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White House Office of Management and Budget’s Build America, Buy America Guidance has Implications for Water Recycling Projects

Date: April 22, 2022

New Guidance Released

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released guidance on how federal agencies including the U.S. EPA and Department of Interior (U.S. DOI) should implement the Build America, Buy America provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. The guidance directs federal agencies to work with OMB’s Made in America Office as they ensure all federal infrastructure funding projects meet the Build America requirements by May 14, 2022. Any award made on or after that date must comply with the requirements outlined in the guidance. For water recycling, this includes projects funded by programs such as the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs, Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program, Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants Program, and Large-Scale Water Recycling Projects Grant Program.

Further Guidance Expected

While the guidance provides a significant amount of detail, OMB notes that it is a starting point, leaving substantial discretion to federal agencies. For example, WateReuse expects the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOI to publish further information related to the specific criteria that will be used when issuing waivers. All waivers must be approved by the Made in America Office, and OMB’s guidance lays out the steps that should be taken when considering a waiver including analyzing product availability, the level of project funding, and the anticipated impact on manufacturing, suppliers, and the project if no waiver is issued. Additionally, OMB is expected to issue further guidance to clarify how Build America applies to certain construction materials.

U.S. EPA Listening Session

U.S. EPA will host a listening session webinar next week, Build America, Buy America: Water Sector and Water Infrastructure Organizations, Associations, and Professional Trade Groups, to discuss the Build America requirements, and the way in which they intersect with the American Iron and Steel requirement.

Date: Thursday April 28, 3:30-5:00 pm ET
Register here

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