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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Make Critical Water Infrastructure Upgrades Needed to Protect Businesses from Natural Disasters in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4 million grant to the Plaquemines Parish Government in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, to make water infrastructure improvements needed to protect businesses from the impact of future natural disasters. The EDA grant, to be matched with more than $1 million in local investment, is expected to help create 625 jobs and retain 6,000 jobs.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters not only to build back, but also to build back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will promote economic resilience and long-term disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Plaquemines Parish.”

“Building up our infrastructure in preparation for the next natural disaster is of national importance,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This grant boosts resiliency and we appreciate the president and his administration for their support.”

“Projects like the new raw water intake pump station at the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant are an important investment in local communities,” said Senator Kennedy. “Plaquemines Parish needs adequate public infrastructure to grow and thrive.”

“I’m happy to hear the Trump Administration is providing funding to the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant for a new pump station,” said House Whip Steve Scalise. “With my support, Congress appropriated this funding specifically to help communities across the country recover and better prepare for future disasters, and I’m glad to see this money will be put to good use in Louisiana. I’ll continue to fight for flood and storm protection projects in Southeast Louisiana.”

The investment funds the construction of a new raw water intake pump station for the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant (BCWTP). This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (NORPC). EDA funds NORPC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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