MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Bringing an expected $190 million economic investment and 100 new jobs, officials with the Fortune 500 company Clorox plan to build a cat litter manufacturing facility in southern Berkeley County, West Virginia, in the Tabler Station Business Park, joining the Procter & Gamble distribution center, Orgill and Carter Lumber.
The Clorox Company officials said, after working closely with local leadership, it took the first step in the process of bringing the manufacturing giant to West Virginia after filing sketch plans with the Berkeley County planning office.
“We’ve been excited about everything we’ve seen in West Virginia,” Michael Holly, vice president of product supply and the project’s executive sponsor, said.
The announcement comes about nine months after officials in neighboring Frederick County rejected changes that would have made it possible for the cat litter plant to locate on Quarry Lane in Clear Brook in the northeastern part of the county, next to Carmeuse Lime & Stone, a limestone quarry. Clorox uses limestone in its cat litter products. Multiple concerns from neighbors, including increased truck traffic on the rural road leading to proposed plant site, helped lead the county’s Board of Supervisors to its decision.
According to project leadership, the cat litter brands Fresh Step and Scoop Away will be produced at the Tabler Station location.
The Tabler Station plant will be the third Clorox plant in West Virginia — joining two Kingsford Charcoal plants in Mineral and Tucker Counties — making West Virginia the only state in the country with three Clorox manufacturing facilities, Holly said.
There are currently 19 Clorox manufacturing plants nationwide.
According to Holly, there were multiple reasons Berkeley County was chosen as the site for the company’s next project, including its existing infrastructure, easy access to Interstate 81, access to a “great, skilled and capable workforce” and rail access to haul raw materials.
“We take our environmental commitments very seriously,” Holly said, adding the railway’s proximity was a large driver for site selection so the company can continue striving for its environmental goals.
According to Eric Fetterman, Clorox project manager for the Tabler Station facility, the plant should be operational in 2022.
Fetterman said the hiring process would begin in 2021 and a large portion of those hired will come from the local community.
“We don’t do this often, so it says a lot when we move into an area,” Fetterman said. “Our commitment is for the long term. We’re really invested in the area.”
In an effort to be transparent with the public during this project process, Holly said they would be hosting open house events to allow the public to ask questions and see more details about the project.
The open houses will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn Martinsburg on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. and on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.
Plans for the plant ultimately need approval from Berkeley County’s governing body.