Guide to BABA Compliance

BABA, or Build American, Buy American, has become the hottest acronym in pumpout systems. There is plenty of confusion around what’s covered by these requirements and what they mean.

The overarching legislation that created BABA is called the IIJA, or Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The IIJA governs eligibility of infrastructure projects to receive government funding based on where the materials and labor going into the project come from.

For IIJA and BABA to be applicable to a project, the project must be a publicly funded (CVA Grants are publicly funded) infrastructure project (a pumpout system is a permanent fixture that’s left in place, so it counts as infrastructure) that serves the public (recreational boaters). Any pumpout system that’s available for use by the public and is funded with CVA funding is subject to IIJA/BABA requirements.

BABA compliance is only applicable to projects using funds awarded after May 14, 2022. State CVA grants may still be using funds awarded before that date. Check with your state’s CVA Administrator to find out if this affects your project.

There are three basic materials categories within IIRJ: iron and steel, manufactured products, and non-ferrous construction materials. Let’s look at a typical pumpout system and apply the IIJA/BABA requirements to it.

The pump is a manufactured product. “Pump” includes the pump, the motor, the junction boxes and switches, hoses, hose couplings, pump housings, VFDs, the cart, check valves within the hoses, splash guards, and parts that are directly used as part of the pump. BABA requires that 60% or more of the total cost of all components of a manufactured product used in a publicly-funded infrastructure project must be mined, produced, or manufactured in the US. The end product must be manufactured in the US.

The current 60% threshold increases to 65% in 2024, and will increase to 75% in 2029.

A pump (as described above) whose component cost is greater than 60% US sourced, and is manufactured in the US, is compliant. A pump whose component cost is 100% US sourced, but is manufactured outside the US, is not compliant.

PVC pipe used to plumb the system along the dock is categorized as non-ferrous building materials, and must be entirely made in the US, from US-sourced materials. Even though this pipe is used with the pump, it’s not part of the pump and so gets classified separately. In order for the project to be BABA compliant, you must use compliant PVC pipe. PVC pipe manufacturers certify their pipes with regard to BABA compliance.

Suppose we build a rebar-reinforced concrete pad for the pump to sit on. Rebar is classified as iron and steel, and so is subject to similar requirements as the PVC pipe. All of the rebar must be made from metal that is melted, poured, and formed in the US in order to be compliant.

Now let’s say we plumb to a sewer line using cast iron pipe. That pipe is also iron and steel construction material, so it must be made from metal that is melted, poured, and formed in the US. The rebar and pipe manufacturers are responsible for certifying their compliance with IIJA/BABA.

These examples all use an entirely new system, built from the ground up. Existing elements that will be reused with a new pump system don’t need to be compliant with BABA requirements. For example, if the PVC plumbing along the docks was installed in 2010 and just the pump is being replaced, the PVC isn’t part of the BABA compliance question – only the replacement pump would need to be compliant.

Edson’s pump systems are currently BABA compliant and will remain so with the scheduled threshold increases in 2024 and 2029. If you require further information or more detailed documentation of Edson Pumps compliance, please contact us.