[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 30, 2009)]
[Unknown Section]
[Pages 69092-69093]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-31048]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9097-9]


Notice of a Regional Project Waiver of Section 1605 (Buy 
American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) 
to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The EPA is hereby granting a waiver of the Buy America 
requirements of ARRA Section 1605 under the authority of Section 
1605(b)(2) [manufactured goods are not produced in the United States in 
sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory 
quality] to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (``MWRA'') for 
the purchase of a foreign manufactured hydroelectric generator for the 
Loring Road Hydroelectric Project in Weston, Massachusetts. This is a 
project specific waiver and only applies to the use of the specified 
product for the ARRA project being proposed. Any other ARRA recipient 
that wishes to use the same product must apply for a separate waiver 
based on project specific circumstances. Based upon information 
submitted by the MWRA and its consulting engineer, it has been 
determined that there are currently no domestic manufactured 
hydroelectric generators available to meet its proposed project and 
performance specifications. The Regional Administrator is making this 
determination based on the review and recommendations of the Municipal 
Assistance Unit. The Assistant Administrator of the Office of 
Administration and Resources Management has concurred on this decision 
to make an exception to Section 1605 of ARRA. This action permits the 
purchase of a foreign manufactured hydroelectric generator by the MWRA, 
as specified in its October 23, 2009 request.

DATES: Effective Date: December 16, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Chin, Environmental Engineer, 
(617) 918-1764, or Katie Connors, Environmental Engineer, (617) 918-
1658, Municipal Assistance Unit (CMU), Office of Ecosystem Protection 
(OEP), U.S. EPA, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-
3912.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with ARRA Section 1605(c), the 
EPA hereby provides notice that it is granting a project waiver of the 
requirements of Section 1605(b)(2) of Public Law 111-5, Buy American 
requirements, to the MWRA for the purchase of a non-domestic 
manufactured hydroelectric generator to meet the MWRA's design and 
performance specifications as part of its proposed Loring Road 
Hydroelectric Project in Weston, MA.
    Section 1605 of the ARRA requires that none of the appropriated 
funds may be used for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or 
repair of a public building or a public works project unless all of the 
iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project is produced in 
the United States, or unless a waiver is provided to the recipient by 
the head of the appropriate agency, here the EPA. A waiver may be 
provided if EPA determines that (1) applying these requirements would 
be inconsistent with the public interest; (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; or (3) inclusion of iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured 
goods produced in the United States will increase the cost of the 
overall project by more than 25 percent.
    The MWRA is proposing a renewable energy project consisting of a 
hydraulic turbine, a hydroelectric generator, associated piping, and 
controls to be located in an existing valve chamber within the MWRA's 
drinking water transmission system at Loring Road in Weston, MA. 
Currently, the MWRA is reducing water pressure in a section of the 
water transmission system to properly serve certain areas of low 
elevation within the City of Boston. Pressure is dissipated across 
valves located in the chamber on a continuous process. Instead of 
losing this potential energy, the MWRA plans to install a hydraulic 
turbine and hydroelectric generator to recover 1,200,000 kilowatt hours 
(kWh) of electricity annually, an amount that will meet MWRA's on-site 
electrical needs and allow excess recovered energy to be delivered to 
the regional electric grid.
    The proposed project has been reviewed by the Federal Energy

[[Page 69093]]

Regulatory Commission and has been granted a Small Conduit Exemption 
from Licensing. The MWRA is receiving Massachusetts State Drinking 
Water Revolving funds, as well as a construction grant from the 
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Design plans and specifications 
have been completed and include the ARRA's Buy American terms. The 
estimated total cost of the proposed construction project is $1.8M.
    The MWRA is requesting a waiver for a foreign manufactured 
hydroelectric generator to generate electrical power from the available 
hydraulic potential energy in the MWRA's drinking water transmission 
system. It is estimated that the hydroelectric generator will account 
for approximately 15% of the entire project construction cost of $1.8M. 
The MWRA has researched foreign and domestic manufacturers of 
hydroelectric generators and has determined that domestic manufacturers 
are not able to manufacture a hydroelectric turbine generator that 
meets the capacity requirements as specified for the proposed project. 
The waiver request has been submitted prior to the MWRA's bid 
solicitation. Any bid proposals are not expected to include any 
domestic manufacturers based on the research conducted and 
documentation provided by the MWRA.
    The project specifications and other supporting documentation state 
that the hydroelectric generator must produce 200 kilowatts, 250 kVA of 
3 phase electrical energy at 60 Hz from an available head at the 
turbine inlet of 70 to 75 feet and an average daily flow of 20 million 
gallons of water per day. The project design and specifications require 
that the hydraulic turbine and hydroelectric generator be installed 
within the confines of the facility's existing pressure reducing valve 
station vault/chamber.
    An evaluation of all of the submitted documentation by EPA's 
technical review team supports and confirms the MWRA's claim that there 
are currently no domestic manufacturers that can provide a suitable 
hydroelectric generator to meet project specifications. The consulting 
engineer for the MWRA identified four domestic manufacturers in the 
United States. None of the four companies manufacture generators 
smaller than 500 kilowatts in size, with the project specifications 
requiring 200 kilowatts in size. The supporting information for this 
proposed project also includes contacts with hydro turbine 
manufacturers who work with generator manufacturers, internet research 
conducted at sales websites, telephone calls, and e-mail correspondence 
with generator manufacturers and visits to their websites. An 
independent review of the submitted documentation by EPA's national 
contractor confirmed this evidence.
    The supporting documentation (i.e. results of research and 
communications with manufacturers of hydroelectric turbine generators) 
and independent research and communication with selected manufacturers 
of hydroelectric turbine generator technology conducted by EPA's 
national contractor demonstrate that U.S. manufacturers do not 
currently produce hydroelectric turbine generators capable of 
generating the requisite power output and having the physical 
dimensions required for installation in the utility's existing pressure 
reducing station valve vault/chamber located at the Loring Road 
facility in Weston, MA. In addition, the evaluation of the supporting 
documentation also demonstrates that foreign manufactured hydroelectric 
generators are available and will be able to meet the proposed project 
design and specifications.
    Furthermore, the purpose of the ARRA is to stimulate economic 
recovery by funding current infrastructure construction, not to delay 
or curtail entirely projects that are ``shovel ready'' by requiring 
potential SRF eligible recipients, such as the MWRA, to revise their 
design standards and specifications. The imposition of ARRA Buy 
American requirements in this case would not be workable within the 
absolute constraints and dimensions of the project within the existing 
facility. To curtail entirely this construction would directly conflict 
with a fundamental economic purpose of ARRA, which is to create or 
retain jobs.
    The April 28, 2009 EPA HQ Memorandum, ``Implementation of Buy 
American provisions of Public Law 111-5, the `American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009' '' (``Memorandum''), defines reasonably 
available quantity as ``the quantity of iron, steel, or relevant 
manufactured good is available or will be available at the time needed 
and place needed, and in the proper form or specification as specified 
in the project plans and design.'' The same Memorandum defines 
``satisfactory quality'' as ``the quality of steel, iron or 
manufactured good specified in the project plans and designs.''
    The Municipal Assistance Unit (CMU) has reviewed this waiver 
request and has determined that the supporting documentation provided 
by the MWRA establishes both a proper basis to specify a particular 
manufactured good, and that the domestic manufactured good that is 
currently available does not meet the design specifications for the 
proposed project. The information provided is sufficient to meet the 
following criteria listed under Section 1605(b) of the ARRA and in the 
April 28, 2009 Memorandum: Iron, steel, and the manufactured goods are 
not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably 
available quantities and of a satisfactory quality.
    The March 31, 2009 Delegation of Authority Memorandum provided 
Regional Administrators with the temporary authority to issue 
exceptions to Section 1605 of the ARRA within the geographic boundaries 
of their respective regions and with respect to requests by individual 
grant recipients.
    Having established both a proper basis to specify the particular 
good required for this project and that this manufactured good was not 
available from a producer in the United States, the MWRA is hereby 
granted a waiver from the Buy American requirements of Section 1605(a) 
of Public Law 111-5. This waiver permits use of ARRA funds for the 
purchase of a non-domestic manufactured hydroelectric generator 
documented in MWRA's waiver request submittal dated October 23, 2009. 
This supplementary information constitutes the detailed written 
justification required by Section 1605(c) for waivers based on a 
finding under subsection (b).

    Authority:  Public Law 111-5, section 1605.

     Dated: December 16, 2009.
H. Curtis Spalding,
 Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1--New England.
[FR Doc. E9-31048 Filed 12-29-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P