Buy American waiver granted for "de minimis" parts in rural water projects.



The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a nationwide waiver under the stimulus program's "Buy American" clause for incidental components of eligible water infrastructure projects.

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a nationwide waiver under the stimulus program's "Buy American" clause for incidental components of eligible water infrastructure projects.

This action permits the use of nondomestic iron, steel and manufactured goods when they occur in de minimis incidental components that may otherwise be prohibited under Buy American clause of the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

RUS defined "de minimis incidental components" to mean those components that cumulatively comprise no more than a total of 5 percent of the total cost of the materials used in a project funded in whole or in part with ARRA assistance.

This action is similar to a waiver previously granted by the U.S. EPA for water infrastructure projects across the country.

RUS received $1.38 billion in ARRA funds for use in providing loans and grants to rural communities to meet their water and wastewater infrastructure needs. While the money has been obligated to specific projects in compliance with the Fiscal Year 2009 deadline of Sept. 30, it could be years before these projects actually are designed and go to construction.

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