Archive for August 5, 2008

Source: Independent Weekly

U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, whose congressional district includes Wake and Granville counties, announced today that he is withdrawing his support for locating the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Butner.

His statement is below:

“I am today notifying the Department of Homeland Security that I do not support locating the National Bio Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) at the proposed Butner site. I have worked with other members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation to urge the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work closely with elected officials and citizens in Granville County to address concerns about the proposed facility. The Government Accountability Office and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, among others, have raised sober, serious concerns about the facility that DHS has not satisfied. If democracy means anything, local elected officials speak for the people of their community, and local elected officials in Granville County now oppose bringing the facility to Butner. I cannot support bringing a federal facility to a community in my district that does not welcome it.

“I continue to believe that we must do the research that would be conducted at the proposed facility to protect public health and our food supply, whether at the current location at Plum Island or elsewhere, and that wherever the research is done it must be done safely



Raleigh opposes bio-Lab

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a resolution formally opposing locating a federal research lab in Granville County.

Butner is one of five finalist locations that the Department of Homeland Security is considering for a National Bio- and Agro-Defense facility, which would study animal diseases and diseases spread from animals to humans.

Supporters say the lab would bring about 1,500 short-term construction jobs and would eventually employ up to 500 people and could generate $6 billion in the local economy over the next two decades.

Local residents have rallied in opposition to the proposed lab, fearing germs for diseases like avian flu and Mad Cow could be released in the community or a possible terrorist attack.

Granville County officials also withdrew their support for the lab earlier this year.

The Raleigh City Council asked Homeland Security officials six months ago to answer questions they had about protecting the headwaters of Falls Lake, the city’s primary reservoir, from any contamination from the lab.

City Manager Russell Allen said the federal officials haven’t adequately answered the city’s questions, so he recommended the council formally oppose the project.

For background information on Raleigh’s question’s go to “38 questions for Homeland Security” by Lisa Sorg of Indy Weekly.

Source: The Herald Sun

 U.S. House passes bill that will expand Camp Butner


BUTNER — The U.S. House passed a military appropriations bill Friday that includes expansion of the National Guard training site at Camp Butner.

The site has been for years the subject of neighbors’ complaints about safety and noise regarding firing ranges.

The bill contains about $1.4 million in funding secured by Rep. Brad Miller, D-Greensboro, for the site that will permit development of the 4,998-acre site to include housing of troops and maintenance of equipment.

According to Miller’s office, the funding will allow construction of a barracks complex, a dining facility, maintenance areas and logistical facilities.

“The new facility will also support the use of Camp Butner as an alternate Command Post in the event the current facilities are rendered untenable by a disaster or terrorist attack,” according to a press release from Miller’s office.

“We rely on the North Carolina National Guard to protect and defend us around the world,” Miller said in the press release, “and we turn to them for help during disasters here at home. Giving them the resources for training they need to do their job is the least we can do for them.”

The facility in southwestern Granville County is the remnant of what was a 40,000-acre site that crossed into parts of Durham and Person counties during World War II.

Since then, private development has come to cover much of that land, and to surround much of what is left, causing concerns about safety.

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