General Applicability of Build America, Buy America Act Provisions to Recipients of Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Federal Financial Assistance Awards


The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) was established by the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) in order to help restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region. responsibilities.

The RESTORE Council is seeking public comment on a proposal to waive the requirements of the Build America Buy America Act (BABAA) for six months in order to provide the Council with the time needed to determine how best to address this new law. BABAA mandates that federal grants for infrastructure projects include conditions requiring that the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used for such projects be produced in the United States. The Council needs to determine whether its funding is subject to BABAA and if so, how to most effectively address this law if and when it issues grants for infrastructure projects, which could include activities such as wastewater treatment and flood protection. After reviewing public comments, the Council will determine whether to proceed with this waiver with or without modifications to address public input.

Background

In accordance with BABAA, the Council is proposing a general applicability adjustment period waiver of six months, beginning upon the Council's issuance of the waiver, of the BABAA domestic content procurement preference provisions as applied to federal financial assistance awards made by the Council pursuant to the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).

The Council has determined that this adjustment period waiver is in the public interest in order to enable the Council to (a) align the requirements of BABAA with the Council-Selected Restoration Component and the Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act, both of which components are funded and administered by the Council; and (b) avoid immediate delays and disruptions to critically-important Council-funded infrastructure projects in the Gulf Coast region. Specifically, the adjustment period is needed in order for the Council to (i) determine if and how BABAA applies to its RESTORE Act projects and programs (collectively, "activities"); (ii) establish the administrative processes, documentation and capacity necessary for compliance with BABAA requirements for the long term, as appropriate; (iii) ensure that the Council maintains the continuity of its recipients' activities; and (iv) closely coordinate among the six federal agencies and five states comprising the Council and, as appropriate, engage Council stakeholders, subrecipients, and the general public regarding BABAA.

Subject to the effective date of this proposed waiver set forth below, the waiver applies to Council funding approvals for infrastructure activities under the Council-Selected Restoration Component and Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act occurring on and after May 14, 2022; BABAA will not retroactively apply to funding approvals occurring before that date.

The proposed waiver of Build America, Buy America Act will be available for public review and comment beginning June 9, 2022 and ending at 11:59 pm MDT on June 24, 2022. In general, all comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, will be part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Additionally, any business or personal information provided, such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone numbers will be part of the public record. You should only submit information that you wish to make publicly available.
 
Comment Period: Closed        06/09/2022 - 06/24/2022
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