U.S. Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts along with Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Jerry Moran, and Todd Tiahrt today commented on the upcoming NBAF facility in Manhattan, Kansas, and responded to a Washington Post story today that was factually incorrect. The delegation released the following statement:
“Building a new, state of the art facility in Kansas is significantly safer than using the current deteriorating and limited facility. Level four bio-security research on human pathogens is already conducted in several other locations in the continental United States.
“Kansas won on the merits after a 6-year long transparent selection process conducted by career civil servants including numerous public meetings in all five of the states that were finalists. Manhattan, Kansas, is the center of plant and animal research worldwide with the expertise and experience to be the best and safest research lab in the world.
“Arguments about tornados are disingenuous. The county in Texas that competed for the lab has more than double the tornado touchdowns than Riley County, Kansas; and Texas is the number one state for tornadoes and number two for hurricanes.
“Texas politics should not interfere with the ability of the United States to aggressively protect plant and animal health.”
The Department of Homeland Security approved locating the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas, after reviewing 18 possible sites over 6 years. NBAF will be dedicated to researching the biological threats of foreign animal diseases and diseases transferred from animals to humans. 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 the state of Kansas and will bring additional jobs in research partnerships to the state.