The following video produced by Wired Science has an interesting slant as to why Plum Island isn’t a viable choice for the NBAF. Some of the cited reasons against the NBAF being build on Plum Island.

“Plum Island does not have proximity to research capabilities, it does have proximity to workforce, no feasible evacuation. Anybody that has driven the Long Island freeway knows there would be no way” 

Does a evacuation route really matter? I point this perspective out for one reason, the proposed site in Butner is surrounded by approximately 7000 institutionalized individuals within a four mile radius of the project and a recent comment made by a principal member of the consortium representing North Carolina’s bid for the NBAF project said that an evacution plan for these facilities is moot.

The list of human-affecting agents to be researched at the NBAF includes no disease that spreads from person to person, nor any agent that spreads by wind. As a result, a release would not call for instituting human quarantines or evacuations — making the arguments about such activities for prisoners or patients moot.

It should be noted that DHS does not mention or evaluate an evacuation plan or quarantine procedures  for the surrounding population at any of the proposed sites in the NBAF draft Environment Impact Statement. DHS does evaluate potential strategies in the event of a release of Foot and Mouth Disease in which humans are assessed within the “movement control zone” per strategies developed by the National Park Service. See Table 3.8.9-1 — National Park Service Potential Strategies and Considerations for FMD Response on page 3-216 of the DEIS. Should we expect DHS to select a site for the NBAF that will be the safest or at least have the least environmental consequencies? No

“The decision maker (Jay Cohen) does not need to pick the site that has the least environmental impacts he just needs to be aware of what those impacts are”.

Hat/Tip: BethB