifest and paying this manifest’s processing fee. Since the return of the rejected portion of the waste shipment requires a second manifest to be completed by the rejecting facility to track the return shipment back to the generator, this facility is also responsible for submitting the return manifest copy (signed by the generator) to e-Manifest and paying the fee for the processing of the return shipment manifest. So, a partial rejection by a receiving facility that also involves a return shipment to the original generator can cause the rejecting facility to be responsible for two distinct manifest submissions and their related processing fees:

  1. The submission of the original manifest showing waste receipts by the receiving facility
  2. The submission of the copy of the return shipment manifest signed by the original generator”

In summary: if the waste goes back to the generator, then the generator signs the manifest, keeps copies for itself, and shares a copy with the rejecting facility. The rejecting facility is then responsible for submission to the e-Manifest portal and paying all associated e-Manifest fees.

When a TSDF returns a shipment to the generator’s site, the accumulation time limit for the waste resets from the date the rejected load is received by the generator. For large quantity generators (LQGs), this means the 90-day clock starts over once the waste comes back. For small quantity generators (SQGs), the 180-day clock resets. However, SQGs must be careful that the returned waste doesn’t put them over the 6,000 kg on-site limit. If the returned shipment puts them over the on-site limit, then they become an LQG and must comply with more stringent requirements. A whole new kettle of fish!

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