EPA Proposes Amendment to Clarify the Applicability of the Agency’s BABA Waiver for SRF Projects

On June 8, EPA released a proposed amendment to the existing Build America, Buy America (BABA) waiver for State Revolving Fund (SRF) projects that have already initiated design planning. Currently, the waiver covers SRF projects that submitted engineering plans and specifications to a state agency before May 14, 2022 – the day BABA went into effect. This amendment would clarify that the waiver applies to programs subject to SRF requirements, specifically EPA’s Community Grants program. EPA intends the amendment also to provide certainty for many co-funded projects to reduce the burden on communities and states. Additionally, the amendment includes a sunset date for the waiver of September 30, 2024. EPA has stated the Agency “views the 16-month window (through Fiscal Year 2024) as a reasonable approach that provides certainty for stakeholders and funding recipients and will have allowed future SRF projects significant time since the BABA effective date (May 14, 2022) to take steps to utilize the waiver or comply with these requirements.” EPA notes that projects will still be able to apply for project-specific BABA waivers as necessary after the sunset date. The proposed amendment is open for public comment until July 9, 2023.