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Notice of Buy America Waiver

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Notice of Buy America Waiver

Stephen P. Wood
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
April 20, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 75 (Monday, April 20, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21797-21798]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08954]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0021]


Notice of Buy America Waiver

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Buy America waiver.

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SUMMARY: This notice provides NHTSA's finding that a waiver of the Buy 
America requirement is appropriate for the purchase of Radian model 120 
convertible car seats by the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency, using 
Federal grant funds. NHTSA finds that a non-availability waiver of the 
Buy America requirement is appropriate for the purchase of these car 
seats using Federal highway safety grant funds because there are no 
suitable products produced in the United States.

DATES: The effective date of this waiver is April 30, 2015. Written 
comments regarding this notice may be submitted to NHTSA and must be 
received on or before: May 5, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted using any one of the 
following methods:
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Fax: Written comments may be faxed to (202) 493-2251.
     Internet: To submit comments electronically, go to the 
Federal regulations Web site at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200

[[Page 21798]]

New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All comments submitted in relation to this waiver 
must include the agency name and docket number. Please note that all 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You 
may also call the Docket at 202-366-9324.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program issues, contact Barbara 
Sauers, Office of Regional Operations and Program Delivery, NHTSA 
(phone: 202-366-0144). For legal issues, contact Andrew DiMarsico, 
Office of Chief Counsel, NHTSA (phone: 202-366-5263). You may send mail 
to these officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice provides NHTSA's finding that a 
waiver of the Buy America requirements, 23 U.S.C. 313, is appropriate 
for the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency to purchase 20 Radian model 
120 convertible car seats using grant funds authorized under 23 U.S.C. 
402 (section 402). Section 402 funds are available for use by State 
Highway Safety Programs that, among other things, encourage the proper 
use of occupant protection devices, including child restraint systems. 
23 U.S.C. 402(a).
    Buy America provides that NHTSA ``shall not obligate any funds 
authorized to be appropriated to carry out the Surface Transportation 
Assistance Act of 1982 (96 Stat. 2097) or [Title 23] and administered 
by the Department of Transportation, unless steel, iron, and 
manufactured products used in such project are produced in the United 
States.'' 23 U.S.C. 313. However, NHTSA may waive this requirement if 
``(1) its application would be inconsistent with the public interest; 
(2) such materials and products are not produced in the United States 
in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory 
quality; or (3) the inclusion of domestic material will increase the 
cost of the overall project contract by more than 25 percent.'' 23 
U.S.C. 313(b). In this instance, NHTSA has determined that a waiver is 
appropriate for the purchase of Radian Model 120 convertible car seats 
because there is no comparable product produced domestically that meets 
the need identified by the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency--
specifically, child seats that can safely transport children from 5 to 
80 pounds in the patient compartment of an ambulance and that occupy 
minimal space in the ambulance when not in use.
    The New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency seeks a waiver for one of 
its grantees, the New Hampshire Emergency Medical Services for Children 
Program (EMSC), to purchase 20 Radian car seats for use by ambulance 
services throughout New Hampshire. The Radian model 120 convertible car 
seat was selected by these programs because it has a 5 to 80 pound 
weight allowance, which meets the equipment requirements in Chapter 
Saf-C 5900 of the New Hampshire Emergency Medical Services Rules. The 
New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency states that the selected model is 
preferred because the car seat folds flat, limiting the storage space 
it occupies. The New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency further notes that 
the New Hampshire rules specify an extensive list of equipment that 
must be included in an ambulance, and that ambulance services have 
stated that there is insufficient space to store typical child seats 
that do not fold.
    The New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency notes that ``Working Group 
Best-Practice Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Children 
in Emergency Ground Ambulances,'' issued by NHTSA in September 2012, 
recommends that children transported by ambulance are secured using a 
size-appropriate child restraint system in either the cot (stretcher) 
or the captain's chair. The Radian model is convertible and can be used 
on the ambulance cot and the captain's chair to secure children up to 
80 pounds in a 5-point harness. Finally, the Radian Model 120 has a 
steel alloy frame that gives the seat a life span of 10 years.
    The model, sold through the Diono Company, retails for 
approximately $240 per seat. It is manufactured in China.
    NHTSA conducted an assessment of available child restraints and is 
not aware of a comparable child seat produced in the United States. The 
Radian model 120 seat is unique in the child seat market because it can 
safely secure children from 5 to 80 pounds in the captain's chair or 
cot of an ambulance and can fold to create a thin profile, minimizing 
necessary storage space in an ambulance. NHTSA is not aware of any 
domestically-produced child seats on the market that are convertible, 
have a 5 to 80 pound weight allowance, and fold to create a thin 
profile. NHTSA was able to locate one domestically-produced convertible 
car seat, the Safety 1st 3-in-1 Elite Air 80 Convertible Car Seat, 
which has a 5 to 80 pound weight allowance and a steel frame and can 
secure children up to 80 pounds in the harness. However, the Elite Air 
80 does not fold to create a thin profile. Although this car seat is 
made in the United States, NHTSA believes it is not comparable to the 
Radian Model 120 because it does not fold to create a thin profile, 
which is a factor because ambulance services have stated that there is 
insufficient space to store typical child seats that do not fold.
    Since a child seat that meets the requirements identified by the 
New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency is unavailable from a domestic 
manufacturer, the Buy America waiver is appropriate. NHTSA invites 
public comment on this conclusion.
    In light of the above discussion, and pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 
313(b)(2), NHTSA finds that it is appropriate to grant a waiver from 
the Buy America requirement to the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency 
to purchase Radian Model 120 child seats. This waiver applies to New 
Hampshire and all other States seeking to use section 402 funds to 
purchase Radian Model 120 child seats for the purposes mentioned 
herein. These waivers will continue through fiscal year 2015 and will 
allow the purchase of these items as required by the New Hampshire 
Highway Safety Agency. Accordingly, this waiver will expire at the 
conclusion of fiscal year 2015 (September 30, 2015). In accordance with 
the provisions of Section 117 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, 
Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy of Users Technical 
Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-244, 122 Stat. 1572), NHTSA is 
providing this notice as its finding that a waiver of the Buy America 
requirement is appropriate. Written comments on this finding may be 
submitted through any of the methods discussed above. NHTSA may 
reconsider this finding if through the comments it learns of and can 
confirm the existence of a comparable domestically made product to the 
Radian Model 120 child seat.
    This finding should not be construed as an endorsement or approval 
of the products by NHTSA or the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 
United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 313; Pub. L. 110-161.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
1.95.
Stephen P. Wood,
Acting Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-08954 Filed 4-17-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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