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Notice

Nationwide Categorical Waivers Under Section 1605 (Buy American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION:

Notice of limited waivers.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hereby granting a nationwide limited waiver of the Buy American requirements of section 1605 of the Recovery Act under the authority of Section 1605(b)(2) (iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality) with respect to (1) two-stage, steam heated absorption chillers rated at 500-1,500 tons; (2) single wall evacuated tube collectors for solar thermal systems (when used in an educational context for the purposes of comparing relative efficiency of solar thermal technologies); (3) 2-ton adsorption chillers (for educational purposes, or where alternative technologies are not serviceable); (4) LED Lamp and controller for studio lights in a television broadcast studio (where a CRI (Color Rendition Index) sufficient to render accurate flesh tones and natural colors and a precise color tuning control to dial in exact color temperature for accurate colors under multiple lighting setups are required); (5) Global Positioning System (GPS) Time Source Modules (to serve as direct communication link between a county or city's Traffic Management System (TMS) and the Caltrans Traffic Signal Management and Surveillance System (CTNET)); and (6) elongated wall-hung rear spud toilets (bowl and hardware) that will be used on eligible EERE Recovery Act-funded projects.

DATES:

Effective Date: January 12, 2011.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin Goldstein, Energy Technology Program Specialist, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), (202) 287-1553, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop EE-2K, Washington, DC 20585.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the authority of the Recovery Act, Public Law 111-5, section 1605(b)(2), the head of a federal department or agency may issue a “determination of inapplicability” (a waiver of the Buy Start Printed Page 9768American provision) if the iron, steel, or relevant manufactured good is not produced or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality (“nonavailability”). On September 17, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of Energy to make all inapplicability determinations was re-delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), for EERE projects under the Recovery Act. Pursuant to this delegation the Assistant Secretary, EERE, has concluded that (1) two-stage, steam heated absorption chillers rated at 500-1500 tons; (2) single wall evacuated tube collectors for solar thermal systems (when used in an educational context for the purposes of comparing relative efficiency of solar thermal technologies); (3) 2-ton adsorption chillers (for educational purposes, or where alternative technologies are not serviceable); (4) LED Lamp and controller for studio lights in a television broadcast studio (where a CRI (Color Rendition Index) sufficient to render accurate flesh tones and natural colors and a precise color tuning control to dial in exact color temperature for accurate colors under multiple lighting setups are required); (5) Global Positioning System (GPS) Time Source Modules (to serve as direct communication link between a county or city's Traffic Management System (TMS) and the Caltrans Traffic Signal Management and Surveillance System (CTNET)); and (6) elongated wall-hung rear spud toilets (bowl and hardware) that will be used on eligible EERE Recovery Act-funded projects qualify for the “nonavailability” waiver determination.

EERE has developed a rigorous process to ascertain in a systematic and expedient manner whether or not there is domestic manufacturing capacity for the items submitted for a waiver of the Recovery Act Buy American provision. This process involves a close collaboration with the United States Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), in order to scour the domestic manufacturing landscape in search of producers before making any nonavailability determination.

The MEP has 59 regional centers with substantial knowledge of, and connections to, the domestic manufacturing sector. MEP uses their regional centers to “scout” for current or potential manufacturers of the product(s) submitted in a waiver request. In the course of this interagency collaboration, MEP has been able to find exact or partial matches for manufactured goods that EERE grantees had been unable to locate. As a result, in those cases, EERE was able to work with the grantees to procure American-made products rather than granting a waiver.

Upon receipt of completed waiver requests for the six products in the current waiver, EERE reviewed the information provided and submitted the relevant technical information to the NIST MEP. The MEP then used their network of nationwide centers to scout for domestic manufacturers. The MEP reported that their scouting process did not locate any domestic manufacturers for the exact items needed to meet the product specifications required by the EERE grant recipient.

In addition to the MEP collaboration outlined above, the EERE Buy American Coordinator worked with labor unions, trade associations and other manufacturing stakeholders to scout for domestic manufacturing capacity or an equivalent product for each item contained in this waiver. EERE also conducted significant amounts of independent research to supplement MEP's scouting efforts, including utilizing technology experts employed by the Department of Energy or the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. EERE's research efforts confirmed the MEP findings that the goods included in this waiver are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality.

The nonavailability determination is also informed by the numerous inquiries to EERE from recipients of EERE Recovery Act funds, and from suppliers, distributors, retailers and trade associations—all stating that their individual efforts to locate domestic manufacturers have been unsuccessful.

Having established a proper justification based on domestic nonavailability, EERE hereby provides notice that on January 12, 2011, six nationwide categorical waivers of section 1605 of the Recovery Act were issued as detailed supra. This notice constitutes the detailed written justification required by Section 1605(c) for waivers based on a finding under subsection (b).

This waiver determination is pursuant to the delegation of authority by the Secretary of Energy to the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy with respect to expenditures within the purview of her responsibility. Consequently, this waiver applies to all EERE projects carried out under the Recovery Act.

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Authority: Pub. L. 111-5, section 1605.

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Issued in Washington, DC on January 19, 2011.

Cathy Zoi,

Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

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[FR Doc. 2011-3850 Filed 2-18-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P