TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ President Barack Obama is sending Congress a budget proposal that includes $714 million for construction of a new biosecurity lab at Kansas State University.
That would be the largest proposed federal expenditure for the project to date.
Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says Wednesday that the recommendation signals the administration's support for building the $1.15 billion lab, which will study large animal diseases and develop measures to protect the nation's food supply.
The Department of Homeland Security will build the lab to replace a facility at Plum Island, N.Y.
Roberts, a Republican, says the proposal will require additional financial commitments from Kansas, which will be worked out by Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators.
DHS recently awarded a $40 million contract to begin construction of a utilities plant to support NBAF.
President Kirk Schulz releases statement about budget recommendations for NBAF
MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz commented on President Obama's budget recommendations regarding the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to be built on the university campus:
"This announcement builds on the momentum the project gained when the central utility plant construction contract was announced earlier this year. Kansas State University is committed to the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility coming to the Manhattan campus, and the president's budget recommendations solidify our confidence that Manhattan will be a national center for animal health as K-State becomes a Top 25 public research university."
Topeka – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback released the following statement Wednesday regarding President Obama including $714 million for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) being built in Manhattan, Kansas in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
“I appreciate President Obama’s recommendation to invest more than $700 million for the completion of the NBAF,” Governor Brownback said. “I look forward to working with the Kansas Legislature to meet the requirements of the President’s request by approving the additional bonding needed to complete this project during the upcoming veto session. The NBAF is vital to the security of our country’s food supply, the health of our livestock industry and growing our state’s economy.”
So far the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has invested nearly $200 million into site preparation, engineering, design, and site specific risk-assessments. The state of Kansas already has committed $105 million dollars of matching state funds to the NBAF project and $35 million dollars of research funding for transitioning the NBAF mission to Manhattan. The President is requesting the state invest another $202 million of matching state funds.
A January 2012 economic impact report found the NBAF will employ approximately 326 permanent workers and support about 757 construction jobs. It is expected to have a $3.5 billion economic impact on the state in the facility’s first 20 years of use.
The approximately 46 acre site is located on the north side of the Kansas State University campus. The laboratory will research and develop countermeasures to animal, human, and zoonotic diseases.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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. Click here to learn more about the NBAF.
Congresswoman Jenkins on NBAF Funding in the President’s Budget
WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins responds to inclusion of funding for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in the President’s FY2014 budget proposal:
“I may not agree with many provisions in President Obama’s FY2014 budget proposal released earlier today, but I am pleased that it recognized the importance of funding initiatives vital to our country’s health and national security.
“The president’s budget includes $714 million for completion of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) to study foreign threats and diseases. This is yet another confirmation that the NBAF facility at Kansas State University in Manhattan is a federal priority that will improve the government’s ability to protect Americans by securing our nation’s food supply. This is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government, and I will continue to ensure this mission-critical project continues to move forward.”