The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to release the NBAF’s Final Environmental Impact Statement on December 12 according to published summary material. However, you can read the 22 page Executive Summary courtesy of the Manhattan Mercury.
The New York Times and the Washington Post are reporting that the government will recommend Kansas for the National Bio Agro Defense Facility.
The federal government has recommended a site in Kansas for a new $450 million laboratory to study biological threats like anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease, congressional lawmakers and staff said Wednesday.
The Department of Homeland Security’s choice of Manhattan, Kan., beat out intense competition from other sites in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas.
Agency official revealed their decision to several lawmakers late Tuesday, according to lawmakers and staff familiar with the briefings. The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement won’t be made until later this week, when the agency releases an environmental impact statement.
A draft copy of Homeland Security’s “Preferred Alternative Selection Memorandum,” prepared by department Undersecretary Jay Cohen and obtained by The Associated Press concludes that the site on the campus of Kansas State University was chosen based on its proximity to existing biohazard research, strong community acceptance and a generous package of incentives offered by the state.
“(T)he Steering Committee unanimously agreed that the Manhattan campus site is the preferred alternative and I concur with the Steering Committee’s recommendation,” Cohen states in the draft document.
The residents of Granville County just received an early Christmas present if the Department of Homeland Security does make Kansas the official site with the release of the Record of decision (ROD) expected sometime before Obama is swore in as President. This lab will set precedent bringing Foot and Mouth disease on to the mainland U.S. for the first time in over 50 years. GNAT has held the position that the facility should not be build anywhere but given the fact a new administration will be calling the shots the facility may never be build at all.
As far as safety concerns one can only hope Rep. David Price is true to his word and that the facility will not be build until the GAO says it can be operated safely. The last thing we need as a Nation is an accidental release of FMD. That would be the nail in the proverbial coffin as far as the economic impact.
Only hours after the AP’s article was released Texas‘s consortium charged with courting the NBAF, has already released a statement saying they will challenge the decision of DHS to site the NBAF in Kansas.
Disappointed backers of San Antonio’s effort said Wednesday they planned to mount a stiff challenge to a decision that they felt had been tainted by politics.
“We’re going to be right up in their face,” said York Duncan, president of Texas Research Park.
“We have decided to pull all the stops out and we’re going to exploit every opportunity to steer this to San Antonio.”
Duncan said the local coalition, Texas Bio and Agro Defense Consortium, or TBAC, lost ground in the high-stakes contest last spring when homeland security abruptly asked contenders to submit packages on how much money state and local governments would put up to help build the lab. Because the Texas Legislature was not in session, the San Antonio group was unable to secure a guarantee of state funds, Duncan said.
“That put us at a competitive disadvantage,” he said. “Kansas threw out the most money and it appears this has turned into an auction.”
More to follow.