Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee passed the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2013. The legislation includes $75 million for the construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas.
“I am glad the committee recognized the continued important role Kansas must play in the defense of our nation,” said Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas. “With today’s appropriations bill, we’ve once again affirmed our commitment to protecting our Homeland by making sure the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility receives the funding needed to complete construction.” The Homeland Security bill will come before the full House in the coming weeks.
DHS had initially held back on funding requests in the White House 2013 budget proposal while it awaited an updated NBAF Risk Assessment to fulfill an outstanding congressional requirement. This raised a spotlight on the future of the lab and rumors the project was on life support.
The report was released in early March; however a reassessment of the entire project given the current budget environment is still underway. DHS recommendations are expected by June 2012.
The NBAF facility is intended to replace and expand upon the capabilities of the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York.