The Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy today approved S. 710, the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, as amended. The legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously last summer, is a commonsense solution that will modernize the way the federal government and states track the shipment of hazardous waste. The legislation calls for replacing the current paper-based tracking system with an electronic system, which would help reduce paper work, streamline processes, and eliminate government waste. The transition to an electronic tracking system could save over $100 million annually. The subcommittee previously held a hearing on electronic reporting in mid-June.
"In the electronic age, the burdens and inefficiencies created by the existing system for both government and the private sector are real and must be addressed," stated subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL). "Besides the cost reductions for waste handlers, states, and the federal government, there are other key benefits to an e-manifest system. These include real-time access to critical public safety and security information for first responders, better tracking services for our citizens, improved data for informed policy decisions and program management, and greater accountability for how hazardous wastes are transported and managed."
Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, "This bill does not reduce the information requirement - it makes it work better. With electronic filing, we will eliminate millions of paper copies and reduce expenses and labor."
The subcommittee approved the legislation by voice vote after adopting an amendment in the nature of a substitute that preserves the essential features of S. 710 while converting the bill from "mandatory" to "discretionary" spending in line with the House's cut-go guidelines. By funding the system with user fees, the bill creates no cost for taxpayers.