“A giant step” is how U-S Senator Pat Roberts describes proposed funding for the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility, to be built in Manhattan. Senator Jerry Moran serves on the Senate appropriations committee, which has matched the U-S house’s proposed funding of 404 million dollars toward the facility’s construction.
The two Senator from Kansas held a joint teleconference Thursday morning, with Roberts indicating this gets us, along with the state’s contribution, about halfway toward funding the project. Roberts reminds us the project has been worked on for 12 to 14 years. Roberts has praise for fellow Senator Moran of Manhattan, who serves on the Senate appropriations committee.
“It’s an objective fact,” Sen. Roberts said. “The nation needs NBAF. Every delay leaves the American people and the American food supply at greater risk. Another important step toward completion was made today as $404 million for construction of the NBAF made it out of committee and is now on its way to the Senate floor. We need to get this done, and I look forward to broad bipartisan support of the NBAF on the Senate floor.”
“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m committed to making certain NBAF remains a top priority,” Sen. Moran said. “This bill is good news for Kansas and for the country: it means we’re on the way to constructing a modern, world-class facility — a vital component to protect Americans against biological threats. A great aspect for Kansas is that NBAF’s construction is yet another opportunity to develop our state as a research epicenter, ultimately creating jobs for Kansans in the fields of engineering, science and technology.”
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. The committee approved bill now awaits passage by the full U.S. Senate