Caufield & James, L.L.P Caufield & James, L.L.P

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Don't Ignore Waste Manifest Violations

Manifests are required by the various regulations related to the transport and shipment of hazardous and non-hazardous substances and wastes. The various regulations specify the type of manifest that is required and oftentimes impose both civil and criminal penalties for the failure to prepare a manifest and/or incorrectly filling out a manifest. Penalties can even include criminal felony charges and large fines of $25,000 or more per violation. In many instances, the person preparing the manifest is required to sign a verification of the accuracy of the contents of the manifest. Thus, when a manifest is submitted, regulatory agencies will often go after both the company that was responsible for the manifest and also the person that signed the verification of the contents of the manifest. If an error is discovered in the manifest, some regulations may impose "self-reporting" requirements on the party that submitted the manifest to report and correct the error in the manifest. Accordingly, there may be liability for both the error in the original manifest but also the failure to "self-report" the error when it was discovered. As a result, ignoring the problem can potentially serve to increase a party's liability. It is very important to seek appropriate legal advice when faced with either the discovery of a manifest error and/or when contacted by the regulatory agency related to an error as the "head in the sand" approach very rarely results in a positive outcome.

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