D.H.S. approves Kansas site for biothreat laboratory

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 12 signed a "final record of decision" that will make Manhattan, Kas., and Kansas State University home to a new $450 million laboratory for plant and animal disease research. Officials involved in negotiations for the new laboratory, to be known as the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (N.B.A.F.), had indicated last month that Manhattan would be the site for the facility.

While the "final record of decision" document has not been publicly released by the D.O.H.S., Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback of Kansas both confirmed the decision in separate statements.

"N.B.A.F. is a great win for Kansas and Kansas is a great win for N.B.A.F.," Mr. Brownback said. "This is great news. I will continue to work hard in the Appropriations Committee to make sure N.B.A.F. is fully funded."

Mr. Roberts said the new lab "will cement" Kansas’ reputation as the nation’s leader in plant and animal health research and the biosciences.

"We will reap the benefits of a cutting edge industry while protecting the nation’s food supply and agricultural economy for years to come," Mr. Roberts said.

Manhattan beat out sites in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas for the laboratory. The N.B.A.F. is expected to have a $3.5 billion impact on the Kansas economy over a 20-year period.

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