U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration


Notice of Buy America Waiver Request

Action: Notice, request for comments.

Web posting date: 07/16/2010

Federal Register Notice of Finding Publication Date: 12/15/10

Effective Date of Federal Register: 12/16/10

Close of public comment period : 12/31/10

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 Steel Pipe; A53 Grade B, 26" OD, 0.375" wall. in the state of Pennsylvania.

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.

PennDOT contact: Jim McKnight 412.429.5061; e-mail; jmcknight@state.pa.us


Ronald Williamson 06/17/2010
Please be advised, Berg Steel Pipe Corporation, Panama City Florida is an API certified pipe mill that is very capable of making this size in the U.S. Ron Williamson VP Sales and Logistics 850-832-7001

Donald Bohach 06/18/2010
Our plant in Baton Rouge, LA has considerable capacity available and has the capability to produce this product. Steel coil is readily available and a likely source would be a company headquartered in Pennsylvania. Spending taxpayers' money on foreign steel and funding foreign workers, any time, is not right, at best, but in these times it is just plain wrong. On behalf of the 200 plus union employees at Stupp I strongly request that the waiver not be granted.

Ronald Williamson 06/25/2010
In addition to my previous comment dated 06/17/10 I would like to add, API certified pipe in this size manufactured by Berg Steel Pipe Corporation in the USA is currently stocked at U.S pipe distributors and is readily available.

Robert Griggs 06/25/2010
I represent Trinity Prod. a manufacture of large OD sprial weld steel pipe & while we presently can't produce A53 Gr B due to the need for hydro testing. We have two mills in the US that can, Stupp Corp (Baton Rouge, LA & Berg Steel, Panama City, FL)so this pipe should be purchased as Buy American as required. Robert Griggs, Pres. Trinity Prod. 800-456-7473

Larry Lawrence 06/29/2010
Our API certified DSAW pipe mill in Portland, OR has both the capability and capacity to produce 26" A56 Grade B pipe as well the ability to secure 100% domestic steel to meet the Buy America requirements. We therefore strongly recommend that this waiver not be granted. Larry Lawrence Senior Vice President Tubular Sales - Evraz Inc. NA

James R. McKnight 08/02/2010
Following is a summary of the responses to the comments posted on this website: (Note: Tony DiSimone, noted in the responses, is the Vice President of VSI Sales, representing JET Industries, the sign structure fabricator for the Prime's subcontractor, Strongstown B&K Enterprises, Inc., for the State Project, SR 0060-A40.) •FHWA Website Comments (1) and (3) from Ronald Williamson, dated 6/17/2010 and 6/25/2010, respectively, stated that Berg Steel Pipe Corporation, Panama City Florida, is very capable of producing the pipe in question. Additionally, they noted that the pipe is currently stocked at US pipe distributors and is readily available. Response: Tony DiSimone (VSI sales) contacted Ron Williamson of Berg Steel Pipe Corporation on June 23, 2010. Mr. DiSimone requested a quote for the pipe in question. Mr. Williamson responded back on June 24, 2010 and said he did not have the inventory in the size requested and that the quantity would be insufficient to set up for a new rolling. He recommended that Mr. DiSimone contact Jack McCarthy at McJunkin Red Man Corp. (314-982-9277). Mr. DiSimone had already received a regret from McJunkin Red Man Corporation. In an e-mail dated May 12, 2010, Fran Geier of McJunkin stated that USS does not make the size of pipe as welded A53GrB in question and that the size as A53Gr.B ERW is not made in the U.S. •FHWA Website Comment (2) from Donald Bohach, dated 6/18/2010, stated that his plant in Baton Rouge, LA has considerable capacity available and has the capability to produce the product in question. Response: On July 9, 2010, Mr. Tony DiSimone (VSI Sales) contacted Mr. Don Bohach (Stupp ) to inquire about his order. Mr. Bohach replied back on the same date that their only means of producing the 26 inch OD pipe would be by Spiral Welding and that he regretted that he could not respond any further. Their best option was to offer AOI-5L 24 inch OD X-52 PSL-2 pipe from stock, however, this is not the OD needed. •FHWA Website Comment (4) from Robert Griggs, dated 6/25/2010 noted that his company, Trinity Prod. could not produce the product in question but recommended Stupp Corp (Baton Rouge) and Berg Steel (Panama City). Response: Robert Griggs of Trinity Prod. stated on the website that Trinity cannot presently produce the A53 Gr B steel due to the need for hydrotesting. (Additionally, an e-mail correspondence from Trinity to Mr. Tony DiSimone (VSI Sales) dated July 9, 2010 notes that Trinity Product must regret on supplying domestic A53 26 x 375 Steel pipe.) Mr. Griggs recommended Stupp Corp. in Baton Rouge, LA and Berg Steel, Panama City, FL. As noted in above two bullet points, Stupp Corp. and Berg Steel were unable to supply the order in question. •FHWA Website Comment (5) from Larry Lawrence of Evraz Inc., dated 6/29/2010, stated that his pipe mill in Portland, OR has both the capability and capacity to produce the product in question. Response: Tony DiSimone (VSI Sales) contacted Evraz on July 7, 2010 and received a response back on the same date. Dave Coffin of Evraz responded back to Tony DiSimone (VSI Sales) that they do not have the inventory in stock due to the small quantity required . Their minimum rolling quantity is 1000 tons. They suggested Pioneer Pipe at 303-824-2204. Mr. DiSimone contacted Pioneer Pipe on July 8th and received a response on the same date from Mike Ellis of Pioneer Pipe, regretting that they have no availability on the item requested in domestically produced material. Mr.Ellis also noted that it may be difficult to locate as there are limited producers in the US that can make the product.

Donald Bohach 08/05/2010
As I understand the quantity is less than 600 tons and as a consequence it is of an amount that would be less than we require to establish a production run. It is a quantity that would be better suited for supply from a Distributor.

Ronald Williamson 08/10/2010
Discussion today 8/10/10 with Edwin Okonkwo the specification A53 Grade B vs API5L Grade B. The only difference is the method of manufacture. A53 is specified for ERW (electric resistance weld) API5L is specified for DSAW (double submerged arc weld) Physical and chemistry characteristics are the same. Mr. Okonkwo will contact PennDot with this information. I will provide a technical paper if needed. It is my understanding that McJunkin Redman Corp has quoted Mr. DiSimone API5l Grade B.

James R. McKnight 08/20/2010
PennDOT Publication 408, Section 948.2(a),permits API 5L,Grade B, PSL2 for columns, 24 inches and greater only. Truss chords are not included.

James R. McKnight 09/17/2010
Upon further research, the following has been noted: • On this project, use of API-5L, Grade X-42, PSL 2 was already approved as a substitute for A53 as long as it met the minimal requirements of A53 steel and the requirements of API-5L steel as described in Pub 408, Section 948.2a1b. • The steel in question has been found to be certified as this API-5L steel and it is the material that is non-domestic. • According to Mr. Tony DiSimone of VSI sales, this material was not available domestically at the time the steel in question was purchased. • With the response on the website that API-5L may be available and confirmation that API-5L was approved as a substitute for A53 steel on this project, Tony DiSimone was advised that he should contact the supplier. • Mr. DiSimone provided e-mails showing that he contacted McJunkin Red Man Corporation and received a quote. He e-mailed the quote to JET Industries and asked them to get the certs to verify that the pipe was domestic.What was found is that the API steel that was available was also melted from a foreign slab as is the material in question for this project. Additionally, the e-mail stated that there was not enough of this pipe on hand to complete the structure.

Ronald Williamson 10/01/2010
I have checked with McJunkin Red Man regarding the comment from Mr. DiSimone about the certification submitted. MTR's clearly stated melted and manufactured in the USA. Their was no mention on the certs about foreign slabs.

Ron Williamson 10/25/2010
These additional comments are submitted on behalf of Berg Steel Pipe Corp. of Panama City, Florida in response to the FHWA waiver notice 75 FR 64394 (Oct. 19, 2010) which accnounced that a waiver would be granted to supply certain pipe for the construction of signage on a federal highway in Pennsylvania. Berg Steel Pipe posted comments earlier in the process to explain that they could manufacture AP15L pipe to meet the specifications of the design for this project. Berg along with other domestic producers explained that this is a common type of pipe that can be used, rather than A53 pipe which was originally listed by the contracting parties. During the course of the public comment period Berg Steel Pipe communicated with officials at PennDot to explain that API5L line pipe could be used for this project. Conversations ensued and as of early October I learned that PennDot would issue an affirmative decision that AP15L product could be used for this project. This decision allowed us to work with a major steel distributor to confirm that this product could be used. Berg Steel Pipe agreed to these terms and is in the process of manufacturing the volume of pipe outlined in the contract for this project so it can be provided by the November 19, 2010, project deadline. We will supply this project and are pleased that the state agency was able to issue an affirmative decision so this project could use domestic product. I also provided this detailed information to FHWA Counsel on October 22, 2010, to further explain our position. I can be reached at this email address or by phone at (830) 873-8003 with any questions. Thank you, Ron Williamson, Vice President of Sales Berg Steel Pipe Corp., Panama City, Florida.

Ron Williamson 10/26/2010
As an additional comment, Berg Steel Pipe will use steel plate melted and manufactured in the U.S. from SSAB Steel located in Mobile, Al. Pipe will be manufactured in Panama City, Fl

Updated: 04/26/2024
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000