PHMSA Final Rule on Electronic Signatures
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule on Nov. 7 in response to petitions from the industry and regulated community requesting “to modify, clarify or eliminate certain regulations.”
The final rule is significant because of its approval of electronic signatures, which may allow for the elimination of shipping documents in the form of paper manifests in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) e-Manifest program in the future. Currently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) still requires a paper shipping document to physically accompany a shipment of hazardous waste.
The revisions would allow electronic signatures on the manifest, as part of the e-Manifest program, as long as the generator was provided a printout of the manifest showing the electronic signatures:
“Electronic signatures in conformance with 40 CFR 262.25 are therefore acceptable in lieu of handwritten signatures … provided one printed copy of the electronic manifest bearing the electronic signature is provided to the initial transporter.”
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