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U.S. Treasury Hints at Labor Requirements on Water, Sewer & Broadband Projects Financed with American Rescue Act Funds

May 13, 2021

Government- Mandated Project Labor Agreements & Local Hire Requirements

Buried within the U.S. Department of Treasury interim final rule (IFR) on how the $350 billion in state, local, and territorial government funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) can be spent, is language hinting the Department’s preference for “strong labor standards.” The IFR specifically highlights that water, sewer and broadband investments eligible for these funds are encouraged to use “project labor agreements and community benefits agreements that offer wages at or above the prevailing rate and include local hire provisions.” Projects receiving funding from ARPA will be required to provide information on how they are meeting these labor provisions. However, the IRF also states that Treasury will provide additional guidance and instruction on the reporting requirement at a later date. As we eagerly await additional guidance, AGC will continue to advocate against mandating anti-competitive labor provisions.

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