AGA submitted a letter to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) docket strongly supporting the request from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for a limited waiver from provisions in the “Buy America”, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The waiver was necessary for a subset of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utility materials necessary for relocation project referred to as the “Cordelia I-80/I-680/State Route (SR) 12 Project” which is designed to reduce congestion, accommodate increases in traffic and address safety concerns. The vast majority of materials used on this important highway project will meet Buy America requirements. The public safety and jobs benefits derived from advancing this project are in the public interest.
AGA comments also explained that it is important that the FHWA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) decide if Buy America requirements should be applied to utility relocation agreements, and if necessary to provide a reasonable framework for utilities to comply without disrupting ongoing projects. AGA believes this framework would need to include several key elements:
- Clarify the requirements.
- Allow a transition period.
- Apply timely, streamlined waivers where appropriate.
- Establish consistent requirements for utility relocations across transportation modes.
- Provide training and education.
AGA Comments to U.S. DOT on Buy America Waiver Request
Date: July 19, 2013
AGA and other transportation industry trade associations sent the Secretary of Transportation a follow up letter to the memorandum of June 28, 2013, in which they requested his leadership to resolve the uncertainty that has resulted from the decision by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to begin applying Buy America requirements to utility relocation agreements.
Buy America Act - Letter to Secretary Anthony Foxx (Sep 17, 2013)
Date: September 17, 2013