Buy America Waiver Notification, 30601-30602 [2016-11579]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 95 / Tuesday, May 17, 2016 / Notices Issued in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2016. Lorelei Peter, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations. [FR Doc. 2016–11573 Filed 5–12–16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Buy America Waiver Notification Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice provides information regarding FHWA’s finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for 34 State projects involving the acquisition of vehicles and equipment on the condition that they be assembled in the U.S. DATES: The effective date of the waiver is May 18, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, please contact Mr. Gerald Yakowenko, FHWA Office of Program Administration, telephone 202–366–1562, or via email at gerald.yakowenko@dot.gov. For legal questions, please contact Ms. Jennifer Mayo, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, 202–366–1523, or via email at jennifer.mayo@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: SUMMARY: Electronic Access An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register’s Web site at https:// www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office’s database at https:// www.access.gpo.gov/nara. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background This notice provides information regarding FHWA’s finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for 34 State projects involving the acquisition of vehicles (including sedans, vans, pickups, trucks, buses, and street sweepers) and equipment (such as trail grooming equipment) on the condition that they be assembled in the U.S. The waiver would apply to approximately 2,528 vehicles and equipment acquisitions. The requests for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2015, available at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ construction/contracts/ VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:32 May 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 cmaq160317.cfm, are incorporated by reference into this notice. These projects are being undertaken to implement air quality improvement, safety, and mobility goals under FHWA’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and the Recreational Trails Program. Title 23, section 635.410, Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR 635.410) requires that steel or iron materials (including protective coatings) that will be permanently incorporated in a Federal-aid project must be manufactured in the U.S. For FHWA, this means that all the processes that modified the chemical content, physical shape or size, or final finish of the material (from initial melting and mixing, continuing through the bending and coating) occurred in the U.S. The statute and regulations create a process for granting waivers from the Buy America requirements when its application would be inconsistent with the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel and iron products are not sufficiently available. In 1983, FHWA determined that it was both in the public interest and consistent with the legislative intent to waive Buy America for manufactured products other than steel manufactured products. However, FHWA’s national waiver for manufactured products does not apply to the requests in this notice because they involve predominately steel and iron manufactured products. The FHWA’s Buy America requirements do not have special provisions for applying Buy America to ‘‘rolling stock’’ such as vehicles or vehicle components (see 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C), 49 CFR 661.11, and 49 U.S.C. 24405(a)(2)(C) for examples of Buy America rolling stock provisions for other DOT agencies). Based on all the information available to the agency, FHWA concludes that there are no domestic manufacturers that produce the vehicles and vehicle components identified in this notice in such a way that their steel and iron elements are manufactured domestically. The FHWA’s Buy America requirements were tailored to the types of products that are typically used in highway construction, which generally meet the requirement that steel and iron materials be manufactured domestically. In today’s global industry, vehicles are assembled with iron and steel components that are manufactured all over the world. The FHWA is not aware of any domestically produced vehicle on the market that meets FHWA’s Buy America requirement to have all its iron and steel be manufactured exclusively in the U.S. For example, the Chevrolet Volt, which was identified by many PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30601 commenters in a November 21, 2011, Federal Register Notice (76 FR 72027) as a car that is made in the U.S., is comprised of only 45 percent of U.S. and Canadian content according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s part 583 American Automobile Labeling Act Report Web page (https://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+ Regulations/Part+583+American+ Automobile+Labeling+Act+(AALA) +Reports). Moreover, there is no indication of how much of this 45 percent content is U.S. manufactured (from initial melting and mixing) iron and steel content. In accordance with Division K, section 122 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113–235), FHWA published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site at https://www. fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/ waivers.cfm?id=119 on March 17th. The FHWA received 11 comments in response to the publication. Three commenters support granting the waiver and stated that ‘‘the vehicles represent an ideal way for domestic clean fuel to be used and help air quality, economic security, and the regions.’’ Five commenters opposed granting the waiver and three commenters provided general comments suggesting that: (1) Buy America is supposed to bring manufacturing jobs back home; (2) the list is very expansive and appeared to be a list of products that are based on preference but could not be purchased domestically; and (3) some of the Recreational Trail items are specialized items available off the shelf. These commenters did not provide a recommendation for domestic products that fully comply with FHWA’s Buy America requirements. Based on FHWA’s conclusion that there are no domestic manufacturers that can produce the vehicles and equipment identified in this notice in such a way that steel and iron materials are manufactured domestically, and after consideration of the comments received, FHWA finds that application of FHWA’s Buy America requirements to these products is inconsistent with the public interest (23 U.S.C. 313(b)(1) and 23 CFR 635.410(c)(2)(i)). However, FHWA believes that it is in the public interest and consistent with the Buy America requirements to impose the condition that the vehicles and the vehicle components be assembled in the U.S. Requiring final assembly to be performed in the U.S. is consistent with past guidance to FHWA Division Offices on manufactured products (see Memorandum on Buy America Policy Response, December 22, E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 30602 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 95 / Tuesday, May 17, 2016 / Notices 1997, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ programadmin/contracts/122297.cfm). A waiver of the Buy America requirement 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 dollars are used to support and create jobs in the U.S. This approach is similar to the conditional waivers previously given for various vehicle projects. Thus, so long as the final assembly of the 34 State projects occurs in the U.S., 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 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110– 244), FHWA is providing this notice of its finding that a public interest waiver of Buy America requirements is appropriate on the condition that the vehicles and equipment identified in the notice be assembled in the U.S. 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 FHWA’s Web site via the link provided to the waiver page noted above. Authority: 23 U.S.C. 313; PL 110–161; 23 CFR 635.410. Issued on: May 9, 2016. Gregory G. Nadeau, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2016–11579 Filed 5–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Buy America Waiver Notification Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice provides information regarding FHWA’s finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the use of non-domestic motor and machinery brakes (maximum torque 100 ft-lb, wheel size 8 inches) for the rehabilitation of a bascule bridge in Port Clinton, Ohio. DATES: The effective date of the waiver is May 18, 2016. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:32 May 16, 2016 Jkt 238001 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 Ms. Jennifer Mayo, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, 202–366–1523, or via email at jennifer.mayo@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: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Electronic Access An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register’s home page at https:// www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office’s database at https:// www.access.gpo.gov/nara. Background The FHWA’s Buy America policy in 23 CFR 635.410 requires a domestic manufacturing process for any steel or iron products (including protective coatings) that are permanently incorporated in a Federal-aid construction project. The regulation 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 FHWA’s finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for use of nondomestic motor and machinery brake systems (maximum torque 100 ft-lb, wheel size 8 inches) for rehabilitation of a bascule bridge in Port Clinton, Ohio. In accordance with Division K, section 122 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113–235), FHWA published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site (https:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/ contracts/waivers.cfm?id=121 ) on March 22nd. The FHWA received no comments in response to the publication. Based on all the information available to the agency, FHWA concludes that there are no domestic manufacturers of motor and machinery brake systems (maximum torque 100 ft-lb, wheel size 8 inches) for rehabilitation of the bascule bridge in Port Clinton, Ohio. In accordance with the provisions of section 117 of the SAFETEA–LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110–244), FHWA is providing this notice that a waiver of Buy America requirements is appropriate. The FHWA invites public comment on this finding PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 for an additional 15 days following the effective date of the finding. Comments may be submitted to FHWA’s Web site via the link provided to the waiver page noted above. Authority: 23 U.S.C. 313; Public Law 110– 161, 23 CFR 635.410. Issued on: May 9, 2016. Gregory G. Nadeau, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration. [FR Doc. 2016–11578 Filed 5–16–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2016–0025] Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for Minivans AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. Notice of proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment. ACTION: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a formal request from the Pace Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Pace) for a Buy America nonavailability waiver to purchase 188 Dodge Caravan minivans for its vanpool program. Minivans are considered rolling stock and are subject to the Buy America waiver set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C), which requires that minivans (i) contain more than 60 percent domestic content, and (ii) final assembly of the vehicles occurs in the United States. Although initially Pace sought only a waiver of the requirement that final assembly take place in the United States, Pace now seeks a waiver of both requirements. Because FTA is aware of at least four manufacturers that can meet the final assembly requirement, however, FTA is proposing a waiver of only the domestic content requirement for non-ADA-accessible minivans. This waiver would apply to all procurements of non-ADA-accessible minivans by any FTA grantee and would be limited to contracts entered into before September 30, 2019 or until a fully compliant domestic source becomes available, whichever is earlier. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice of this proposed waiver and seeks public and industry comment on whether FTA should grant the waiver. DATES: Comments must be received by May 31, 2016. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 95 (Tuesday, May 17, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30601-30602]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-11579]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Buy America Waiver Notification

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice provides information regarding FHWA's finding that 
a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid 
funds for 34 State projects involving the acquisition of vehicles and 
equipment on the condition that they be assembled in the U.S.

DATES: The effective date of the waiver is May 18, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, 
please contact Mr. Gerald Yakowenko, FHWA Office of Program 
Administration, telephone 202-366-1562, or via email at 
gerald.yakowenko@dot.gov. For legal questions, please contact Ms. 
Jennifer Mayo, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, 202-366-1523, or via 
email at jennifer.mayo@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 Web site at https://www.archives.gov and the 
Government Printing Office's database at https://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.

Background

    This notice provides information regarding FHWA's finding that a 
Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid 
funds for 34 State projects involving the acquisition of vehicles 
(including sedans, vans, pickups, trucks, buses, and street sweepers) 
and equipment (such as trail grooming equipment) on the condition that 
they be assembled in the U.S. The waiver would apply to approximately 
2,528 vehicles and equipment acquisitions. The requests for the fourth 
quarter of calendar year 2015, available at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/cmaq160317.cfm, are incorporated by reference 
into this notice. These projects are being undertaken to implement air 
quality improvement, safety, and mobility goals under FHWA's Congestion 
Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and the Recreational 
Trails Program.
    Title 23, section 635.410, Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR 
635.410) requires that steel or iron materials (including protective 
coatings) that will be permanently incorporated in a Federal-aid 
project must be manufactured in the U.S. For FHWA, this means that all 
the processes that modified the chemical content, physical shape or 
size, or final finish of the material (from initial melting and mixing, 
continuing through the bending and coating) occurred in the U.S. The 
statute and regulations create a process for granting waivers from the 
Buy America requirements when its application would be inconsistent 
with the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel 
and iron products are not sufficiently available.
    In 1983, FHWA determined that it was both in the public interest 
and consistent with the legislative intent to waive Buy America for 
manufactured products other than steel manufactured products. However, 
FHWA's national waiver for manufactured products does not apply to the 
requests in this notice because they involve predominately steel and 
iron manufactured products. The FHWA's Buy America requirements do not 
have special provisions for applying Buy America to ``rolling stock'' 
such as vehicles or vehicle components (see 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C), 49 
CFR 661.11, and 49 U.S.C. 24405(a)(2)(C) for examples of Buy America 
rolling stock provisions for other DOT agencies).
    Based on all the information available to the agency, FHWA 
concludes that there are no domestic manufacturers that produce the 
vehicles and vehicle components identified in this notice in such a way 
that their steel and iron elements are manufactured domestically. The 
FHWA's Buy America requirements were tailored to the types of products 
that are typically used in highway construction, which generally meet 
the requirement that steel and iron materials be manufactured 
domestically. In today's global industry, vehicles are assembled with 
iron and steel components that are manufactured all over the world. The 
FHWA is not aware of any domestically produced vehicle on the market 
that meets FHWA's Buy America requirement to have all its iron and 
steel be manufactured exclusively in the U.S. For example, the 
Chevrolet Volt, which was identified by many commenters in a November 
21, 2011, Federal Register Notice (76 FR 72027) as a car that is made 
in the U.S., is comprised of only 45 percent of U.S. and Canadian 
content according to the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration's part 583 American Automobile Labeling Act Report Web 
page (https://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+(AALA)+Reports). Moreover, 
there is no indication of how much of this 45 percent content is U.S. 
manufactured (from initial melting and mixing) iron and steel content.
    In accordance with Division K, section 122 of the Consolidated and 
Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235), FHWA 
published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site at 
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/waivers.cfm?id=119 on 
March 17th. The FHWA received 11 comments in response to the 
publication. Three commenters support granting the waiver and stated 
that ``the vehicles represent an ideal way for domestic clean fuel to 
be used and help air quality, economic security, and the regions.'' 
Five commenters opposed granting the waiver and three commenters 
provided general comments suggesting that: (1) Buy America is supposed 
to bring manufacturing jobs back home; (2) the list is very expansive 
and appeared to be a list of products that are based on preference but 
could not be purchased domestically; and (3) some of the Recreational 
Trail items are specialized items available off the shelf. These 
commenters did not provide a recommendation for domestic products that 
fully comply with FHWA's Buy America requirements.
    Based on FHWA's conclusion that there are no domestic manufacturers 
that can produce the vehicles and equipment identified in this notice 
in such a way that steel and iron materials are manufactured 
domestically, and after consideration of the comments received, FHWA 
finds that application of FHWA's Buy America requirements to these 
products is inconsistent with the public interest (23 U.S.C. 313(b)(1) 
and 23 CFR 635.410(c)(2)(i)).
    However, FHWA believes that it is in the public interest and 
consistent with the Buy America requirements to impose the condition 
that the vehicles and the vehicle components be assembled in the U.S. 
Requiring final assembly to be performed in the U.S. is consistent with 
past guidance to FHWA Division Offices on manufactured products (see 
Memorandum on Buy America Policy Response, December 22,

[[Page 30602]]

1997, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/122297.cfm). A 
waiver of the Buy America requirement 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 dollars are used to support and create jobs 
in the U.S. This approach is similar to the conditional waivers 
previously given for various vehicle projects. Thus, so long as the 
final assembly of the 34 State projects occurs in the U.S., 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 Safe, 
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy 
for Users, Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-244), FHWA is 
providing this notice of its finding that a public interest waiver of 
Buy America requirements is appropriate on the condition that the 
vehicles and equipment identified in the notice be assembled in the 
U.S. 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 FHWA's Web site via the link provided to the waiver page 
noted above.

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 313; PL 110-161; 23 CFR 635.410.

    Issued on: May 9, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-11579 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P