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EPA Grants

DBE Part 33 Exceptions

Consistent with 40 CFR 33.104 and 2 CFR 1500.3(b), an EPA assistance agreement recipient may request an exception from the requirements, in whole or in part, from 40 CFR Part 33 where the requirements are not specifically based on a statute or Executive Order. Since the publication of 40 CFR Part 33, the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is no longer the decision maker as the Office of Grants and Debarment now oversees this program. The EPA Office of Grants and Debarment Director, or designee, has the authority to approve exceptions from the DBE regulations.

  1. All requests must be:
    • Signed by the EPA assistance agreement recipient’s authorized representative
    • Submitted by email to:
      • Email Subject Line should include: DBE Waiver Request
  2. The request must include:
    • EPA assistance agreement number
    • Whether the exception request includes all or specific sections of Part 33.  If specific sections, then, when possible include the correlating regulation citation.
    • Background information which documents special or exceptional circumstances that make compliance with the requirements impractical
    • Specific proposal on how the EPA assistance agreement recipient intends to achieve the objectives of Part 33 as described in 33.101 which shows:
      • The reasonable basis concluding that the EPA assistance agreement recipient can achieve participation levels of MBE and WBE that is consistent with the objectives of Part 33
      • Conditions in the EPA assistance agreement recipient’s jurisdiction are appropriate for implementing the request
      • The request is consistent with applicable law
    • The requested duration of the exception
    • Any supporting information, including any relevant circumstances, that may impact the timing of EPA’s decision.

If the exception request is approved, the EPA assistance agreement recipient is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the recipient’s level of MBE/WBE participation is consistent with Part 33, and
  • Complying with any other conditions EPA may make as a condition of the approval. 

EPA may end the exception at any time upon notice to the EPA assistance agreement recipient and require said recipient to comply with the provisions of Part 33.