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EPA Proposes Waiver of New Buy America Requirements

AGC backs the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed waiver of new Buy America requirements for WIFIA-funded projects that have initiated project design planning on water and wastewater projects prior to May 14.

On May 20, AGC supported the EPA proposed waiver of expanded domestic manufacturing requirements under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Buy America, Build America Act (BABAA) for its Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funded projects that have initiated project design planning on water and wastewater projects prior to May 14, 2022, be exempt from requirements.

AGC supports incentivizing the growth of America’s domestic manufacturing capacity. However, this proposed waiver is essential to ensure that funding is available for communities who have initiated project design planning prior to May 14. As noted in the proposed waiver, utilities that began planning did so without knowledge that a future domestic sourcing requirement would apply to WIFIA loans. Without such knowledge, they did not have the opportunity to plan for such requirements and may 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, thereby delaying the initiation of construction, and increasing project costs and schedules substantially.

It is critical the construction industry comments on proposed waivers when agencies such as EPA who have asked us to promote waiver comments, seek public comment within the designated comment period. AGC will encourage our members to submit comments as they are sought not only by the EPA but all other affected agencies as well.

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