[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 84 (Monday, May 1, 2000)]
[Pages 25419-25420]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-10779]



Federal Transit Administration

Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Granted Buy America Waiver.


SUMMARY: This waiver allows Orion Bus Industries (Orion) to count the 
axle used in the Orion II paratransit vehicle as a domestic component 
for the purposes of calculating overall domestic content and was 
predicated on the non-availability of the item domestically. A similar 
waiver was granted by FTA to Orion in 1998 for the period of two years. 
Because the market has not changed in the intervening two years, Orion 
requested that FTA extend this waiver. It was extended on February 28, 
2000, for the period of two years, or until such time as a domestic 
source for this heavy-duty axle becomes available. This notice shall 
insure that the public, particularly potential manufacturers, is aware 
of this waiver. FTA requests that the public notify it of any relevant 
changes in the domestic market of heavy-duty axles.

Chief Counsel, Room 9316, (202) 366-4011 (telephone) or (202) 366-3809 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The above referenced waiver is as follows:

February 28, 2000.
Mr. Paul Royal,
Executive Vice President, Orion Bus Industries, A Division of 
Western Star Trucks, Inc., 350 Hazelhurst Road, Mississauge, 

Re: Application for Extension of Buy America Waiver for Orion II 

    Dear Mr. Royal: This letter responds to your correspondence of 
January 19, 2000, in which you request an extension of a Buy America 
waiver granted for the procurement of the GNX axle for use in your 
Orion II paratransit vehicle. The original two-year waiver was 
granted on February 27, 1998, per your request of December 22, 1997. 
This letter incorporates, by reference, the information contained in 
the above letters.
    The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) requirements 
concerning domestic preference for federally funded transit projects 
are set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5323(j). Section 5323(j)(2)(C) addresses 
the general requirements for the procurement of rolling stock. This 
section provides that all rolling stock procured with FTA funds must 
have a domestic content of at least 60 percent and must undergo 
final assembly in the U.S.
    This waiver would allow Orion to count the axle as domestic for 
the purposes of calculating overall domestic content of the vehicle. 
You request a waiver under 49

[[Page 25420]]

U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B), which states those requirements shall not 
apply if the item or items being procured are not produced in the 
U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a 
satisfactory quality. The implementing regulation provides that, 
``[i]t will be presumed that the conditions exist to grant this non-
availability waiver if no responsive and responsible bid is received 
offering an item produced in the United States.'' 49 CFR 
661.7(c)(1). The regulation goes on to note that, ``[t]he waivers 
described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section may be granted 
for a component or subcomponent in the case of procurement of the 
items governed by section 165(b)(3) of the Act (requirements for 
rolling stock). If a waiver is granted for a component or 
subcomponent, that component or subcomponent will be considered to 
be of domestic origin for the purposes of Section 661.11 of this 
part.'' 49 CFR 661.7(f). The regulations allow a bidder or supplier 
to request a non-availability waiver for a component or subcomponent 
in the procurement of rolling stock. See 49 CFR 661.7(f) and 49 CFR 
    You claim that the type of axle necessary for the production of 
the Orion II is not available from a domestic source. In addition to 
the representations in your correspondence, you have also provided 
me with letters from two U.S. manufacturers of the heavy-duty axle, 
Spicer Heavy Axle and Meritor Automotive, Inc. You represent that 
these are the only two such manufacturers, and they both indicate 
that they have no plans to manufacture the product in the U.S.
    Based on the information you have provided, I have determined 
that the grounds for a ``non-availability'' waiver do exist. 
Therefore, pursuant to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B), 
the waiver is hereby extended for the procurement of heavy-duty 
axles for the Orion II for the period of two years, or until such 
time as a domestic source for this heavy-duty axle becomes 
available. In order to insure that the public is aware of this 
waiver, particularly potential manufacturers, this waiver will be 
published in the Federal Register.
    If you have any questions, please contact Meghan G. Ludtke at 
(202) 366-4011.

      Very truly yours,
Gregory B. McBride,
Deputy Chief Counsel.
    Issued: April 26, 2000.
Nuria I. Fernandez,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 00-10779 Filed 4-28-00; 8:45 am]