S. 710, the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act

Cost Estimate
August 22, 2012

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on August 1, 2012

S. 710 would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish an electronic manifest system to track the handling of hazardous waste. This legislation would authorize the appropriation of $6 million over the 2013-2015 period for EPA to establish the system. In addition, subject to provisions in future appropriations acts, this legislation would authorize EPA to collect user fees to offset the cost of developing, operating, and maintaining the system.

Under current law, individuals who handle hazardous waste must prepare a paper manifest that completely documents how hazardous waste is disposed of from the time it is generated through treatment, storage, and disposal. Under S. 710, generators and transporters of hazardous waste and the owners and operators of facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste could elect to use the proposed electronic manifest system or the existing paper system.

Subject to appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that over the 2013-2017 period, EPA would spend about $15 million to create the electronic manifest system. We also estimate that EPA would collect user fees totaling $12 million over that same period. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would have a net cost of $3 million over the 2013-2017 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to S. 710 because the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.

S. 710 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), on facilities that handle hazardous waste. CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates would fall below the annual thresholds established in UMRA ($73 million for intergovernmental mandates and $146 million for private-sector mandates in 2012, adjusted annually for inflation).