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U.S. EPA Proposes Buy America Waiver for Certain Infrastructure Loans

Date: May 16, 2022

The WateReuse Association is working closely with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to ensure that new Build America, Buy America requirements work in harmony with our members’ water recycling infrastructure projects. U.S. EPA recently released a proposed waiver on Buy America requirements for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) projects. The memo provides waivers for prospective borrowers that initiated project design plans prior to May 14, 2022.

If your organization has undergone initial project design plans to evaluate technologically and financially viable options for capital improvement projects before May 14, 2022, you are eligible for the proposed waiver.

Efforts can be demonstrated through technical documents describing concepts, alternative analysis, and long-term facility or systems plans such as preliminary engineering reports, master plans, basis of design reports, and technical design memoranda. The waiver will not exempt projects from the existing WIFIA American Iron and Steel requirements.

The waiver is meant to provide a reasonable transition period toward implementation of Buy America requirements to boost domestic production of essential items. U.S. EPA plans to encourage the transition by providing higher scoring assessments to projects that meet Buy Americarequirements, and by collecting and analyzing information about projects operating under a waiver. 

U.S. EPA requests comments on the proposed waiver program by May 20, 2022. WateReuse will be submitting a letter of support and continues to work with other water and industry stakeholders on the implementation of the requirements. You or your organization can provide additional comments to U.S. EPA by emailing WIFIA@epa.gov.

For more information regarding U.S. EPA’s implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act requirements check out their new website and questions can be submitted to the following address BABA-OW@epa.gov.

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