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USDOT: No extension of temporary waiver for construction materials for Buy America

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will not extend its current one-year implementation delay of Buy America changes for construction materials stemming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the bipartisan infrastructure law, the department announced.

USDOT will begin enforcing the new Buy America requirements for construction materials on Thursday, according to a "notice of expiration" posted online. There are also several concurrent and related actions USDOT is taking related to implementation as described below.

Timelines

USDOT proposes two actions to help transition to the new rule:

  • First, for USDOT awards obligated on or after the effective date of the final waiver, USDOT will waive the construction materials requirements for any contracts entered into before Nov. 10. 
     
  • Secondly, USDOT is proposing to waive the construction materials requirements for any contracts entered into before March 10, 2023 that result from solicitations published before May 14, 2022.

De minimis costs, small grants, and minor components

Additionally, USDOT is proposing a narrow waiver for de minimis costs, small grants and minor components. This waiver would be applicable to projects in which:

  • the total value of the non-compliant products is no more than the lesser of $1 million or
    5% of total allowable costs under the federal financial assistance award;

     
  • the size of the federal financial assistance award is below $500,000; or
     
  • the non-domestically produced miscellaneous minor components comprise no more
    than 5% of the total material cost of an otherwise domestically produced iron or
    steel product.

Comments on these proposals must be received to the Federal Register by Nov. 20. 

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner last week sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asking for a delay in new Buy America regulations.

ATSSA will continue to provide additional information related to the Buy America requirements in the coming weeks.

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