U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, today announced the Omnibus appropriations bill includes $404 million for construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kan.
"For those who have questioned whether NBAF will be built in Kansas, the passage of this funding bill will provide a clear answer: yes," Sen. Moran said. "This investment means Kansas will become a research epicenter, and the construction of this modern, world-class facility will ultimately create jobs for Kansans in the fields of engineering, science and technology. The talented young men and women who grow up here will have more opportunities to work and live in Kansas."
"With a federal appropriation of $404 million this year, there is no doubt that NBAF will be built in Manhattan, Kansas," said Governor Sam Brownback. "Many members of the Kansas Congressional delegation have worked tirelessly on this for many years, and I congratulate Senator Moran for helping to get it across the finish line."
"As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have worked to make certain NBAF remains a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration and among Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle," Sen. Moran continued. "Thanks to Governor Brownback, the Kansas legislature and Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz for their leadership and support as this process continues."
NBAF, a state-of-the-art biosecurity lab, is to be built adjacent to Kansas State University. A January 2012 economic impact report found the NBAF will employ approximately 326 permanent employees and support some 757 construction jobs. The state of Kansas showed its commitment to this project by contributing $202 million. The facility is expected to have a $3.5 billion economic impact on Kansas in the first 20 years alone.
In addition to creating an economic boom for Kansas, NBAF will protect our national economy by researching foreign animal disease threats, which are very real with devastating impacts. The cost of an outbreak far outweighs the NBAF construction cost, not only in the loss of human life but also its damage to the animal and agricultural industry.
The main laboratory will boast safety and security features recommended by the National Academies of Sciences. It will include specialized air and water decontamination systems, new technologies for handling solid waste onsite, and structural components to strengthen the laboratory against hazardous weather conditions. A funding commitment was also made to provide infrastructure repairs at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center to guarantee a smooth transition of research from Plum Island, N.Y., to Manhattan, Kan.
Over the past month, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have worked to allocate the budget set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which provides funding for government agencies and discretionary programs for fiscal year 2014. The Omnibus appropriations bill is expected to be voted on in the U.S. House and Senate this week.