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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.3 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds for Wastewater System Upgrades to Support Business Expansion in Walterboro, South Carolina

Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.3 million grant to the city of Walterboro, South Carolina, for the construction of new sewer lines in support of economic growth in a region impacted by the declining use of coal. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This project will provide the wastewater infrastructure capacity needed to service a new manufacturing firm and to accommodate other existing and future business needs. The EDA investment will be matched with $814,375 in local funds and is expected to create 50 jobs and generate $1.9 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to supporting communities as they work to create economic opportunity and build a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide the wastewater treatment capacity necessary for local businesses to create jobs and build economic resiliency in the region.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Walterboro and its community as it works to grow the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will provide for modern water infrastructure to give the region a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and jobs, making the local economy more resilient and better equipped to overcome future economic disruptions.”

“I am pleased the EDA is using American Rescue Plan funding to support communities like Walterboro that have been impacted by the closing of coal plants,” said Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-06). “This investment in water infrastructure in the city will support new economic development needs and the creation of local jobs. It is a great example of federal investments addressing the needs of local communities.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Lowcountry Economic Development District (LEDD). EDA funds LEDD 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 EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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