Tracking NBAF: National Bio And Agro-Defense Facility Takes Shape In Kansas

In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to replace the old Plum Island Animal Disease Center off Long Island with a facility on the U.S. mainland to study Foot and Mouth Disease and other dangerous pathogens. Kansas won the job in 2008, with a site on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan.

But today, more than three years later, the proposed $1.14 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility faces funding obstacles, safety questions, rising costs and political fallout. For Kansas and the Midwest, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Here you’ll find coverage and updates from Harvest Public Media, KCUR and Kansas Public Media.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The National Academies of Science issued a set of 10 conclusions today on the future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas.

The report says while there is a critical need for a so-called BSL4 lab that will research the most dangerous emerging diseases to affect particularly livestock, it said the current NBAF proposal might be too big and too costly.

Harvest Public Media

The future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan is under the microscope this week for the second time in just over a month.

Laura Ziegler / Harvest Public Media

A committee of the National Research Council says an updated risk assessment of a proposed high-security biodefense lab in Manhattan, Kan., appears to understate the chances of deadly pathogens being accidentally released. 

National Research Council

"Not trustworthy."

In a highly anticipated announcement, the National Academies of Science said that it will release a congressionally mandated report on risk associated with the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) this Friday. 

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

The beleaguered National Bio and Agro-Defense facility could face yet more challenges as a result of new congressional parameters released today by a three-judge panel.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority and its former President and CEO Tom Thornton will not face any criminal charges over inappropriate use of state tax dollars.

Supporters of a planned federal disease lab in Kansas say they'll continue fighting for the project, despite some budget setbacks.

The National Bio and Agro- Defense Facility, or NBAF, is slated to be built near Manhattan. A steering committee appointed by Governor Sam Brownback met today for the first time to review the project.

The committee includes Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins. She's confident construction of the lab will take place.

The first meeting of a steering committee appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback last summer is taking place this morning in Topeka.

nbafinkansas.org

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

The troubled National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., got a financial shot in the arm yesterday.

Exploring Options For NBAF

May 1, 2012
nbafinkansas.org

It’s another big week for NBAF, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility under construction in Manhattan, Kan.

In its first public hearing today in Washington , D.C. a new panel of the National Research Council will discuss alternatives for the National Bio and Agro -Defense Facility  -- or NBAF.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

With federal funding more at risk than ever for Manhattan’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback recently said the state could expect what he called “a fight” for the next five years.

The Department of Homeland Security continued the conversation about funding challenges before the House Appropriations Committee in Washington, D.C. this week.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility will cost more than $1 billion when all is said and done, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed today during a conference in Washington, D.C.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The latest in the dizzying round of discussions about the safety and security of the Department of Homeland Security’s high-level bio containment lab in Manhattan, Kan., will take place this Friday in Washington, D.C.

The risk of a pathogen release at the controversial National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility being built in Manhattan, Kan., is much less than originally calculated, according to a new, much-anticipated report from the Department of Homeland Security.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Opponents of a controversial Kansas lab designed to study and combat biological diseases have recently found new energy, as work on the Department of Homeland Security project stalled.

Governor Sam Brownback says members of the president's administration continue to support the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which is slated to be built in Manhattan.

The White House budget for 2013 provides no construction funding for a planned livestock disease lab in Kansas and calls for a “comprehensive assessment of the project in 2012” to consider “the cost, safety, and any alternatives to the current plan.”

Bryan Thompson / Kansas Public Radio

Supporters of a high security bio-defense facility in Manhattan, Kan., got some depressing news today. The White House Budget for 2013 cuts funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) from $50 million to $10 million.

Wen Nag / Flickr.com

Kansas political leaders and top officials at Kansas State University are united in support of a plan to bring the nation's premier agricultural disease laboratory to the K-State campus in Manhattan.

An audit released recently alleges misdeeds by former Kansas Bioscience Authority head Tom Thornton. The KBA is one of the groups that worked to help Kansas land the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) project.

A committee of the National Research Council visited Kansas State University Friday to get a feel for safety concerns for a giant biosafety lab planned for the Manhattan, Kan., campus.

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