EPA Waiver Revises “Buy American” Rule for Small-Scale Components

Aug. 11, 2009
Waiver may help speed up completion of stimulus projects

A nationwide waiver granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may help speed up projects delayed by roadblocks caused by the “Buy American” requirements in Section 1605 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The waiver is for “de minimis incidental components” of eligible water infrastructure projects funded by the ARRA. The EPA says it “is not in the public interest” to impose the requirements for these minor, small-scale (de minimis) components.

The action will “allow the use of non-domestic iron, steel, and manufactured goods when they occur in de minimis incidental components of eligible projects for which a Clean or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) has concluded or will conclude an assistance agreement using ARRA funds where such components cumulatively comprise no more than a total of 5 percent of the total cost of the materials used in and incorporated into a project,” according to the notice in the Federal Register.

For minor components, “the country of manufacture and the availability of alternatives is not always readily or reasonably identifiable prior to procurement in the normal course of business; for other incidental components, the country of manufacture may be known but the miscellaneous character in conjunction with the low cost, individually and (in total) as typically procured in bulk, mark them as properly incidental,” the EPA said.

The waiver affects projects that are receiving stimulus funds for state clean water or drinking water state revolving funds for the construction of drinking water or wastewater treatment plants or distribution systems.

The action, effective July 24, revises a waiver originally issued May 22.

The notice in the Federal Register is available here.

Source: U.S. EPA

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