Bill includes initial funding for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility relocation

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., recently applauded Senate passage of the Conference Report to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.

The bill includes $32 million of funding for the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) to be relocated in Manhattan, Kan. The Conference Committee report is the final bill that was negotiated to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation.

The House has already passed the conference report and the bill now heads to the president to be signed into law.

Big step

“The passage of this final bill is a huge step in relocating NBAF to Kansas and provides $27 million for design and planning and $5 million to begin construction of the lab,” said Brownback. “There is no better place for NBAF than in Kansas, which is already the center of the world’s best animal health research, and this lab is vitally important to protecting our nation’s food supply.”

Roberts said, “The Congress has made a significant investment to the new NBAF in Kansas. I want to thank Sen. Brownback for his hard work in Committee and look forward to working with the state and the Department of Homeland Security as the $32 million in design and construction funding is spent.”

Brownback is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the subcommittee on Homeland Security, and was a part of the conference committee negotiations.

Roberts is the honorary chair of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Task Force and spearheaded the effort, beginning in 2005, to bring National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to Kansas.

The aging National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility lab on Plum Island, N.Y., is being phased out and moved to Manhattan, Kan.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility lab, sometimes referred to as the CDC for animal science, will ensure public health and the safety and security of our national food supply. It will provide integrated research, response and diagnostic capabilities to protect animal and public health.

Funds

Of the $32 million appropriated for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, $27 million can be used immediately upon the president’s signature for design, planning, technical assistance, engineering, site preparation and overhead. The $5 million designated for construction will be release upon completion and review of a risk mitigation assessment, an emergency response plan, and an outline on working with the USDA on the required permits to conduct FMD research.

Earlier this month in the Agriculture Appropriations bill, Congress approved $1.5 million for researchers to begin National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility work already certified to be done at Kansas State University at current campus facilities prior to construction of the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility lab.

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