ASDWA Provides Support for EPA’s Latest Waiver for Build America, Buy America

ASDWA provided support for EPA’s latest waiver for requirements under Build America, Buy America (BABA). This latest BABA waiver would allow up to five percent of the total material cost to include non-domestically produced miscellaneous minor iron or steel components without further need for a product-specific waiver. ASDWA’s February 3 letter supports the general intent of this waiver as it will “expedite the process for manufacturers seeking to deem their products BABA-compliant,” which will, in turn, “benefit assistance recipients seeking BABA-compliant products for their federally funded projects.”

As in ASDWA’s previous letters supporting similar waivers, the association’s comments provided 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.”