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In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to replace the old Plum Island Animal Disease Center off Long Island with a facility on the U.S. mainland to study Foot and Mouth Disease and other dangerous pathogens. Kansas won the job in 2008, with a site on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan.But today, more than three years later, the proposed $1.14 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility faces funding obstacles, safety questions, rising costs and political fallout. For Kansas and the Midwest, the stakes couldn’t be higher.Here you’ll find coverage and updates from Harvest Public Media, KCUR and Kansas Public Media.

Brownback Says Obama Still Committed To NBAF

Governor Sam Brownback says members of the president's administration continue to support the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which is slated to be built in Manhattan.

That comes after President Obama chose not to add funding for the lab's construction in his 2013 budget proposal. Brownback says he spoke with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano this week about the issue.

Brownback says one concern is the projected cost for the lab, which has grown to more than $650 million.

"Obviously the federal government budget is under significant pressure," Brownback said. "They're trying to get that cost contained and held back, so they want to review to see what they can do about scope that could address some of the cost."

In his budget, President Obama said the $50 million appropriated by Congress so far is not enough to start construction of the lab. Brownback says the state is looking at alternatives for funding the project.

For more NBAF coverage, visit KCUR's Tracking NBAF page.

As the Kansas News Service news editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
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