[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 43 (Friday, March 5, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10246-10247]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4679]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


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

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the 
U.S. Department of Energy hereby provides notice that on February 11, 
2010, the Assistant Secretary for EERE granted nationwide categorical 
waivers of the Buy American requirements of the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 (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] for 
the purchase of LED traffic lights, arrows, and crosswalk signals 
(excluding the metal or plastic fixtures); fluorescent electronic 
lighting ballasts (with the exception of electronic dimming ballasts 
for fluorescent lamps that are capable of operating the lamps below 50 
percent of their rated light output); and screw-base and pin-base 
compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) (with the exception of plug-in CFLs 
longer than 10 inches). These nationwide categorical waivers apply to 
all projects using EERE Recovery Act funds for the construction, 
alteration, maintenance and repair of a public building or public work. 
EERE reserves the right to revisit and amend these nationwide 
categorical waivers based on new developments or changes in the 
domestic manufacturing capacity for these three technologies.

DATES: Effective Date: February 11, 2010.

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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1605 of the Recovery Act requires 
that none of the appropriated funds may be used for the construction, 
alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work 
unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the 
project are produced in the United States, or unless a waiver is 
granted by the head of the Federal department or agency. A waiver may 
be granted if the head of the Federal department or agency determines 
that one of three listed exceptions applies: (1) The application of 
Section 1605 requirements would be inconsistent with the public 
interest; (2) the iron, steel, or relevant manufactured good is not 
produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available 
quantities and of a satisfactory quality; or (3) the cost of domestic 
iron, steel, or relevant manufactured goods will increase the cost of 
the overall project by more than 25 percent.
    In accordance with Section 1605(c) of the Recovery Act and Section 
176.80 of Title 2 of the Code of Federal

[[Page 10247]]

Regulations, DOE hereby provides notice that, pursuant to a delegation 
of authority by the Secretary of Energy, dated November 10, 2009, the 
Assistant Secretary, EERE, has granted three nationwide categorical 
waivers of the requirements of Section 1605(b)(2) of the Recovery Act 
for LED traffic lights, arrows, and crosswalk signals (excluding the 
metal or plastic fixtures); fluorescent electronic lighting ballasts 
(with the exception of electronic dimming ballasts for fluorescent 
lamps that are capable of operating the lamps below 50 percent of their 
rated light output); and screw-base and pin-base compact fluorescent 
lamps (CFLs) (with the exception of plug-in CFLs longer than 10 
inches). The Assistant Secretary, EERE, has determined that these three 
categories of manufactured goods are not produced in the United States 
in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory 
quality. The Assistant Secretary, EERE, reserves the right to revisit 
and amend these nationwide categorical waivers based on new 
developments or changes in the domestic manufacturing capacity for 
these three technologies.
    The domestic nonavailability determination for these three products 
is based on extensive market research and a thorough investigation of 
the domestic manufacturing landscape. This research revealed that these 
three products are manufactured almost exclusively in China and Mexico.
    EERE corresponded with a wide range of lighting industry 
stakeholders, including the National Electrical Manufacturers 
Association, three major lighting companies (GE, Osram Sylvania, and 
Phillips), the IUE-CWA labor union, and many smaller lighting 
manufacturers, in establishing the domestic nonavailability 
determinations. The specific exceptions to these categorical waivers 
(for electronic dimming ballasts and 10-inch and longer CFLs) are 
evidence of the very detailed research effort undertaken to support the 
formulation of these nonavailability determinations.
    The nonavailability determination was also informed by the large 
number of inquiries and petitions that EERE received from recipients of 
EERE Recovery Act funds (``grantees''), suppliers, and trade 
associations--all stating that their individual efforts to locate 
domestic manufacturers had been unsuccessful.
    The purpose of the Recovery Act is to stimulate economic recovery 
in part by funding current infrastructure construction, not to delay 
projects that are ``shovel ready,'' or otherwise valid, by requiring 
grantees to revise their specifications or choose a different, more 
costly, or less energy efficient project. The absence of a waiver of 
section 1605 for these three categories of manufactured goods would 
result in unreasonable delay for the project and would directly 
conflict with a fundamental economic purpose of Recovery Act, which is 
to create or retain jobs.
    The installation of LED traffic lights, arrows, and crosswalk 
signals, fluorescent electronic lighting ballasts, and CFLs is a proven 
strategy to achieve impressive energy savings, reduce energy 
expenditures, and to create immediate jobs in the building, 
construction, and electrical trades. All three of these attributes can 
support near-term economic recovery and long-term sustainability in 
diverse locations across the country. Hence, the installation of LED 
traffic lights, arrows, and crosswalk signals, fluorescent electronic 
lighting ballasts, and CFLs is a popular use of Recovery Act funds by 
EERE grantees, and any further delay in granting nationwide categorical 
waivers for these three technologies would unjustifiably impede the 
ability of these meritorious projects to move forward.
    Finally, EERE is implementing a strategy that involves 
collaborating with multiple stakeholders in the manufacturing community 
to disseminate technical specifications for hard-to-find products to 
ascertain whether or not there are any domestic manufacturers for these 
products. This strategy will ensure that all future determinations of 
nonavailability are developed through a thorough, transparent, and 
expedited process. However, while this larger strategy is unfolding, it 
is critical to move forward with the nationwide categorical waivers for 
these three manufactured goods, where domestic nonavailability has been 
ascertained and is currently impeding the progress of numerous Recovery 
Act projects funded by EERE.
    The specific products detailed below are excluded from the 
nationwide categorical waivers because some domestic manufacturing 
capacity does exist. If an EERE grantee believes that the excluded 
products are not available for its Recovery Act project in sufficient 
and reasonably available commercial quantities of a satisfactory 
quality in the timeframe required by their project, the grantee can 
submit a specific waiver request to EERE using the established channels 
and format outlined in 2 CFR 176.140(c) and 176.160(c); and summarized 
in guidance available on the EERE Buy American Web page: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/recovery/pdfs/eere_program_guidance_buy_american.pdf.
    (1) Electronic dimming ballasts for fluorescent lamps.
    Electronic dimming ballasts for fluorescent lamps that are capable 
of operating the lamps below 50 percent of their rated light output.
    (2) Plug-In CFLs longer than 10 inches.
    CFLs greater than 10 inches in length have a 4-pin base and are 
rated from 18 to 27 watts. They are available in a range of color 
temperatures and are used, for example, in facilities, offices, 
warehouses and display cases. Lengths range from 10.5 in (266.7 mm) to 
22.5 in (571.5 mm). Rated life ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 hours.
    (3) Traffic light fixtures (also referred to as the ``housing'' or 
``shell'').
    The nationwide categorical waiver for LED traffic lights, arrows, 
and crosswalk signals covers the LED lights and any adjacent wires and 
electronic parts necessary for the functionality of the lights 
themselves; but excludes the metal or plastic fixtures (also referred 
to as the ``housing'' or ``shell'').
    Having established a proper justification based on domestic 
nonavailability, EERE hereby provides notice that on February 11, 2010, 
three nationwide categorical waivers of section 1605 of the Recovery 
Act were issued for LED traffic lights, arrows, and crosswalk signals; 
fluorescent electronic lighting ballasts (with the exception of 
electronic dimming ballasts for fluorescent lamps that are capable of 
operating the lamps below 50 percent of their rated light output); and 
screw-base and pin-base compact fluorescent lamps (with the exception 
of plug-in CFLs longer than 10 inches). This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
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 EERE projects carried out under the Recovery Act.

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

    Dated: February 22, 2010.
Cathy Zoi,
Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2010-4679 Filed 3-4-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P