Kansas State University in Manhattan is the site that the Department of Homeland Security recommends for the building of a new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to replace the aging national laboratory at Plum Island, N.Y.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was one of the lawmakers who obtained a copy of the final draft of the environmental impact statement prepared by DHS. The official announcement of that statement is expected later this week, probably Friday. The DHS declined to comment on the recommendation.
Roberts plans a joint press conference with
However his office stressed that there are several steps that still must be taken before the lab decision becomes final. A 30-day public comment period begins with the formal announcement. During that time period, other states who were finalists for the lab -
There is also the possibility of environmental or other activists opposing the building of the lab in
"So far, there has not been a major, organized attack on the plan," said a Roberts spokesman. "But it is not out of the question."
Proponents of the lab point out that the Centers for Disease Control in
State officials have campaigned for the laboratory and the
The economic impact of the NBAF is estimated at about $3.6 billion. Construction costs alone would be $341 million. The lab is expected to generate about 1,500 construction jobs and a permanent payroll of $25 million to $30 million for more than 300 employees once the project is completed by 2015.
The corridor between
Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Congressman Jerry Moran, R-Kan., joined Roberts in celebrating the selection of
In 2004, the Kansas State Legislature formed the Kansas Bioscience Authority, an agency dedicated to working to increase the presence of the bioscience industry in
Speaking before a joint session of the Kansas House and Senate in 2007 to urge the state to pass economic incentives to support its bid for the project, Roberts called the facility one of the greatest, if not the greatest, economic development initiatives in the history of the state.