MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, April 6, 2023) – Berkeley County Economic Development will host a Brownfield 101 community meeting on Tuesday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hut in St. Stephen, located at 180 Ravenell Drive.
This informational meeting will provide more details on the $500,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Berkeley County Council accepted in September 2022. Economic Development officials and representatives with Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on hand to answer questions.
This grant is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Grant Program and will help fund the first steps in a large-scale revitalization initiative to improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Specifically, the grant will allow the Town of St. Stephen, Berkeley County Economic Development, and the EPA to work together to determine brownfield sites in the St. Stephen area that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.
Brownfield sites are properties that are or may be contaminated with hazardous substances, pollutants, petroleum, or other contaminants that pose a barrier to productive reuse. Such sites are often are in struggling neighborhoods and areas with blight, deteriorated infrastructure, or other challenges. A brownfield site may include public or private properties, green spaces, or parks in need of preservation. The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970.
Members of the public are encouraged to submit information HERE if they own a property or know of a property in the St. Stephen area that could be considered for an assessment as a brownfield site. Landowners may be asked to participate in an assessment by providing information on the site’s history.
This EPA program also provides funding for these assessments—which are critical for determining real estate values—and will help identify and/or alleviate any potential environmental concerns at a site.
This revitalization initiative, which will be conducted in multiple phases, will include community input and engagement throughout the entirety of the process. For more information on the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Program, go HERE.
-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Redwood Materials, a producer of anode and cathode battery components for electric vehicles, along with Governor Henry McMaster, today announced plans to establish operations in Berkeley County. The company’s $3.5 billion investment, which marks the largest economic development announcement in the history of South Carolina, will create 1,500 new jobs.
“Redwood Materials’ record-breaking announcement shows that our state’s strategic plan to remain a top destination for automobile manufacturers and their suppliers as the industry innovates is working,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “This $3.5 billion investment, and the 1,500 jobs it will create in Berkeley County, is a transformative accomplishment that can only be attributed to the strong, talented, hardworking South Carolinians who make our state as great as it is.”
Headquartered in Carson City, Nevada, and founded by Tesla’s former Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder JB Straubel, Redwood Materials will use its South Carolina campus to create a circular supply chain for electric vehicles. To do so, the company will onshore production of the most critical components in batteries – the anode and cathode – to drive down costs and emissions while securing the supply chain within the United States. All battery components will be built from as much recycled material as possible. The more than 600-acre campus, located at Camp Hall Commerce Park in Ridgeville, will initially produce enough anode and cathode material for 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery cell production or 1 million electric vehicles each year.
“South Carolina’s commitment to creating a secure energy future and a competitive landscape for electric vehicle manufacturing, supported by a world-class workforce, fast and efficient logistics, zero-carbon electricity and a phenomenal site made it a smart decision for Redwood to invest here. Redwood’s South Carolina Battery Materials Campus will recycle, refine and remanufacture anode and cathode components allowing us to support our current and future customers in the heart of America’s battery belt. We’re ready to support this region and U.S. electrification by driving down battery costs, emissions, and reducing reliance on foreign supply chains,” said Redwood Materials Founder and Chief Executive Officer JB Straubel.
Currently, nearly 100% of the components required for electric vehicle batteries are manufactured overseas. Redwood Materials works to recover more than 95% of the critical minerals and rare earth elements from batteries, like nickel, cobalt, lithium, and copper, and then reintroduce those materials into the supply chain through the anode and cathode materials it produces for U.S. battery manufacturers.
Redwood Materials works with multiple partners that have existing operations across the U.S., such as Volvo, Envision AESC, Proterra, Panasonic, Volkswagen and Audi, for reclaiming and recycling end-of-life batteries and production scrap to produce battery components.
Operations will begin in 2023.
Individuals interested in working for Redwood Materials may apply by visiting the company’s website.
After the Joint Bond Review Committee recommended approval, the State Fiscal Accountability Authority authorized the issuance of General Obligation State Economic Development Bonds not exceeding $226 million, and notes in anticipation thereof, to offset the cost of acquiring the site, site improvements, related infrastructure and bond issuance costs.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development also awarded job development credits related to this project.
“The future of the automotive industry is paving a path through South Carolina, and Redwood Materials establishing operations in our state proves that point. The company’s historic announcement and the 1,500 new jobs it will create mean we are strengthening sustained, long-term economic growth that will benefit South Carolinians for years to come. We applaud Redwood Materials for their commitment to creating a circular economy here and working to shorten the supply chain through recycling efforts.”
-Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III
“South Carolina Ports is excited to welcome Redwood Materials to South Carolina. SC Ports is a critical supply chain partner for many of South Carolina’s advanced manufacturers, efficiently importing goods for production and exporting finished products to global markets. SC Ports looks forward to supporting Redwood Materials’ new investment that will strengthen our state’s position as a leader in automotive, electrification and sustainability.”
-SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin
“Redwood Materials represents a tremendous opportunity for South Carolina to increase our sustainable manufacturing footprint and supply chain security. Redwood Materials fits perfectly with Santee Cooper’s vision in developing Camp Hall, and we are proud to welcome JB Straubel and his team to Berkeley County, South Carolina.”
-Santee Cooper Director Stephen H. Mudge
“This historic investment in Berkeley County will offer unique career opportunities for our citizens and region. Redwood Materials’ investment will also allow for significant investments in road infrastructure, schools, and public safety, improving the overall quality of life for our residents.”
-Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb
“This record-setting economic development win will have a significant positive return on investment for our community. Congratulations to Redwood Materials, our partners in Berkeley County, and to everyone involved in this impactful economic development deal that will bring not only high-paying jobs to our residents, but innovation opportunities to our region.”
-Charleston Regional Development Alliance Board Chairman and President and CEO of Berkeley Electric Cooperative Mike Fuller
FIVE FAST FACTS
- Redwood Materials is establishing operations in Berkeley County.
- The company’s $3.5 billion investment, which marks the largest economic development announcement in state history, will create 1,500 new jobs.
- Redwood Materials will produce anode and cathode battery components for electric vehicles to drive down costs and emissions while securing the supply chain within the United States.
- Locating at Camp Hall Commerce Park in Ridgeville, S.C.
- Individuals interested in joining the Redwood Materials team should visit the company’s website.
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, September 15, 2022) – At its meeting on Monday, September 12, 2022, Berkeley County Council approved a $500,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to help fund a large-scale revitalization initiative to greatly improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Watch the full Council meeting HERE.
This grant, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Community Wide Assessment Grant Program, will help fund environmental assessments on properties located within a certain designated Census Tract in the St. Stephen area. With the help of community and residential input, the Town of St. Stephen—together with the EPA and Berkeley County Economic Development—will conduct up to 15 site inventories of brownfield sites, in the St. Stephen area, that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.
The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970. Another goal of this large-scale initiative will be to develop a complete revitalization plan unique to St. Stephen.
Public meetings and community engagement will be critical throughout this process. More information on public meetings will be forthcoming.
“County Council is committed to improving access to resources and employment opportunities for people throughout Berkeley County. This grant will not only help fund these initiatives, but also ensure the St. Stephen community is involved in the process. Berkeley County’s success is directly related to the success of its citizens; inviting the public to the table on critical decision-making efforts like this one are what makes us #OneBerkeley.” -Johnny Cribb, Berkeley County Supervisor
“The town of St. Stephen is grateful that the EPA selected us to receive one of the 2022 Brownfields Program Grants for $500,000. We were the only municipality in Berkeley County to receive this. In countless other communities around the United States, the EPA’s Brownfield Program has had a proven track record of leveraging private sector investment, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. St. Stephen will use this Brownfields Grant to spur our town with redevelopment and cleanup projects and bring sustained economic growth. We are thankful for the support of the Berkeley County Economic Development Office and their ability to work with myself, Town Council, and the Town’s administration to write the grant proposal. We are ready to collaborate with the various committees that will be comprised of St. Stephen residents and business owners to help us continue to grow and revitalize our town. It has been well worth the wait. This is the first of many blessings in store for our great town.” -John Rivers, St. Stephen Mayor
-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-