Build America Buy America Waivers

The Department of Education (the Department) may approve Build America Buy America waiver requests submitted by applicants and grantees under its 38 infrastructure programs when it determines that exceptions to the following requirements apply. For a list of the Department's infrastructure programs see:The Department of Education's List of Infrastructure Programs.

In accordance with section 70914 of the Build America, Buy America Act (Pub. L. No. 117-58), Department grantees funded under programs that allow for infrastructure projects (e.g., construction, remodeling, and broadband infrastructure) may not use their grant funds for these infrastructure projects or activities unless they comply with the following Buy America Sourcing requirements:

  1. All iron and steel used in the infrastructure project or activity are produced in the United States. 
  2. All manufactured products used in the infrastructure project or activity are produced in the United States; and 
  3. All construction materials are manufactured in the United States.

See the Waivers Opened for Public Comment, Approved and Denied section for waivers that are open for public comments, waivers that have been approved by the Department, and waivers that have been denied by the Department.

Resources

 


Summary of the Waiver Process

The Department may approve a waiver request from an applicant for grantee, if one or more of the following conditions is met:

  1. Applying the American sourcing requirement would be inconsistent with the public interest;
  2. the types of iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or of a satisfactory quality; or
  3. the inclusion of iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials produced in the United States will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent. 

The Department may approve, subject to notice and comment requirements and OMB review, the following types of waivers in accordance with sections 70914(b) and (d), 70921(b), 70935, and 70937 of the Build America, Buy America Act:

  1. Nonavailability Waivers – Waivers addressing the unavailability of American made iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials. 
  2. Unreasonable Cost Waivers – Waivers reflecting that the overall cost of the infrastructure project with domestic iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials exceeds by more than 25 percent the overall cost of the project with foreign iron, steel, manufactured products, or construction materials. 
  3. Public Interest Waivers, which include: 
    1. De Minimis Standard Waivers that exempt up to 5% of project costs up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold when this would advance the public interest
    2. Small Grants Waivers for grants below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold when this would advance the public interest (not yet available).
    3. Adjustment Period Waivers such as brief, time limited waivers to allow grantees to transition to new rules and processes when this would advance the public interest;
    4. International Trade Obligations Waivers when a grantee has assumed procurement obligations pursuant to the Government Procurement Agreement or any other trade agreement, and waivers to ensure compliance with such obligations may be in the public interest. and
    5. General Applicability Waivers that are issued under limited conditions, e.g., product-specific waivers for which there are known domestic sourcing challenges

Submitting a Waiver Request

For information about how to submit a waiver request, see the following:

  1. Domestic Sourcing Requirements and Grant Waiver Request Procedure (PDF, 217KB)
  2. BABAA Waiver Request Form – Under Review by OMB

Informal Public Comment

  1. Waiver requests are published on this webpage for 15 days. During this period, the Department welcomes the submission of informal public comment.
  2. Once the informal public comment period closes, the waiver request and a summary of the public comments received are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget's Made in America Office (MIAO) for its review. MIAO will review the waiver request for consistency with policy and will post the waiver request and MIAO's determination on its own public facing website for transparency purposes.  Simultaneously, the General Services Administration (GSA) will also post the waiver request on its Made In America website for transparency purposes. Neither MIAO nor GSA will solicit public comment.
  3. After MIAO completes its review, the Department will decide whether to grant the waiver.
  4. Once a decision is issued, the Department will notify the applicant or grantee of its decision. The decision will be posted on this webpage. If the waiver is a general applicability agency level waiver established by the agency (note, these types of waivers do not originate with an applicant or grantee) the agency will post its decision on this website without any further notification.

To submit public comments, email public comments to: BuildAmericaBuyAmericaWaiversPC@ed.gov. If an applicant or grantee is submitting a project or grant level waiver request, the public comment email must include the following in the email subject line: Name of Applicant or Grantee that submitted the waiver request, its PR Award number, and the Waiver Request Date, e.g., Waiver Submitted by Anywhere University; PR/Award Number P999X999999; Dated 99/99/9999.

Waiver requests that are open for public comment, approved, or denied are posted below.


Waivers Opened for Public Comment, Approved or Denied

Agency Level Waivers Open for Public Comment

The Department invites public comment in response to the following waiver(s). The comment period is open for 15 days. Please adhere to the comment due date. The Department will not accept public comments after the due date. Public comments must be submitted to BuildAmericaBuyAmericaWaiversPC@ed.gov.

  • De Minimis, Small Grants, and Minor Components Waivers- Under Review by OMB

Project or Grant Level Waiver Requests Open for Public Comment

The Department invites public comment in response to the following project or grant level waiver request(s). The comment period is open for 15-days. Please adhere to the comment due date. The Department will not accept public comments after the due date. Public comments must be submitted to BuildAmericaBuyAmericaWaiversPC@ed.gov.

Public comment emails must include the following in the email subject line: Name of Applicant or Grantee that submitted the waiver request, its PR Award number, and the Waiver Request Date, e.g., Waiver Submitted by Anywhere University; PR/Award Number P999X999999; Dated 99/99/9999.

  • Placeholder Waiver Requests Open for Public Comment

Approved Agency Level Waivers

Approved Project or Grant Level Waivers

  • Placeholder waivers approved.

Waiver Requests Denied

  • Placeholder waiver requests denied.

Contact

  • For questions about this webpage's content, contact Cleveland.Knight@ed.gov or Pedro.Romero@ed.gov.
  • For questions about a specific waiver request, contact the appropriate Education Program Contact listed above.


   
Last Modified: 09/21/2022