For those who have anxiously awaited the release of DHS’s National Bio Agro Defense Facilitys (NBAF), Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) your wait may soon be over, according to a Manhattan, Kansas newspaper, The Manhattan Mercury. But don’t worry it will not come in time to interfere with the digestion of your Thanksgiving meal. In their article, “Word on NBAF likely by Dec. 5” they quote John Verrico, DHS’s press officer for the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security stating that “a likely release date” for the FEIS would be during “the first week of December.”
Granville Non Violent Action Team’s spokesperson Bill McKellar, a Pharmacist in Butner said he “feels at this point it is between Kansas, Mississippi and Texas”. “Kansas having worked the hardest to bring it there. But it’s not over until the record of decision is made” and “until that decision is made we are not letting our guard down” McKellar said referring to his anti-NBAF group GNAT, “Until then it could go anywhere”.
McKellar and his group GNAT have amassed a petition with over 4500 signatures from citizens in Butner and the surrounding area opposing the placement of the NBAF on the Umstead Research Farm. In September GNAT joined with other citizen groups throughout the U.S. in an appeal to Congress to investigate the current expansion of the United States biodefense program and the lack of comprehensive oversight, transparency and accountability. The allied groups are calling on Congress to press for an immediate halt to development of new biodefense facilities and an operational stand-down of existing programs until the many serious questions have been resolved.
Community Acceptance aside the Department of Homeland Security having held a series of public meetings is expected to ratify the selected site in the FEIS. McKellar has not be quite concerning what steps his group will take if Butner is selected. At the Butner meeting held July 31st McKellar told a Homeland Security Administrator, Jamie Johnson that if Homeland Security chooses the Butner site “further action would be forthcoming”. “If the NBAF is located at Butner, then DHS will be taken to court.” “Whatever we have to do, that is what we will do,” McKellar promised. Whatever it Takes!