AGC Supports Buy America Waiver for Certain EPA Projects

Limited waiver would apply to state revolving fund projects with engineering plans and specifications already in place.

On June 29, AGC commented in support of a proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waiver exempting the application of Buy America, Build America (BABAA) requirements to State Revolving Fund (SRF) projects with engineering plans and specifications submitted to an appropriate state agency prior to May 14, 2022, the effective date of BABAA requirements.

AGC agreed with the EPA that utilities who submitted engineering plans and specifications prior to May 14th did so without knowledge of what future domestic sourcing requirements would apply to SRF funded projects. Without such knowledge, they did not have the opportunity to plan for such requirements and potentially would have to reevaluate design alternatives and potentially redesign elements of their projects, investigate potential domestic products, revise engineering drawings and bid specifications, and resubmit plans and specifications for state or local approval. As a result, this could delay construction and increase project costs.

In addition to supporting the waiver, AGC urged the agency to do more. Specifically, EPA should expand its proposed waiver to also include a blanket 180-day BABAA waiver from May 14, 2022, to ensure projects are not needlessly delayed and prospective participants deterred from seeking funds due to confusion over yet to be published sourcing requirements. Such a request is in line with the approach taken by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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