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Notice of Buy America Waiver Request Request

Action: Notice, request for comments.

Web posting date: 01/11/2012

Federal Register Notice of Finding Publication Date: 03/30/12

Effective Date of Federal Register: 03/31/12

Close of public comment period: 04/15/12

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 Eight 2012 Ford Escape hybrid 4WD vehicles in the state of Merced County, CA.

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.

The County of Merced is requesting a partial Buy America waiver for the foreign iron and steel products contained in the ford escape hybrid.

Merced County DPW contact: Steven E. Rough (209)-385-7601


Robert Lewis 01/12/2012
If these vehicles were purchased by the DOD, or other government agencies, then would not FAR apply and these vehicles would qualify?

M S JAWADI 01/12/2012

Heather Obora 01/12/2012
There are plenty of Made in America vehicles that would fit a specification of this nature that would also be technically acceptable.

David Martin 01/12/2012
I support permiting the use of (8) 2012 Ford Escape hybrid vehicles in Merced County, CA. I do however question the need for the 4WD. 4WD increases the cost of a vehicle and it's operating cost during it's useful life. 2WD models should be considered instead.

Robyn Rhymes 01/12/2012
Grant the waiver. If there are no comparable vehicles with 100% USA made parts, then what can they do? Maybe this will stir some of our automakers into making brands that are 100% USA made, and those companies will get all of the federal dollars. It makes sense, and I wish I had the resources and know how to do it myself!

Aaron Grace 01/12/2012
I suppose as long as part of the vehicle is made in the U.S. and there are no other viable alternatives to this particular vehicle, the waiver is acceptable. That said, Merced County, CA should look into any alternative vehicles comparable to the Escape Hybrid 4WD that are fully manufactured in this country.

Simon Cordova 01/13/2012
I see no problem with a partial Buy America waiver.

Steven E. Rough 02/10/2012
I want to thank everyone for their comments on Merced County's request for a partial waiver for the purchase of (8) 2012 Ford Escape hybrid vehicles. Much of the work done by our office includes access to active road and bridge construction sites all-year round during any type of weather; as a result, we have specified 4WD vehicles to provide a vehicle that will meet this need. The funds being used for this acquisition are federal Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Program (CMAQ) funds. As a result, the need to acquire a vehicle with low emissions was a requirement for funding. Thus, many similar vehicles not using hybrid technology could not be considered. Our office spent considerable time trying to identify vehicles to meet our access needs that are fully manufactured and assemble in the United States. Based on this research, we do not believe there is any new vehicle available for purchase in the United States will fully satisfy the federal Buy America policy. Either a portion of the vehicle is assembled outside the United States or parts and steel used in the manufacture of the vehicle is produced outside the United States. The Ford Escape Hybrid seems to provide the needed features while maximizing the use of domestic manufacturing sources.

Tom Barrio 09/25/2012
We have put a bid on the street to purchase alternative support vehicles and have had zero response. It appears that no auto manufacgture of alternative fueled support vehicles can meet the FTA Buy America, at this time. I support Merced County. And does anyone know of a Auto Mfg that meets the Buy America? I have about 100 pages of Buy America Certificates from GM for 2013 model year vehicles but none are alternative fueled such as hybrids or natural gas?

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Updated: 11/21/2017
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