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Notice of Request to Rescind Buy America Waiver for Minivans and Minivan Chassis

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Notice of Request to Rescind Buy America Waiver for Minivans and Minivan Chassis

Dorval R. Carter, Jr.
August 3, 2012


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 150 (Friday, August 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Page 46556]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19023]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2012-0029 ]


Notice of Request to Rescind Buy America Waiver for Minivans and 
Minivan Chassis

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of request to rescind Buy America waiver and call for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) has asked the Federal 
Transit Administration (FTA) to rescind the Buy America non-
availability waiver it issued on June 21, 2010, for minivans and 
minivan chassis. According to VPG, it manufactures minivans and minivan 
chassis that comply with all Buy America requirements under 49 CFR 
661.11, including the final assembly requirement that was the subject 
of the June 2010 waiver. FTA seeks public comment before deciding 
whether to grant the request. If granted, the waiver would no longer 
apply; all minivans and minivan chassis purchased with federal funds 
would have to comply with the final assembly requirement of 49 CFR 
661.11.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 4, 2012. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by one of the following means, 
identifying your submissions by docket number FTA-2012-0029:
    1. Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions 
for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site.
    2. Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the ``Federal 
Transit Administration'' and include docket number FTA-2012-0029. Due 
to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received 
through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties 
making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an 
express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not 
filed electronically or by hand. Note that all submissions received, 
including any personal information therein, will be posted without 
change or alteration to http://www.regulations.gov. For more 
information, you may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may 
visit http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary J. Lee, FTA Attorney-Advisor, at 
(202) 366-0985 or mary.j.lee@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of this notice is to seek public 
comment on whether the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) should 
rescind the non-availability waiver it issued on June 21, 2010 (75 FR 
35123). The waiver exempts minivans and minivan chassis from the Buy 
America final assembly requirements outlined at 49 CFR part 661, 
stating that it would remain in effect until such a time as a domestic 
source became available. If this waiver is rescinded, all minivans or 
minivan chassis purchased with Federal funds must comply with all Buy 
America requirements of 49 U.S.C. 5323(j), as implemented at 49 CFR 
661.11. Among other things, compliance would require that final 
assembly for all minivans and minivan chassis take place in the United 
States.
    The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) asked FTA to rescind the 
minivan waiver. VPG manufactures the MV-1, a minivan assembled by AM 
General LLC (AM General) at AM General's plant in Mishawaka, Indiana. 
VPG certifies that the MV-1 complies with Buy America requirements for 
both domestic content and final assembly. Moreover, VPG maintains that 
it manufactures its MV-1 minivans in sufficient quantity to meet the 
current and future demand on FTA-funded projects.
    With certain exceptions, FTA's Buy America requirements prevent FTA 
from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its 
program for a project unless ``the steel, iron, and manufactured goods 
used in the project are produced in the United States.'' 49 U.S.C. 
5323(j)(1). One exception, or waiver, is allowed if ``the steel, iron, 
and goods produced in the United States are not produced in a 
sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory 
quality.'' 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B). FTA issued a non-availability 
waiver on June 21, 2010, for minivans and minivan chassis after finding 
that these items were not available from a domestic source that was 
willing and able to provide U.S.-made minivans and minivan chassis to 
FTA grantees in compliance with the Buy America rules.
    Although FTA is not required to publish a notice in the Federal 
Register before waiving its Buy America requirements on the basis of 
non-availability, or to rescind such a waiver, FTA sought comment from 
all interested parties regarding the availability of domestically 
manufactured minivans and minivan chassis in order to fully determine 
the absolute necessity of a waiver. Upon finding that minivans and 
minivan chassis are not available from a domestic source, FTA issued a 
waiver from its Buy America final assembly requirement under 49 CFR 
661.11. However, FTA has continued to require compliance with FTA's 
domestic content requirement as well as the pre-award and post-delivery 
audit requirements under 49 CFR part 663.
    The purpose of this notice is to publish VPG's request and to seek 
comment from all interested parties. Comments will help FTA to 
understand completely the facts surrounding VPG's request. Therefore, 
FTA seeks comment from all interested parties regarding a potential 
rescission of the waiver, the merits of VPG's request, and any effects 
such an action may have. A full copy of VPG's request has been placed 
in docket number FTA-2012-0029.

    Issued on July 30, 2012.
Dorval R. Carter, Jr.,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2012-19023 Filed 8-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P



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