On February 25, 2011, the Department of Commerce announced a $1.38 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Dorchester County to build a water reclamation facility that will support the expansion of the Robert Bosch automotive plant to produce next generation automotive parts, including diesel and gasoline fuel injectors, antilock brake parts, and electronic stability control systems. Bolstering the region’s automotive industry cluster, this project is expected to generate over 300 new jobs, and will bring an investment of $125 million to the County.

“One of Dorchester County’s many objectives is to endorse energy efficient projects that will provide long-term benefits to sustain the County while expanding investment potential,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Larry Hargett. “The Bosch Reclaim Water Project was a win-win situation from an environmental, social, and economic standpoint. Through these leveraged funds, the County was able to maximize the use of public dollars with private dollars.”

“This project is a prime example of the County’s resourcefulness to achieve economic growth, and at the same time, improve quality of life concerns for Dorchester County’s citizens,” said Vice Chairman George Bailey of Dorchester County Council. “The County would like to thank both Congressman James Clyburn and Senator Lindsey Graham for their support of infrastructure development within Dorchester County, enabling the community to celebrate such a success as this.”

The project will provide a network of infrastructure needed to convert the existing Lower Dorchester Wastewater Treatment Plant into a water reclamation facility. Expected to save 80,000 gallons of water per day, this “green” project will reduce the consumption of energy, the pollution to water, and the use of

hazardous chemicals. The new facility will provide an environmentally sustainable source of reclaimed water, and an estimated 40-45 percent cost reduction on water resources.

As an environmentally friendly project, this grant marks Dorchester County’s first initiative to direct wastewater within the County, and is the second EDA grant that the County has received during a three-year period. In 2008, Dorchester County was awarded an EDA grant for $2.5 million to assist in the location of ArborGen’s global headquarters, which is now nearing completion.