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Clean Water Current

EPA Releases Proposed Waiver of BABAA for Additional EPA Water Programs

Jul 13, 2022

On Tuesday, July 12th U.S. EPA released for public comment a proposed six-month waiver of the Build America Buy America Act (BABAA) domestic procurement requirements for 16 water programs managed by the agency. The programs covered by this new waiver do not include EPA’s core water infrastructure programs – the State Revolving Funds (SRFs) and WIFIA – as those programs had program-specific waivers already released.

The 16 programs covered by this new waiver include EPA’s Geographic Programs, National Estuary Program, the relatively new Combined Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grant Program, and other small programs and grant opportunities that the Agency administers. The waiver would push back BABAA’s effective date for these programs to November 14, 2022, after which time any funds obligated by these programs would be subject to BABAA requirements. 

NACWA plans to submit comments for this new waiver, as it has done for the SRFs and WIFIA waivers. The deadline for comments is Wednesday, July 27.

EPA has approved the WIFIA BABAA waiver which NACWA strongly supported. EPA has not yet finalized its SRF waiver, which NACWA raised significant concerns with and encouraged EPA to broaden to match the greater flexibility allowed for WIFIA.

Numerous other organizations raised similar concerns. NACWA is optimistic that EPA is considering revisions to the SRF waiver before it is final, and will keep members apprised of any decision. Contact Kristina Surfus to discuss. 

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