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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4 Million to Improve Water Infrastructure in Stevenson, Washington Opportunity Zone

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 city of Stevenson, Washington, to make critical wastewater infrastructure improvements needed to support business growth throughout the region. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with more than $1 million in local funds and is expected to create 371 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to supporting efforts that drive private investment to Opportunity Zones,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide Stevenson with the water infrastructure it needs to support business expansion and economic resiliency efforts following flood events. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will grow and diversify the regional economy.”

“Stevenson was impacted by severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides in 2017,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will help the town become more resilient in the face of future natural disasters, and its location in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone provides additional incentive for business development.”

The funding announced today goes to one of Washington’s 139 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development 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 Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 116-20) (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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