ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
Public procurement localisation
Title VI of the Clean Water Act provides for a State Water Pollution Control Revolving Funds under which state and local governments may receive funding for various environmental purposes (e.g., the construction, repair, or replacement of decentralized wastewater treatment systems). The law provides that these funds “may not be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of treatment works unless all of the iron and steel products used in the project are produced in the United States.” The law further defines the term “iron and steel products” as “the following products made primarily of iron or steel: lined or unlined pipes and fittings, manhole covers and other municipal castings, hydrants, tanks, flanges, pipe clamps and restraints, valves, structural steel, reinforced precast concrete, construction materials.” It further provides that the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may waive this requirement. In some years, the Buy American requirements and/or the waiver authorities are modified by the specific terms of appropriations laws.
In a Decision Memorandum dated February 18, 2015, the EPA granted a national product waiver that permitted the use of non-domestically produced stainless steel nuts and bolts in bolting-type pipe couplings, restraints, joints, flanges and repair saddles in iron and steel products for projects funded by a Clean Water or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The memorandum stated that the waiver “is short-term, applying to the covered products if those products are purchased up until one year after the waiver’s signature date,” but also made the waiver retroactive and applicable “to products purchased before the signature date.” The specific product categories covered by this waiver include bolted expansion joints, bolted dismantling joints, bolted pipe couplings, bolted pipe restraints, bolted pipe flanges, bolted flange adapters, bolted pipe repair or service saddles, bolted mechanical joints, and pipe hangers and supports.
In a pair of subsequent decision memoranda dated February 22, 2016 and January 18, 2017, the EPA twice renewed this waiver for an additional year. “With this additional one-year extension,” according to the latter decision, “the waiver will expire February 18, 2018.”
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