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Build America, Buy America

Policy background 

Build America, Buy America is a larger and more extensive version of American Iron and Steel. It expected that the EPA will implement BABA in much the same way as AIS– with similar waivers and reporting requirements.

For more information about the differences between BABA and AIS, please review the BABA AIS December 2023 presentation.

CWSRF implementation of BABA

In general, DEQ's CWSRF program will require BABA for: 

  • Equivalency loans, and
  • Every loan with an award of Emerging Contaminants funds.

Please note: If another co-funding source requires BABA, then CWSRF will apply BABA to that co-funded project. CWSRF will not require the borrower to provide both BABA and AIS documentation. Only BABA documentation will be required. 

BABA waivers

General Waivers have been approved by EPA for nationwide use and are potentially available for any project. Individual Project Waivers are specific to that project and are reviewed and approved by EPA. Borrowers should first review the General waiver(s) for are applicability to their project; if not, then consider applying for an Individual Project Waiver. If you are unsure or have questions, please contact your project officer.

CWSRF program staff anticipate an Individual Project Waiver request will take significantly longer for review and approval by EPA than the Generally Applicable Waiver. For example, some requests for American Iron and Steel Individual Project Waivers have taken 12-18 months for approval.
Note: If your BABA waiver is approved/accepted, the project is still required to be AIS compliant. More information about AIS compliance requirements is available on the CWSRF web page.

The following waivers are available:

*Borrowers should use specific language in their contract bid solicitation documents if interested in pursuing this waiver. Examples of construction contract language can be found in Appendix 1.1 of the Individual Project Waiver Implementation Memo.

When to request the BABA waiver

It is the Borrower's responsibility to request a Waiver of BABA requirements. The borrower can submit the waiver request to DEQ from the application date until prior to the execution of an amendment to the design loan to add construction funds or to the construction loan.

Waivers must be approved by DEQ (for general) or EPA (for individual) PRIOR to purchases of all potentially implicated product. No retroactive waivers will be issued.

The project officer and the borrower should work together on when to request the waiver. 

How to request the BABA waiver

To request a waiver, please complete and sign the Build America, Buy America Waiver Request and send it with the applicable documentation to your project officer.