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NACWA Joins Coalition Letter Urging Comment Period on Build America, Buy America Guidance

Mar 24, 2022

NACWA joined with other water and cross-industry sector organizations in signing a letter March 21 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) advocating for a public comment period for the forthcoming Build America, Buy America (BABA) guidance. BABA requirements will impact all federal infrastructure investment programs and were signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).  

To guide BABA implementation, OMB has been developing guidance for the federal agencies, including EPA, to follow. The guidance is currently being finalized at OMB and details have not yet been released to the public. The Guidance is expected to be released around the end of March, but it does not appear that a public comment period is planned.  

This coalition letter discusses the importance of input from stakeholders – such as the clean water utilities that will be key to implementing infrastructure investment and who will need to comply with BABA – in the guidance. Specifically, it asks OMB to hold a public comment period to seek and incorporate stakeholder input prior to finalizing guidance for federal agencies on how to implement BABA.  

As written into law, BABA requirements will take effect 180 days after the BIL’s signing – May 15, 2022 – and will usher in new requirements for purchasing American-made iron, steel, construction materials and manufactured goods. BABA will apply to all federal infrastructure investment programs across any sector moving forward. 

This letter follows NACWA efforts to engage on BABA issues over the past several months, both with OMB and directly with EPA. 

NACWA will continue to advocate and keep members apprised as more information is released. Contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs, with questions or to discuss.  

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