EPA has released its guidance document for contractors and owners related to projects funded with Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) dollars to use American iron and steel products. You can read the guidance here.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-76) includes an “American Iron and Steel ” requirement that CWSRF and DWSRF assistance recipients use iron and steel products that are produced in the United States for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public water system or treatment works project, if funded through an assistance agreement executed beginning Jan. 17, 2014 (enactment of the act), through the end of fiscal year 2014 (Sept. 30). The appropriation language sets forth certain circumstances under which EPA may waive American Iron and Steel requirements. Furthermore, the act exempts projects where engineering specifications and plans were approved by a state agency prior to Jan. 17, 2014.
This guidance answers several questions about which products are meant to be covered by this provision and how EPA determines if something is “produced in the United States.” Notably, this applies to certain products composed “primarily” (meaning 50 percent by cost) of iron or steel, while a product to be considered as “produced in the US” requires all manufacturing processes must have taken place in the United States. All manufacturing processes include melting, refining, forming, rolling, drawing, finishing, fabricating and coating.
AGC has been involved throughout this process, meeting with EPA officials to offer the contractors’ perspective on the Recovery Act Buy American provisions and advise on how they should proceed. A draft copy of some of the guidance was also shared with members of the Utility Infrastructure Division Leadership at the AGC Convention in March for their reaction and comment. AGC submitted comments in response to this draft. Nearly all of the contractors’ concerns with EPA’s proposed implementation setup were ignored.
AGC Division Leadership will be working to craft a white paper in the near future explaining how contractors can comply with all of the various Buy American provisions.
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