NBAF recommended for Kansas
The office of Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., has confirmed that the federal government will recommend a site in Kansas for a new $450 million laboratory to study biological threats like anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease.
The Department of Homeland Security’s choice of Manhattan, Kan., beat out intense competition from other sites in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas for what is known as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility or NBAF.
A formal announcement wasn’t expected until later this week, when the agency releases an environmental impact statement.
The choice won’t be made final until sometime after a 30-day window for comments on the decision, which could face legal challenges from losing states.
The new lab would replace an aging facility on Plum Island, N.Y.
Under the Kansas proposal, the lab would be built on the campus of Kansas State University adjacent to the Biosecurity Research Institute.
Kansas officials said the state was uniquely qualified for the new facility because it is home to a large number of animal-science companies and research operations. The state also approved the issuance of $105 million in bonds that could be used to help develop the new facility.