Buy America Waiver Notification, 79560-79561 [2013-31236]

Download as PDF 79560 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 250 / Monday, December 30, 2013 / Notices State, SA–5, L/PD, Fifth Floor (Suite 5H03), Washington, DC 20522–0505. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Dated: December 18, 2013. Evan M. Ryan, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. Buy America Waiver Notification Federal Highway Administration [FR Doc. 2013–31087 Filed 12–27–13; 8:45 am] Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. BILLING CODE 4710–05–P ACTION: AGENCY: Notice. This notice provides information regarding the FHWA’s finding that a partial Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, tractors and low emission locomotives), including projects to retrofit vehicles with individual vehicle components, so long as they are assembled in the United States. The FHWA’s Buy America requirements provide that 100 percent of all steel and iron comprising a predominantly steel and iron product that is permanently incorporated into a project must be domestically manufactured. With respect to vehicles, manufacturers typically assemble these products with many different components and subcomponents containing steel and iron. As a result, vehicles are typically referred to as being made where the final product rolls off the assembly line for delivery into the marketplace. The FHWA is unaware of any vehicle that is comprised of 100 percent domestically produced steel and iron, resulting in a need for a partial Buy America waiver for these projects to proceed. SUMMARY: DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 8579] Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ‘‘Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site’’ Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Act of October 19, 1965 (79 Stat. 985; 22 U.S.C. 2459), Executive Order 12047 of March 27, 1978, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681, et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6501 note, et seq.), Delegation of Authority No. 234 of October 1, 1999, and Delegation of Authority No. 236–3 of August 28, 2000, I hereby determine that the objects to be included in the exhibition, ‘‘Khirbet elMaqatir: History of a Biblical Site,’’ imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance. The objects are imported pursuant to loan agreements with the foreign owners or custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at the Dunham Bible Museum, Houston Baptist University, Houston, Texas, from on or about January 21, 2014, until on or about December 19, 2014, and at possible additional exhibitions or venues yet to be determined, is in the national interest. I have ordered that Public Notice of these Determinations be published in the Federal Register. SUMMARY: For further information, including a list of the exhibit objects, contact Paul W. Manning, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (telephone: 202–632–6469). The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, SA–5, L/PD, Fifth Floor (Suite 5H03), Washington, DC 20522–0505. maindgalligan on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: December 20, 2013. Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. 2013–31064 Filed 12–27–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:15 Dec 27, 2013 Jkt 232001 The effective date of the waiver is December 31, 2013. DATES: For questions about this notice, please contact Mr. Gerald Yakowenko, FHWA Office of Program Administration, (202) 366–1562, or via email at gerald.yakowenko@dot.gov. For legal questions, please contact Mr. Michael Harkins, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366–4928, or via email at michael.harkins@dot.gov. Office hours for the FHWA are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register’s home page at: http:// www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office’s database at: http:// www.access.gpo.gov/nara. PO 00000 Frm 00171 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Background The FHWA’s Buy America requirements at 23 U.S.C. 313 require a domestic manufacturing process for any steel or iron products (including protective coatings) that are permanently incorporated in a Federalaid project. The statute also provides for a waiver of the Buy America requirements when the application would be inconsistent with the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel and iron products are not sufficiently available. This notice provides information regarding the FHWA’s finding that a partial Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for the purchase of 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors and low emission locomotives).1 In accordance with Division A, section 122 of the ‘‘Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012’’ (Pub. L. 112–284), the FHWA published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site for 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors) (http:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/ contracts/waivers.cfm?id=93) on November 15th. The FHWA received 20 comments in response to the publication. No commenter objected to the waiver, and one commenter expressed concern regarding FHWA’s current process of approving a waiver for vehicle retrofit projects under the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program. This commenter suggested that FHWA should make all diesel retrofit devices and components exempt from the Buy America requirements. The FHWA appreciates the need to provide clear guidance concerning the application of Buy America requirements to vehicles and diesel engine retrofit projects; however, the issuance of guidance for that subject is outside of the scope of this Notice. The FHWA issued a Federal Register Notice and Request for Comment on various aspects of the Buy America requirements on July 10, 2013. The FHWA is currently evaluating all comments and assessing the need for additional guidance or clarification. Based on all the information available to the agency, the FHWA concludes that 1 See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/ contracts/cmaq131115.cfm E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1 maindgalligan on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 250 / Monday, December 30, 2013 / Notices there are no domestic manufacturers that could meet a 100 percent domestic steel and iron content for the 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors and low emission locomotives). The FHWA’s Buy America requirement was initially established in 1983 when the acquisition of vehicles was not eligible for assistance under the Federal-aid highway program. As such, the FHWA’s Buy America requirements were tailored to the types of products that are typically used in highway construction, which generally meet a 100 percent domestic steel and iron content requirement. Vehicles were not the types of products that were initially envisioned as being purchased with Federal-aid highway funds when Buy America was first enacted. In today’s global industry, vehicles are assembled with components that are made all over the world. The FHWA is not aware of any vehicle on the market that can claim to incorporate 100 percent domestic steel and iron content. For instance, the Chevy Volt, which was identified by many commenters in a November 21, 2011, Federal Register Notice (76 FR 72027) as being a car that is made in the United States, comprises only 40 percent United States and Canada content according to the window sticker (http://www.cheersandgears.com/ uploads/1298005091/med_gallery_ 51_113_449569.png). There is no indication of how much of this 40 percent United States/Canadian content is United States-made content. However, there is an indication on the window sticker concerning whether the Volt was assembled in the United States. While the manufacture of steel and iron products that are typically used in highway construction (such as pipe, rebar, struts, and beams) generally refers to the various processes that go into actually making the entire product, the manufacture of vehicles typically refers to where the vehicle is assembled. Thus, given the inherent differences in the types of products that are typically used in highway construction and vehicles, we feel that simply waiving the Buy America requirement, which is based on the domestic content of the product, without any regard to where the vehicle is assembled would diminish the purpose of the Buy America requirement. Moreover, in today’s economic environment, the Buy America requirement is especially significant in that it will ensure that Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:15 Dec 27, 2013 Jkt 232001 dollars are used to support and create jobs in the United States. While the FHWA has not located a vehicle that meets a 100 percent domestic iron and steel content requirement, the FHWA does not find that a complete waiver based on nonavailability pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 313(b)(2) is appropriate. However, the FHWA also recognizes that at least a partial waiver is necessary in order to permit the State DOTs to proceed with the projects. The FHWA believes that a partial waiver that allows the public agencies to purchase vehicles so long as the final assembly of the vehicle as the end product occurs in the United States is appropriate. This approach is similar to the partial waivers previously given for various vehicle projects. In conclusion, and in light of the above, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 313(b)(1), the FHWA finds that it is in the public interest to grant a partial waiver from the general 100 percent domestic content requirement that applies to Federal-aid highway projects under Buy America. Under this partial waiver, however, the final assembly of any vehicles purchased with HTF funds must occur in the United States. Thus, so long as the final assembly of the 112 vehicle projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors) occurs in the United States, applicants to this waiver request may proceed to purchase these vehicles and equipment consistent with the Buy America requirement. In accordance with the provisions of section 117 of the SAFETEA–LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110–244, 122 Stat. 1572), the FHWA is providing this notice as its finding that a partial waiver of Buy America requirements is appropriate. The FHWA invites public comment on this finding for an additional 15 days following the effective date of the finding. Comments may be submitted to the FHWA’s Web site via the link provided to the waiver page noted above. Authority: (Authority: 23 U.S.C. 313; Pub. L. 110–161, 23 CFR 635.410) Issued on: December 23, 2013. Victor M. Mendez, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2013–31236 Filed 12–27–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00172 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 79561 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [Docket No. PHMSA–2013–0002 (Notice No. 13–22)] Information Collection Activities Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Information Collection Requests (ICR) abstracted below will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comments. The ICRs describe the nature of the information collections and their expected burden. A Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on these collections of information was published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2013 [78 FR 64049] under Docket No. PHMSA–2013–0002 (Notice No. 13–14). DATE: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 29, 2014. ADDRESSES: Send comments regarding the burden estimate, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for PHMSA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Comments are invited on: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department’s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulation Identification Number (RIN) for this notice. Internet users may access comments received by DOT at: http://www.regulations.gov. Note that comments received will be posted without change to: http:// SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30DEN1.SGM 30DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 250 (Monday, December 30, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 79560-79561]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31236]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Buy America Waiver Notification

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice provides information regarding the FHWA's finding 
that a partial Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of 
Federal-aid funds for 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle 
projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and 
equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, tractors and low emission 
locomotives), including projects to retrofit vehicles with individual 
vehicle components, so long as they are assembled in the United States. 
The FHWA's Buy America requirements provide that 100 percent of all 
steel and iron comprising a predominantly steel and iron product that 
is permanently incorporated into a project must be domestically 
manufactured. With respect to vehicles, manufacturers typically 
assemble these products with many different components and 
subcomponents containing steel and iron. As a result, vehicles are 
typically referred to as being made where the final product rolls off 
the assembly line for delivery into the marketplace. The FHWA is 
unaware of any vehicle that is comprised of 100 percent domestically 
produced steel and iron, resulting in a need for a partial Buy America 
waiver for these projects to proceed.

DATES: The effective date of the waiver is December 31, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, 
please contact Mr. Gerald Yakowenko, FHWA Office of Program 
Administration, (202) 366-1562, or via email at 
gerald.yakowenko@dot.gov. For legal questions, please contact Mr. 
Michael Harkins, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-4928, or 
via email at michael.harkins@dot.gov. Office hours for the FHWA are 
from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the 
Federal Register's home page at: http://www.archives.gov and the 
Government Printing Office's database at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.

Background

    The FHWA's Buy America requirements at 23 U.S.C. 313 require a 
domestic manufacturing process for any steel or iron products 
(including protective coatings) that are permanently incorporated in a 
Federal-aid project. The statute also provides for a waiver of the Buy 
America requirements when the application would be inconsistent with 
the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel and 
iron products are not sufficiently available. This notice provides 
information regarding the FHWA's finding that a partial Buy America 
waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for the 
purchase of 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle projects 
(including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, 
such as backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors and low emission 
locomotives).\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/cmaq131115.cfm
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In accordance with Division A, section 122 of the ``Consolidated 
and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012'' (Pub. L. 112-284), 
the FHWA published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site 
for 112 State requests regarding specific vehicle projects (including 
sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, such as 
backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors) (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/waivers.cfm?id=93) on November 15th. The FHWA 
received 20 comments in response to the publication. No commenter 
objected to the waiver, and one commenter expressed concern regarding 
FHWA's current process of approving a waiver for vehicle retrofit 
projects under the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement 
Program. This commenter suggested that FHWA should make all diesel 
retrofit devices and components exempt from the Buy America 
requirements.
    The FHWA appreciates the need to provide clear guidance concerning 
the application of Buy America requirements to vehicles and diesel 
engine retrofit projects; however, the issuance of guidance for that 
subject is outside of the scope of this Notice. The FHWA issued a 
Federal Register Notice and Request for Comment on various aspects of 
the Buy America requirements on July 10, 2013. The FHWA is currently 
evaluating all comments and assessing the need for additional guidance 
or clarification.
    Based on all the information available to the agency, the FHWA 
concludes that

[[Page 79561]]

there are no domestic manufacturers that could meet a 100 percent 
domestic steel and iron content for the 112 State requests regarding 
specific vehicle projects (including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, 
trucks, buses, and equipment, such as backhoes, street sweepers, and 
tractors and low emission locomotives).
    The FHWA's Buy America requirement was initially established in 
1983 when the acquisition of vehicles was not eligible for assistance 
under the Federal-aid highway program. As such, the FHWA's Buy America 
requirements were tailored to the types of products that are typically 
used in highway construction, which generally meet a 100 percent 
domestic steel and iron content requirement. Vehicles were not the 
types of products that were initially envisioned as being purchased 
with Federal-aid highway funds when Buy America was first enacted. In 
today's global industry, vehicles are assembled with components that 
are made all over the world. The FHWA is not aware of any vehicle on 
the market that can claim to incorporate 100 percent domestic steel and 
iron content. For instance, the Chevy Volt, which was identified by 
many commenters in a November 21, 2011, Federal Register Notice (76 FR 
72027) as being a car that is made in the United States, comprises only 
40 percent United States and Canada content according to the window 
sticker (http://www.cheersandgears.com/uploads/1298005091/med_gallery_51_113_449569.png). There is no indication of how much of 
this 40 percent United States/Canadian content is United States-made 
content. However, there is an indication on the window sticker 
concerning whether the Volt was assembled in the United States.
    While the manufacture of steel and iron products that are typically 
used in highway construction (such as pipe, rebar, struts, and beams) 
generally refers to the various processes that go into actually making 
the entire product, the manufacture of vehicles typically refers to 
where the vehicle is assembled. Thus, given the inherent differences in 
the types of products that are typically used in highway construction 
and vehicles, we feel that simply waiving the Buy America requirement, 
which is based on the domestic content of the product, without any 
regard to where the vehicle is assembled would diminish the purpose of 
the Buy America requirement. Moreover, in today's economic environment, 
the Buy America requirement is especially significant in that it will 
ensure that Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) dollars are used to 
support and create jobs in the United States.
    While the FHWA has not located a vehicle that meets a 100 percent 
domestic iron and steel content requirement, the FHWA does not find 
that a complete waiver based on non-availability pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 
313(b)(2) is appropriate. However, the FHWA also recognizes that at 
least a partial waiver is necessary in order to permit the State DOTs 
to proceed with the projects. The FHWA believes that a partial waiver 
that allows the public agencies to purchase vehicles so long as the 
final assembly of the vehicle as the end product occurs in the United 
States is appropriate. This approach is similar to the partial waivers 
previously given for various vehicle projects.
    In conclusion, and in light of the above, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 
313(b)(1), the FHWA finds that it is in the public interest to grant a 
partial waiver from the general 100 percent domestic content 
requirement that applies to Federal-aid highway projects under Buy 
America. Under this partial waiver, however, the final assembly of any 
vehicles purchased with HTF funds must occur in the United States. 
Thus, so long as the final assembly of the 112 vehicle projects 
(including sedans, vans, pickups, SUVs, trucks, buses, and equipment, 
such as backhoes, street sweepers, and tractors) occurs in the United 
States, applicants to this waiver request may proceed to purchase these 
vehicles and equipment consistent with the Buy America requirement.
    In accordance with the provisions of section 117 of the SAFETEA-LU 
Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-244, 122 Stat. 1572), 
the FHWA is providing this notice as its finding that a partial waiver 
of Buy America requirements is appropriate. The FHWA invites public 
comment on this finding for an additional 15 days following the 
effective date of the finding. Comments may be submitted to the FHWA's 
Web site via the link provided to the waiver page noted above.

    Authority: (Authority: 23 U.S.C. 313; Pub. L. 110-161, 23 CFR 
635.410)

    Issued on: December 23, 2013.
Victor M. Mendez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-31236 Filed 12-27-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P