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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.7 Million for Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Infrastructure Upgrades in South Carolina

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.7 million in grants to the state of South Carolina to make critical infrastructure upgrades needed to help the state respond to recent natural disasters.

“The Trump Administration has repeatedly emphasized the need to upgrade America’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Ross. “After South Carolina was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Florence, I look forward to helping the state build greater resilience for extreme weather in the future, particularly in Abbeville where the grant will serve a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone.”

“South Carolina is proud to have a great working relationship with Secretary Ross and the U.S. Department of Commerce, and this announcement highlights all that is possible with communication, collaboration, and cooperation,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Team South Carolina works year-round to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster impacting the state. These grants will help the city of Abbeville and Winthrop University work towards becoming more resilient, and we are grateful for Secretary Ross’ commitment to those efforts.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • The city of Abbeville will receive $2.5 million to fund the upgrade of critical infrastructure to serve the Long Cane Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility. The upgrades will allow the facility to better respond to high-water events, such as those that occurred during Hurricane Irma. It will also maintain reliable and consistent services to current industrial and commercial customers. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Upper Savannah Council of Governments. EDA funds the Upper Savannah 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.
  • Winthrop University will receive $1.2 million to fund electrical upgrades to support disaster resiliency efforts being undertaken at the University, one of the area’s largest employers. This infrastructure is critical to the continued operation of the campus, especially in regard to disaster-related events. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Catawba Regional Economic Development District. EDA funds the Catawba Regional Economic Development District 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.

“Winthrop University is an invaluable part of our community, and provides much more than an excellent education to thousands of students,” said Congressman Norman. “The University is also responsible for hundreds of jobs, well-regarded research, and numerous economic and cultural initiatives throughout our area. Winthrop’s value cannot be understated. This grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will help ensure the University’s electrical infrastructure can meet its current and future needs, which is vital for the continued success of Winthrop and the benefit it provides to both South Carolina and our nation.”

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (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 (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 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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