U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) today applauded Senate passage of the Conference Report to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. The bill includes $32 million of funding for the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to be relocated in Manhattan, Kansas. The Conference Committee report is the final bill that was negotiated to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation. The House has already passed the conference report and the bill now heads to the president to be signed into law.

“The passage of this final bill is a huge step in relocating NBAF to Kansas and provides $27 million for design and planning and $5 million to begin construction of the lab,” stated Brownback. “There is no better place for NBAF than in Kansas, which is already the center of the world’s best animal health research, and this lab is vitally important to protecting our nation’s food supply.”

Senator Roberts said, “The Congress has made a significant investment to the new NBAF in Kansas. I want to thank Senator Brownback for his hard work in Committee and look forward to working with the State and the Department of Homeland Security as the $32 million in design and construction funding is spent.”

Brownback is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the subcommittee on Homeland Security, and was a part of the conference committee negotiations. Roberts is the honorary chair of the NBAF Task Force and spearheaded the effort, beginning in 2005, to bring NBAF to Kansas.

The aging NBAF lab on Plum Island, New York, is being phased out and moved to Manhattan, Kansas. The NBAF 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 will have a $3.5 billion impact on the Kansas economy. The proposed site is 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.

Of the $32 million appropriated for NBAF, $27 million can be used immediately upon the president’s signature for design, planning, technical assistance, engineering, site preparation, and overhead. The $5 million designated for construction will be release upon completion and review of a risk mitigation assessment, an emergency response plan, and an outline on working with the USDA on the required permits to conduct FMD research.

Earlier this month in the Agriculture Appropriations bill, Congress approved $1.5 million for researchers to begin NBAF work already certified to be done at Kansas State University at current campus facilities prior to construction of the new NBAF lab. The president is scheduled to sign into law the Agriculture Appropriations bill tomorrow.