Three workers at a construction site

Signed into law in November, the Build America, Buy America Act (BABAA) requires federal agencies to ensure that “none of the funds made available for a Federal financial assistance program for infrastructure, including each deficient program, may be obligated for a project unless all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in the project are produced in the United States.”

At the beginning of this month, EPA released a compliance waiver granting an adjustment period for State Revolving Funds (SRFs) Projects that initiated design planning prior to May 14, 2022. This waiver permits the use of non-domestic manufactured products and construction materials in projects funded by a Clean Water or Drinking Water SRF that may have been otherwise prohibited by the act’s requirements.

EPA proposed this waiver as a tool to aid the efficient implementation of BABAA requirements — not as an alternative to increasing domestic production.

In other environmental updates, we highlight the following in our Compliance News:

Ask an Expert: Compliance and permitting within design-build projects

Without proper preparation and execution, compliance and permitting in design-build projects can quickly become a costly project roadblock but it doesn’t need to be. Find out how from two of our experts, Liz Wilson and Kevin Dyson. Read “Ask an Expert”

EPA PFOA and PFOS designation proposal

The EPA has proposed to designate PFOA and PFOS, including their salts and structural isomers, as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund.

Final smog attainment status determinations

The Clean Air Act mandates that areas must meet certain ground-level ozone levels. On Sept. 16, the EPA announced the final determinations for meeting the 2008 or 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards under the act. The announcement details final rules, establishes new timeframes, and next steps to improve ozone air quality.

Ask an Expert: Compliance and permitting within design-build projects

In this month’s feature, BC experts Liz Wilson and Kevin Dyson share insight into how to best plan for compliance and permitting via the design-build delivery method.

BC's Liz Wilson and Kevin DysonThe design-build delivery method allows agencies to manage one contract with a team that provides both design and construction services. This method can often lead to faster project delivery, enhanced risk management, and more efficient cost control deployed to construction. This streamlining benefit can get derailed, however, if compliance and permitting (C&P) aren’t considered early in the design process. Without proper preparation and execution, C&P can quickly become a costly project roadblock but it doesn’t need to be!

Engaging a permitting team from the start allows the planning for regulator questions, permit triggers (regulatory thresholds), and other compliance and permitting factors. Time can be saved by aligning designs with C&P requirements in the initial phase, back and forth with agencies can be minimized, and the permit approval processes can be streamlined. While early engagement is key, C&P has considerations throughout the phases of a design-build project:

Preliminary design: Conceptual model, alternatives analysis

  • Site visit and assessment
  • Threatened and endangered species review
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Permit fee structure
  • Compliance timeframes
  • Early coordination with local/state authorities and other decision-makers
  • Permit pathways and alternatives

Design phase

  • Permit applicability
  • Design drivers (e.g., discharge location, siting requirements)
  • Disposal options/permits
  • Pretreatment/waste treatment options


  • Compliance with federal, state, local environmental approvals
  • Operational phases and plans
  • Registrations (e.g., tanks, Hazmat storage)
  • Permitting (e.g., emergency generator)
  • Managing permit adjustments

Transition to owner

  • Permit transfer/modification from contractor to owner
  • Construction permits closeout
  • Certificates of compliance
  • Long-term operations and maintenance

Schedules for projects are already balancing acts between construction seasons in some geographies, contractor schedules, equipment lead times and other factors that may be out of your control. Taking the time to incorporate C&P into your project early can help you mitigate risk of delays.

About the experts

Meghan Krishnayya, Indianapolis, is the Director of Technical Practices for Brown and Caldwell, with 25 years of experience in municipal and industrial markets. She guides strategies to deliver client value through differentiated technical solutions and expertise, with a personal passion around compliance; permitting; and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.

Liz Wilson is Principal Scientist, Environmental Compliance, for Brown and Caldwell. She is based in New Hampshire and has 17 years of environmental consulting and industry experience.

Kevin Dyson is Brown and Cadwell’s National Design-Build Practice Leader. He is based in Philadelphia and has nearly three decades of industry experience.

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