U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) issued the following statements today upon the announcement of the $714 million commitment in the President's Fiscal Year 2014 (FY2014) Budget request for construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) main laboratory in Manhattan, Kan. In conjunction with Kansas' proposed increased cost share of $202 million, the Federal-State partnership will provide full funding for the main laboratory construction, a vital component of the modern, safe, world-class facility the United States needs to protect Americans against biological threats.
"I am glad the President agrees that spending on national security by protecting plant and animal health is a priority for the federal government whose first responsibility is to protect its citizens," Sen. Roberts said. "The real work begins as we continue to fight to ensure this $714 million in funding is appropriated to advance construction of the NBAF in Manhattan and achieve this critical national security goal."
"The commitment is good news for Kansas, agriculture, and the economy because without the capabilities the NBAF will provide, our country is at risk from foreign animal disease threats," Sen. Moran said. "Although challenges remain, I will work to make certain construction of NBAF -- an essential part of our national security apparatus -- moves forward."
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.
About the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
The NBAF, a state-of-the-art biosecurity lab, is to be built adjacent to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. The facility will replace the antiquated foreign animal disease research facility at Plum Island, N.Y., which has a limited capacity to respond to animal disease threats.