[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 4 (Thursday, January 6, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 785-787]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-19]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9249-1]


Notice of Nationwide Waiver of Section 1605 (Buy American 
Requirement) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(ARRA) for the Use of Small Horsepower Vertical Hollow Shaft Electric 
Motors (Less Than 40 Horsepower) for Projects Financed Through the 
Clean or Drinking Water State Revolving Funds Using Assistance Provided 
Under ARRA

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The EPA is hereby granting a nationwide waiver of the Buy 
American requirements of ARRA Section 1605 under the authority of 
Section 1605(b)(2) [manufactured goods are not produced in the United 
States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a 
satisfactory quality] for small-horsepower (HP) vertical hollow shaft 
(VHS) electric motors (less than 40 HP). This nationwide waiver applies 
to the use of the specified products and is applicable only for their 
purchase and installation for one-year subsequent to the effective date 
of the waiver. Based upon information gathered from multiple waiver 
request submittals and further research by its contractor, EPA has 
determined that

[[Page 786]]

domestically manufactured small-HP VHS electric motors (less than 40 
HP) are not reasonably available. The Assistant Administrator for the 
Office of Water is making this determination based on the review and 
recommendations of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water and 
the Office of Wastewater Management. The Assistant Administrator of the 
Office of Administration and Resources Management has concurred on this 
decision to make an exception to Section 1605 of ARRA. This action 
permits the nationwide purchase and installation of non-domestic VHS 
electric motors less than 40 HP up to one-year subsequent to the 
effective date of the waiver. EPA reserves the right to withdraw or 
amend this nationwide waiver based on new developments or changes in 
the domestic manufacturing capacity for these items.

DATES: Effective Date: December 29, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Timothy Connor, Chemical Engineer, 
(202) 566-1059, Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) or Kirsten 
Kroner, Civil Engineer, (202) 564-3134, Office of Ground Water and 
Drinking Water (OGWDW), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with ARRA Section 1605(c), the 
EPA hereby provides notice that it is granting a nationwide waiver of 
the requirements of Section 1605(a) of Public Law 111-5, Buy American 
requirements, for the purchase and installation of non-domestic 
vertical hollow shaft electric motors less than 40 horsepower for one-
year subsequent to the effective date for projects financed through the 
Clean or Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF) using assistance 
provided under ARRA.
    Section 1605 of the ARRA requires that none of the appropriated 
funds may be used for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or 
repair of a public building or a public works project unless all of the 
iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project is produced in 
the United States, or unless a waiver is provided to the assistance 
recipient by the head of the appropriate agency, here the EPA. A waiver 
may be provided if EPA determines that (1) applying these requirements 
would be inconsistent with the public interest; (2) iron, steel, and 
the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United States 
in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory 
quality; or (3) inclusion of iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured 
goods produced in the United States will increase the cost of the 
overall project by more than 25 percent.
    As part of the implementation of the Buy American requirements of 
the ARRA, EPA reserved the right to issue national waivers that apply 
to particular categories of manufactured goods. A national categorical 
waiver may be developed based on the need to issue a waiver as 
discerned by the number of project specific waiver requests for a 
particular item that have been submitted by assistance recipients to 
one or more EPA region(s), and the detailed justifications for such 
requests. National waivers may be issued by EPA based on a 
determination that a particular item is not produced domestically in 
reasonably available quantities or of a sufficient quality. To date, no 
nationwide waivers for a particular category of manufactured goods have 
been issued by EPA.
    During August through October 2010, seven applications have been 
presented to five Regions (3, 5, 6, 7, and 10) requesting waivers for 
small-horsepower vertical hollow shaft (VHS) electric motors. The 
specific VHS electric motors included in the waiver requests range in 
size from 15 HP to 30 HP. Detailed justifications provided by the 
applicants (and verified by EPA and its contractor, as described below) 
reveal that there are no VHS electric motors less than 40 HP that are 
produced domestically in reasonably available quantities. As a result 
of these waiver requests, EPA and its contractor reviewed current 
technical knowledge regarding availability and location of 
manufacturers of VHS electric motors less than 40 HP.
    EPA found that currently, there are no known domestic manufacturers 
of VHS electric motors less than 40 HP. Waiver applicants and EPA's 
contractor identified and evaluated more than twenty electric motor 
manufacturers in the search for domestic sources. The waiver applicants 
and EPA's contractor conducted independent research and manufacturer 
outreach in order to possibly identify a domestic manufacturer of small 
VHS electric motors. EPA further contacted the Water and Wastewater 
Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA), a national association. At 
least four foreign manufacturers produce and sell VHS electric motors 
less than 40 HP. Much of the current manufacturing capability for the 
VHS electric motor technology appears to be located in China with 
additional manufacturing capability located in Mexico and Taiwan. 
Currently, there are no known manufacturers planning and/or considering 
offering VHS electric motors less than 40 HP that are/will be 
manufactured in the U.S. The only VHS electric motor manufacturer with 
manufacturing capability in the U.S., who does not manufacture nor 
intend to manufacture VHS electric motors less than 40 horsepower, 
estimates that a 1 year minimum timeframe would be required to set up 
manufacturing capability in their domestic manufacturing facility for 
small (i.e., less than 40 HP) VHS electric motors. Those companies 
contacted with VHS electric motor manufacturing capability located 
overseas estimate that it would require between 2 and 3 years to 
construct and commission new production facilities in the U.S. to 
manufacture VHS electric motors in sizes less than 40 HP. While EPA did 
learn from the manufacturer's association that one-time, special-order 
VHS motors may be available from a domestic source, EPA's research 
revealed that current manufacturing capacity and availability do not 
exist and special orders could cause delay and displace the ``shovel 
ready'' status of projects.. Based on the time constraints and current 
lack of manufacturing capacity, one-time special-order small VHS motors 
do not meet the standard of being produced in the U.S. in sufficient 
and reasonably available quantity.
    It is critical to move forward with a national categorical waiver 
for these products because there is clearly domestic unavailability, 
and lack of a waiver is currently impeding the progress of several 
Recovery Act projects funded by both the Clean Water and Drinking Water 
State Revolving Funds. The April 28, 2009 EPA HQ Memorandum, 
``Implementation of Buy American provisions of Public Law 111-5, the 
`American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009' '' (``Memorandum''), 
defines reasonably available quantity as ``the quantity of iron, steel, 
or relevant manufactured good is available or will be available at the 
time needed and place needed, and in the proper form or specification 
as specified in the project plans and design.''. To curtail the speed 
with which construction is completed by requiring that assistance 
recipients place one-time special orders or request individual waivers, 
when it is known that domestic products are simply not reasonably 
available, would directly conflict with a fundamental economic purpose 
of ARRA, which is to create or retain jobs.
    EPA has conducted a thorough review of the domestic manufacturing 
practices for small-HP VHS electric motors and

[[Page 787]]

has determined that domestically manufactured goods are not currently 
available. The information provided is sufficient to meet the following 
criteria listed under Section 1605(b) of the ARRA and in the April 28, 
2009 Memorandum: Iron, steel, and the manufactured goods are not 
produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available 
quantities and of a satisfactory quality. Therefore, EPA has determined 
that a nationwide categorical waiver for this product is appropriate.
    This waiver expires one year from the day it takes effect. 
Furthermore, EPA reserves the right to withdraw or amend this 
nationwide waiver based on new developments or changes in the domestic 
manufacturing capacity for these items.

    Authority: Pub. L. 111-5, section 1605.

     Dated: December 29, 2010.
Michael H. Shapiro,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Water.
[FR Doc. 2011-19 Filed 1-5-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P