A conference committee of the U.S. House and Senate has approved $32 million in funding to finish the design and begin construction of the new National Bio and Agro Defense Facility in Manhattan.
The funding will ensure the project design has the latest in bio-security safety features land that it stays on target to break ground in August of 2010.
"This action is a strong validation of the exhaustive, three-year site selection process that determined Kansas to be the best home on the merits for the NBAF," said Tom Thornton, president and chief executive of the Kansas Bioscience Authority.
This year's request for NBAF was funded in the Senate bill but was not included in the House bill. The Conference Committee, which is an ad hoc committee comprised of House and Senate Appropriations Committee members, reconciles the differences between the two different bills and presents a unified bill to both chambers for a final vote. Both the Senate and the House must pass the unified bill before it goes to the president for his signature.
The current NBAF lab on Plum Island, New York, is aging and is being phased out and moved to Manhattan, Kansas. The lab, sometimes referred to as the CDC for animal science, will ensure public health and the safety and security of our national food supply. It will provide integrated research, response, and diagnostic capabilities to protect animal and public health.
It is estimated that over a twenty year period, NBAF would have a $3.5 billion impact on the Kansas economy. The proposed site would be a $451 million, 500,000 square foot building and will create as many as 500 high-paying, scientific federal jobs in Kansas and will bring additional jobs in research partnerships to the state.