Tracking NBAF
12:17 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

NBAF Closes In On Federal Funding

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) got one step closer to Congressional funding yesterday.

The full House Appropriations Committee approved $75 million in the fiscal year 2013 budget put forward by the Department of Homeland Security subcommittee.

The full Committee also tapped $90 million in funding from fiscal years 2011 and 2012 that had been on hold, possibly bringing the House commitment to construction of the NBAF to $165 million.

At the same time, the committee said it wanted to see a plan for how DHS expects to spend the money as construction moves forward. The estimated cost of the NBAF has escalated to $1.1 billion.

Earlier this year, the White House zeroed construction funds in its fiscal year 2013 budget in the wake of safety and security questions about the high-level lab.

A updated safety report is currently under review by a panel of experts with the National Research Council. A separate NRC panel is simultaneously reviewing alternatives for the NBAF, including a scaled-down version of the lab and maintaining the existing lab on Plum Island, New York.

The recommendation by the Appropriations Committee will come before the full House in a few weeks.

For more NBAF coverage, visit KCUR's Tracking NBAF page.

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