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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Help Rebuild Following Natural Disasters in Lancaster, South Carolina Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.8 million grant to the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District of South Carolina, to help support the Regional Wastewater Collection Rehabilitation project. The grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1 million in local investment.

“The Trump Administration is working hard to rebuild communities that were devastated by natural disaster,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This upgraded infrastructure will increase the resiliency of Lancaster’s wastewater system, while the special Opportunity Zone tax incentives will attract further business investment to the area.”

“Wastewater infrastructure is an important asset for growing communities like Lancaster County,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “President Trump and Secretary Ross have repeatedly shown that they recognize the need for infrastructure revitalization and that they are more than willing to invest in projects like the Regional Wastewater Collection Rehabilitation project. I look forward to seeing what this investment will mean to Lancaster County and its residents.”

“Reliable wastewater infrastructure is a critical utility for every municipality, and that is particularly true in growing communities like Lancaster County,” said Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05). “This grant should be very beneficial to the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District, and I am thrilled that these funds will be designated for use within our newly created Opportunity Zones.”

This investment will rehabilitate and upgrade existing sewer lines to support the Regional Wastewater Collection Rehabilitation Project. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Catawba Regional Council of Governments. EDA funds Catawba Regional Council of Governments 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.

The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.

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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