ASDWA Provides Support for EPA’s Second Build America, Buy America Waiver for Certain SRF Projects

On June 29, ASDWA submitted comments to EPA on a waiver for the requirements under Build America, Buy America (BABA). The Agency proposed to waive BABA requirements for State Revolving Fund (SRF) projects that submitted engineering plans and specifications to a state agency before May 14, 2022 – the day BABA went into effect. EPA was concerned that without this waiver, prospective SRF recipients may decline to use these funds and instead opt for more expensive sources of financing to avoid re-designing and re-permitting a project.
ASDWA’s comments support the waiver and provide additional recommendations for the Agency, including:

  • Providing additional waivers for BABA requirements, in limited circumstances, for the BIL funds moving through the drinking water SRF programs and consider using a population cutoff for projects to qualify.
  • Provide a more explicit explanation as to what funds must comply with the BABA requirements.
  • Consider using similar waivers for the Davis-Bacon (DB) Act requirements.
ASDWA’s letter stresses that the Association continues to support the underlying principles of BABA and DB, but that these requirements “make the DWSRF process insurmountable for many small systems that need the funding the most.” A similar waiver for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) borrowers was finalized earlier this week.