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American Iron and Steel - What is this requirement and how do I comply?

The congressionally mandated American Iron and Steel (AIS) provision applies to Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) assistance recipients, and requires them to use iron and steel products that are produced in the United States. This requirement applies to projects for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public water system or wastewater treatment works. The AIS provision is a permanent requirement for all CWSRF projects. While the requirement is not yet permanent for DWSRF projects, it is in effect through at least Federal Fiscal Year 2017.

Loan recipients comply with the AIS requirement by including language in their contract(s) that, in turn, requires their contractor to purchase and utilize iron and steel that is American made. In most cases, it is not difficult to comply with the AIS provision, provided the contractor has planned ahead, and has sourced iron and steel products made domestically. Occasionally, a situation may occur where a “waiver” from the AIS regulations is needed. Existing national waivers include:

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order on “Buy American and Hire American,” which reinforces the current White House Administration’s commitment to programs such as AIS. As such, it is expected that there will be enhanced scrutiny on any and all AIS waiver requests. Thus, it is very important that WPCLF and WSRLA applicants and recipients bring any potential AIS waiver or compliance issues to DEFA’s attention as soon as possible.

In an effort to assist our borrowers, DEFA has developed a Construction Contract Requirements document that includes AIS guidance information and items such as sample certification forms.

In our experience, when there are questions about the AIS requirements or a potential need for a waiver, early communication between the loan recipient and DEFA is very helpful. If you should have any questions on the AIS requirement with respect to the WPCLF or WSRLA, please contact Jon Bernstein at jonathan.bernstein@epa.ohio.gov or (614) 644-3715.