Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for Replacement Parts on Diesel Multiple Unit Rail Vehicles, 76997-76999 [2016-26653]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 214 / Friday, November 4, 2016 / Notices and (3) the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Decided: November 1, 2016. By the Board, Chairman Elliott, Vice Chairman Miller, and Commissioner Begeman. Brendetta S. Jones, Clearance Clerk. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 31, 2016. Elliott Black, Director, Office of Airport Planning and Programming. [FR Doc. 2016–26630 Filed 11–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [FR Doc. 2016–26724 Filed 11–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Notice of Cancellation of Environmental Impact Statement for the Norfolk International Airport, Norfolk, Virginia Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of cancellation of preparation of environmental impact statement. AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration [Docket No. FAA–2016–9346] Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program; Draft FAA Order 5500.1B Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice of withdrawal. FAA is rescinding the draft FAA Order 5500.1B, Passenger Facility Charge published on August 5, 2016, and withdrawing its request for public review and comment. SUMMARY: The FAA previously extended the comment period to October 31, 2016. FAA subsequently established a public Docket FAA 2016–9346 and comments received will be entered into the public Docket. DATES: Joe Hebert, Manager, Financial Analysis and Passenger Facility Charge Branch, APP–510, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267–8375; facsimile (202) 267–5302. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: On August 5, 2016, the FAA published a notice and request for comments titled ‘‘Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program; Draft FAA Order 5500.1B’’ (81 FR 51963). The notice requested interested parties submit written comments by September 30, 2016. On September 21, 2016, the FAA extended the original comment period by 31 days, from September 30, 2016, to October 31, 2016. After careful consideration, the FAA has decided to rescind the draft Order and cancel the public review process. The FAA will issue a revised draft in the near future for public review and comment. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Nov 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announces that it has discontinued preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed construction of new Runway 5R/23L and associated development at Norfolk International Airport, Norfolk, Virginia. The FAA’s discontinued preparation of the EIS is based upon the completion of the first phase of the EIS. Based on the results of the first phase (Scoping and Purpose & Need development), the FAA has determined that the fundamental purpose and need is not supported by the current or anticipated development needs of the Airport at this time. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcus Brundage, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington Airports District Office, 23723 Air Freight Lane, Suite 210, Dulles, Virginia 20166; Telephone (703) 661–1365. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 12, 2015, the FAA, published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and hold two public scoping meetings in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia (Volume 80, Number 113, FR 33582–33583). The public meetings were held at the Bayside High School and at the Holiday Inn Norfolk Airport on July 22 and 23, 2015, respectively. The stated purpose of the project was to ‘‘meet relevant FAA airfield safety standards and enhance airfield safety without reducing runway availability.’’ The proposed project included the decommissioning and demolition of Runway 14/32, the construction of new Runway 5R/23L and associated development at the airport, and SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76997 improvement of roadway access to the airport by realigning Robin Hood Road. Other associated infrastructure was proposed for construction or demolition or relocation including taxiways, lighting, hangers, maintenance facilities, runway safety areas and runway protection zones. In 2001, the FAA began preparing an EIS for similar projects based on the need to accommodate additional operations at the airport. During the first EIS process, the needs of the airport changed and it was determined that the projects were no longer justified based on the stated need and the preparation of the first EIS was cancelled. In 2013, the FAA agreed to proceed with a phased second EIS preparation to review a similar project proposed by the Norfolk Airport Authority. The first phase of the project consisted of consultant selection, EIS scoping, and an analysis of the proposed project’s purpose and need to determine if the FAA should continue to the second phase, which would be completion of the EIS and determination. At the conclusion of the first phase of the second EIS, the FAA determined that the fundamental purpose and need of the projects were not supported by the current or anticipated needs of the airport. The FAA is now terminating the second EIS process. However, the FAA recognizes the importance of ORF to the greater Norfolk/Hampton Roads region and to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moreover, the FAA agrees that a parallel runway may still be a viable long-term plan for the future, if and when operational demand warrants. Therefore, the FAA continues to support the proposed runway remaining on the approved Airport Layout Plan, as conditionally approved pending environmental review on October 5, 2011, and protecting the associated airspace. Issued in Dulles, Virginia on October 28, 2016. Matthew J. Thys, Manager, Washington Airports District Office, Eastern Region. [FR Doc. 2016–26631 Filed 11–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2016–0036] Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for Replacement Parts on Diesel Multiple Unit Rail Vehicles AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. E:\FR\FM\04NON1.SGM 04NON1 76998 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 214 / Friday, November 4, 2016 / Notices ACTION: Notice of proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment. 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a request from the North County Transit District (NCTD) in California for a Buy America non-availability waiver for the procurement of specified replacement parts for Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) rail vehicles. The 12 DMU rail vehicles were manufactured by Siemens as a part of their Desiro series and were placed in revenue service in 2008. Mid-life maintenance and replacement overhauls of vehicle parts are now required in order to ensure safe and continuous transit service. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice of the waiver request and seeks public comment before deciding whether to grant the request. DATES: Comments must be received by November 14, 2016. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by one of the following means, identifying your submissions by docket number FTA–2016–0036: 1. Web site: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site. 2. Fax: (202) 493–2251. 3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. 4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the ‘‘Federal Transit Administration’’ and include docket number FTA–2016–0036. Due to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or by hand. Note that all submissions received, including any personal information therein, will be posted without change or alteration to http:// www.regulations.gov. For more information, you may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Nov 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 Cecelia Comito, Assistant Chief Counsel, at (202) 366–2217 or cecelia.comito@dot.gov. The purpose of this notice is to provide notice and seek comment on whether the FTA should grant a non-availability waiver for NCTD’s purchase of replacement parts on their Siemensmanufactured Desiro series DMU rail vehicles, including, but not limited to, Power Pack Assembly, Power Truck Assembly, Jakobs Truck Assembly, Transmission, Primary Suspension, Secondary Suspension, Power Wheelset Assembly, Power Truck Brake Rotors, Jakobs Truck Brake Rotors, Power Truck Wheels, Jakobs Truck Wheels, A/C Compressors, and Carbody Brake Components, Automatic Train Couplers, and HVAC Roof Mounted Units (the ‘‘Replacement Parts’’). The Replacement Parts are necessary for mid-life maintenance of the DMU rail vehicles. With certain exceptions, FTA’s Buy America requirements prevent FTA from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its program for a project unless ‘‘the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.’’ 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(1). A manufactured product is considered produced in the United States if: (1) All of the manufacturing processes for the product take place in the United States; and (2) all of the components of the product are of U.S. origin. A component is considered of U.S. origin if it is manufactured in the United States, regardless of the origin of its subcomponents. 49 CFR 661.5(d). If, however, FTA determines that ‘‘the steel, iron, and goods produced in the United States are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality,’’ then FTA may issue a waiver (non-availability waiver). 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B); 49 CFR 661.7(c). NCTD provides transit service to the entire North San Diego County, serving more than 12 million riders annually. In 2003, NCTD requested and received from FTA a non-availability Buy America waiver for the procurement of 12 DMU vehicles for use on NCTD’s Sprinter line, with 15 light rail stations between the cities of Escondido and Oceanside. NCTD purchased the 12 DMU vehicles in 2004 and placed the vehicles into revenue service in 2008 on NCTD’s Sprinter line. The useful life of the vehicles is 25 years. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 According to NCTD, the Replacements Parts for the DMU vehicles are nearing the end of their useful service lives and showing signs of wear and fatigue. Without periodic capital equipment replacement and/or rebuild, the likelihood of mechanical downtime increases significantly, equating to prolonged service outages for riders. In March 2013, NCTD removed the Sprinter service from revenue service for more than two months due to premature wear of one of the three braking systems and unavailability of domestic replacement parts. NCTD intends to replace the components over several phases during the coming years, from 2018 through 2026. The last phase is anticipated to be procured over a subsequent seven-year period. Any non-availability waiver granted would be effective for all phases of these projects and will expire upon completion of these projects. As a part of its search for domestic Replacement Parts, NCTD issued a Request for Information (RFI) on November 12, 2013 to maintenance and engineering communities to determine if any firms existed that could either supply Buy America compliant parts and components, or reverse engineer the parts and components utilizing plans and specifications provided. More than 300 vendors received the RFI; 19 downloaded the RFI. One vendor responded that ‘‘with proper specifications, drawings, and samples, we may be able to design and supply Buy America Compliant, OE equivalent, air bellows, primary suspension, and passenger bellows.’’ However, the original equipment manufacturer (‘‘OEM’’) would not provide the requested proprietary information. NCTD undertook three additional procurements for the Replacement Parts. Three responses were received; none could certify to Buy America compliance. Under 49 CFR 661.7(c)(1), ‘‘It will be presumed that the conditions exist to grant this non-availability waiver if no responsive and responsible bid is received offering an item produced in the United States.’’ NCTD’s 12 vehicles are the only Siemens Sprinter vehicles in the United States. Additionally, since these vehicles were specifically designed to meet California Public Utilities Commission rail safety requirements, Sprinter is the only vehicle of its kind internationally. NCTD’s multiple procurement efforts have demonstrated that there are no suppliers willing to invest in infrastructure to manufacture parts that are suitable only for NCTD’s 12 vehicles. E:\FR\FM\04NON1.SGM 04NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 214 / Friday, November 4, 2016 / Notices Finally, under 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(6), FTA cannot deny an application for a waiver based on non-availability unless FTA can certify that (i) the steel, iron, or manufactured good (the ‘‘item’’) is produced in the United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount; and (ii) the item produced in the United States is of a satisfactory quality. Additionally, FTA must provide a list of known manufacturers in the United States from which the item can be obtained. FTA is not aware of any manufacturers who produce the Replacement Parts in the United States. The 12 DMUs purchased by NCTD were granted a waiver from Buy America. NCTD’s efforts to identify domestic manufacturers for the various Replacement Parts were unsuccessful. FTA proposes to grant NCTD a nonavailability waiver of the Buy America requirements for the Replacement Parts for the 12 DMUs which will be acquired for the replacement of the components over several phases from 2018 through 2026. Any non-availability waiver granted would be effective for all phases of these projects and will include Replacement Parts acquired to maintain the DMUs for their 25-year useful life. The purpose of this notice is to publish NCTD’s request and seek public comment from all interested parties in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A). Comments will help FTA understand completely the facts surrounding the request, including the effects of a potential waiver and the merits of the request. After consideration of the comments, FTA will publish a second notice in the Federal Register with a response to comments and noting any changes made to the proposed waiver as a result of the comments received. Ellen Partridge, Chief Counsel. [FR Doc. 2016–26653 Filed 11–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [Docket No. FTA–2016–0035] Notice of Proposed Buy America Public Interest Waiver for Hurricane Sandy Emergency Relief Work Performed for the World Trade Center AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. Notice of Proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment. ACTION: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a request SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Nov 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) for a Buy America public interest waiver for the procurement of equipment to replace what was damaged at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (WTC Hub) project during Hurricane Sandy. PANYNJ seeks a public interest Buy America waiver for the replacement of equipment previously purchased for the WTC Hub. Hurricane Sandy damaged an existing construction site that receives federal funds but is not subject to FTA’s Buy America requirements and the only option PANYNJ had to implement Sandy recovery work was to replace the damaged equipment with the same equipment previously acquired for the project. 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(A) and 49 CFR 661.7(b). In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice of the public interest waiver request and seeks public comment before deciding whether to grant the request. If granted, the waiver would only apply to replacement of equipment damaged by Hurricane Sandy at the WTC Hub project and would not apply to any other PANYNJ resiliency projects for which FTA has provided funding. DATES: Comments must be received by November 14, 2016. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by one of the following means, identifying your submissions by docket number FTA–2016–0035. 1. Web site: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site. 2. Fax: (202) 493–2251. 3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. 4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the ‘‘Federal Transit Administration’’ and include docket number FTA–2016–0035. Due to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76999 by hand. Note that all submissions received, including any personal information therein, will be posted without change or alteration to http:// www.regulations.gov. For more information, you may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cecelia Comito, FTA Assistant Chief Counsel, (202) 366–2217 or Cecelia.comito@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this notice is to provide notice and seek public comment on whether the FTA should grant a public interest waiver to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) for the procurement of replacement equipment damaged by Hurricane Sandy at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (WTC Hub) project. With certain exceptions, FTA’s Buy America requirements prevent FTA from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its program for a project unless ‘‘the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.’’ 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(1). If, however, FTA finds that the application of this requirement would be inconsistent with the public interest, it may waive this requirement. 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(A). In determining whether the conditions exist to grant a public interest waiver, FTA will consider all appropriate factors on a case-by-case basis, unless a general exception is specifically set out in this part. 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(A); 49 CFR 661.7(b). On May 13, 2015, PANYNJ requested a Buy America waiver for the replacement or repair of equipment damaged by Hurricane Sandy at the WTC Hub because the WTC Hub project is being constructed pursuant to a grant awarded in 2003, it is not feasible to replace the damaged equipment with equipment that is different than that used in the original project and it is in the public’s interest to repair the damage at the WTC Hub as quickly as possible. 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(A); 49 CFR 661.7(b). Additionally, the underlying project is not subject to FTA’s Buy America requirements. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center resulted in extensive damage to the WTC Hub. In August 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) entered into a memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation under which FEMA agreed to provide $2.75 billion to cover E:\FR\FM\04NON1.SGM 04NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 214 (Friday, November 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76997-76999]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26653]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2016-0036]


Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for Replacement Parts on 
Diesel Multiple Unit Rail Vehicles

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

[[Page 76998]]


ACTION: Notice of proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a request 
from the North County Transit District (NCTD) in California for a Buy 
America non-availability waiver for the procurement of specified 
replacement parts for Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) rail vehicles. The 12 
DMU rail vehicles were manufactured by Siemens as a part of their 
Desiro series and were placed in revenue service in 2008. Mid-life 
maintenance and replacement overhauls of vehicle parts are now required 
in order to ensure safe and continuous transit service. In accordance 
with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice of the waiver 
request and seeks public comment before deciding whether to grant the 
request.

DATES: Comments must be received by November 14, 2016. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by one of the following means, 
identifying your submissions by docket number FTA-2016-0036:
    1. Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions 
for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site.
    2. Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the ``Federal 
Transit Administration'' and include docket number FTA-2016-0036. Due 
to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received 
through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties 
making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an 
express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not 
filed electronically or by hand. Note that all submissions received, 
including any personal information therein, will be posted without 
change or alteration to http://www.regulations.gov. For more 
information, you may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may 
visit http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cecelia Comito, Assistant Chief 
Counsel, at (202) 366-2217 or cecelia.comito@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this notice is to provide 
notice and seek comment on whether the FTA should grant a non-
availability waiver for NCTD's purchase of replacement parts on their 
Siemens-manufactured Desiro series DMU rail vehicles, including, but 
not limited to, Power Pack Assembly, Power Truck Assembly, Jakobs Truck 
Assembly, Transmission, Primary Suspension, Secondary Suspension, Power 
Wheelset Assembly, Power Truck Brake Rotors, Jakobs Truck Brake Rotors, 
Power Truck Wheels, Jakobs Truck Wheels, A/C Compressors, and Carbody 
Brake Components, Automatic Train Couplers, and HVAC Roof Mounted Units 
(the ``Replacement Parts''). The Replacement Parts are necessary for 
mid-life maintenance of the DMU rail vehicles.
    With certain exceptions, FTA's Buy America requirements prevent FTA 
from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its 
program for a project unless ``the steel, iron, and manufactured goods 
used in the project are produced in the United States.'' 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(1). A manufactured product is considered produced in the United 
States if: (1) All of the manufacturing processes for the product take 
place in the United States; and (2) all of the components of the 
product are of U.S. origin. A component is considered of U.S. origin if 
it is manufactured in the United States, regardless of the origin of 
its subcomponents. 49 CFR 661.5(d). If, however, FTA determines that 
``the steel, iron, and goods produced in the United States are not 
produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of 
a satisfactory quality,'' then FTA may issue a waiver (non-availability 
waiver). 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B); 49 CFR 661.7(c).
    NCTD provides transit service to the entire North San Diego County, 
serving more than 12 million riders annually. In 2003, NCTD requested 
and received from FTA a non-availability Buy America waiver for the 
procurement of 12 DMU vehicles for use on NCTD's Sprinter line, with 15 
light rail stations between the cities of Escondido and Oceanside. NCTD 
purchased the 12 DMU vehicles in 2004 and placed the vehicles into 
revenue service in 2008 on NCTD's Sprinter line. The useful life of the 
vehicles is 25 years.
    According to NCTD, the Replacements Parts for the DMU vehicles are 
nearing the end of their useful service lives and showing signs of wear 
and fatigue. Without periodic capital equipment replacement and/or 
rebuild, the likelihood of mechanical downtime increases significantly, 
equating to prolonged service outages for riders. In March 2013, NCTD 
removed the Sprinter service from revenue service for more than two 
months due to premature wear of one of the three braking systems and 
unavailability of domestic replacement parts. NCTD intends to replace 
the components over several phases during the coming years, from 2018 
through 2026. The last phase is anticipated to be procured over a 
subsequent seven-year period. Any non-availability waiver granted would 
be effective for all phases of these projects and will expire upon 
completion of these projects.
    As a part of its search for domestic Replacement Parts, NCTD issued 
a Request for Information (RFI) on November 12, 2013 to maintenance and 
engineering communities to determine if any firms existed that could 
either supply Buy America compliant parts and components, or reverse 
engineer the parts and components utilizing plans and specifications 
provided. More than 300 vendors received the RFI; 19 downloaded the 
RFI. One vendor responded that ``with proper specifications, drawings, 
and samples, we may be able to design and supply Buy America Compliant, 
OE equivalent, air bellows, primary suspension, and passenger 
bellows.'' However, the original equipment manufacturer (``OEM'') would 
not provide the requested proprietary information. NCTD undertook three 
additional procurements for the Replacement Parts. Three responses were 
received; none could certify to Buy America compliance. Under 49 CFR 
661.7(c)(1), ``It will be presumed that the conditions exist to grant 
this non-availability waiver if no responsive and responsible bid is 
received offering an item produced in the United States.''
    NCTD's 12 vehicles are the only Siemens Sprinter vehicles in the 
United States. Additionally, since these vehicles were specifically 
designed to meet California Public Utilities Commission rail safety 
requirements, Sprinter is the only vehicle of its kind internationally. 
NCTD's multiple procurement efforts have demonstrated that there are no 
suppliers willing to invest in infrastructure to manufacture parts that 
are suitable only for NCTD's 12 vehicles.

[[Page 76999]]

    Finally, under 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(6), FTA cannot deny an application 
for a waiver based on non-availability unless FTA can certify that (i) 
the steel, iron, or manufactured good (the ``item'') is produced in the 
United States in a sufficient and reasonably available amount; and (ii) 
the item produced in the United States is of a satisfactory quality. 
Additionally, FTA must provide a list of known manufacturers in the 
United States from which the item can be obtained. FTA is not aware of 
any manufacturers who produce the Replacement Parts in the United 
States.
    The 12 DMUs purchased by NCTD were granted a waiver from Buy 
America. NCTD's efforts to identify domestic manufacturers for the 
various Replacement Parts were unsuccessful. FTA proposes to grant NCTD 
a non-availability waiver of the Buy America requirements for the 
Replacement Parts for the 12 DMUs which will be acquired for the 
replacement of the components over several phases from 2018 through 
2026. Any non-availability waiver granted would be effective for all 
phases of these projects and will include Replacement Parts acquired to 
maintain the DMUs for their 25-year useful life.
    The purpose of this notice is to publish NCTD's request and seek 
public comment from all interested parties in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(3)(A). Comments will help FTA understand completely the facts 
surrounding the request, including the effects of a potential waiver 
and the merits of the request. After consideration of the comments, FTA 
will publish a second notice in the Federal Register with a response to 
comments and noting any changes made to the proposed waiver as a result 
of the comments received.

Ellen Partridge,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2016-26653 Filed 11-3-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P