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Notice of Buy America Waiver Request Request

Action: Notice, request for comments.

Web posting date: 07/25/2017

Federal Register Notice of Finding Publication Date: to be determined

Effective Date of Federal Register: to be determined

Close of public comment period: 15 days following the effective date

Summary: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking comments on whether a waiver of the Buy America requirements of 23 CFR 635.410 should be granted to permit the use of non-domestic Flyght Submersible Model NT-3202.095 pumps (2), accessories and control panel for improvement of existing pump station on I-91 Northbound, Guilford, VT in the state of Vermont.

FHWA will only consider a Buy America waiver when the conditions of 23 CFR 635.410( c) have been met: (1) when the application of the provision would be inconsistent with the public interest; or (2) when steel and iron products are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities, which are of a satisfactory quality.

The FHWA will consider all comments received in the initial 15-day comment period during our evaluation of the waiver request. Comments received after this period, but before notice of our finding is published in the Federal Register, will be considered to the extent practical. Follow-up coordination on the comments received may result in a delay in the publication of our waiver finding in the Federal Register. Comments received during the 15-day comment period after notice of our finding is published in the Federal Register will be reviewed, but the finding will continue to remain valid. Comments received during the comment period after the effective date of the finding will be reviewed, and may influence the FHWA's decision to terminate or modify a finding.

Vtrans Contact: Tina Bohl (802)-828-0177, tina.bohl@state.vt.us

Comments

William Ruhling 07/25/2017
I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT COMPARABLE PUMPS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FROM OTHER MANUFACTURERS THAT WILL MEET THE PUMPING CONDITIONS OF THE PROJECT AND MEET THE BUY AMERICA PROVISION.

John Kaminski 07/25/2017
It is disappointing that you would even consider buying outside of the US. There are thousands of custom fabricators in the US that are completely capable of manufacturing this. Maybe we should just move everything overseas...then we can all be homeless. #doyourdamnjob!

Gary Strome 07/25/2017
Perhaps we should get rid of Vermont and keep the foreign pumps. There should be at least 10 superior grade pumps made in the USA that are price compatible with the Flyght. Come on Tina, do your homework!

Jim Burford PE 07/25/2017
Grundfos | The full range supplier of pumps and pump solutions

Jim Burford PE 07/25/2017
Grundfoes Pumps - California Grundfos | The full range supplier of pumps and pump solutions

Banks Samuel 07/27/2017
I would like to know why is it that these types of parts are ever even considered for other vendors some things should be off limits.

Rachael Wold 08/07/2017
Lets try to keep comments professional, this is not a social media site. I agree that we should be using domestic whenever possible, however if you read the summary it clearly states that it is for "improvement of existing pump station". Which means that they also have to ensure that any items that are being replaced are compatible with existing components as well as the existing monitoring system. The majority of these pumps are proprietary and require the use of approved components that are compatible with their system (this is typically the case regardless of who the manufacturer is). Upgrading the entire system would NOT be consistent with public interest. Furthermore, using unapproved components can and will void any warranty.

You have to look at the entire picture to get the full story. This waiver should not only be approved, but the national waiver for COTS products containing steel or iron components should be as well.

Joseph L. Capella 09/09/2017
As Project Manager for PA DOT in 2000 I managed the Vine Street Expressway Pump stations modification project aka SR 0476, Section PMP. We used the proprietary Flygt submersible pumps and mixers at that time because Flygt was the only company able to produce the pump discharge capacity necessary while utilizing telemetry with the pumps as to gauge the inside temperature of the pumps and transfer that data to our headquarters 20 miles away. Although this company at the time was a Swede owned company they had an American office with an assembling and manufacturing facility in Malvern PA. We visited the facility and conducted internal meetings concerning the discharge capacities of sediment latent storm water, spacing requirements, capability to mixed and pumped with minimal maintenance and cost, number of operating pumps , number of reserve pumps, accessibility to mixers and pumps, sequence of pump maintenance , benefits of telemetry and, pump turnoff and restart protocol, energy usage, airflow arrangement with housing, staging area for maintenance, etc. Urban Engineers of Philadelphia was the selected consultant to design the improvements to the pump stations and they performed admirably.

I find it hard to believe that the individual parts there components and casings were molded and produced overseas and shipped to Malvern for assembly only. I believe the Swedes trust there affiliate in Malvern with the molds. All that said, my comment is NO out of state manufacturing or assembly should be allowed. Since 2000 there must be other American Companies that can fulfill the Flygt pumps capacities and possibly surpass their functions. Flygt was the proper proprietary devices to use at that time and can be the right pump for Vermont DOTs functional needs; however no part/s, housings, or casings need to be manufactured in another county. If they can not make the products in America, then do not allow them as an approved equal; however if Flygt shares their molds for parts, housings and casings with one another the US contingency would most likely meet the Vermont DOT specification. Determine the capacity the discharge volume the rate of discharge and determine that there are at least three (3) approved equals in America that could bid on the project. Maintenance of the pumps that safely and quickly eliminate storm water buildup on the highways is paramount especially in a sump or low lying condition. Of course the fewest pumps to house that can meet the discharge capacity is ideal , but can we live with a slightly less discharge rate and capacity in order to open more competition to bid the project?

Final note, the charts that describe the discharge capacity, time to discharge and space needed for housing are all vital, but the pricing needs to be competitive. This is the wonderful aspect of American procurement. Our goal in America procurement aka contract management offices is to set minimum requirements, broaden the competitive market and maintain the laws established in order to provide an even playing field and honest bidding.

Robert Clark 10/02/2017
Response from local supplier of Grundfos Pumps

Robert,

After much consideration I regret to inform you that Grundfos does not have a selection for this application. As they state it would work for a pro cav but theyve tried that I know.

FYI we used to rep a pro cav pump vendor, SEEPEX, and we did a very successful job with two pump stations that handle the waste generated at the Jackson Gore development at Okemo Ski area. High head and a long FM pumping to the Ludlow, VT WWTP. The SEEPEX pumps have grinders in front of them to reduce the solids before they get transported. Check out SEEPEX; great company and great pumps.

Michael D Sullivan David F Sullivan & Assoc. 19 Batchelder Rd., Suite 2B Seabrook, NH 03874 www.davidfsullivan.com ph: 508-878-1016

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Updated: 04/24/2018
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