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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.

Feds Officially Gain Control Of Land For Top Security Lab

cattle grazing on site.jpg
Laura Ziegler

The Department of Homeland Security officially took ownership of 46 acres in Manhattan, Kansas this week for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

Kansas officials at the state and national level saw cause for celebration.

The official transfer signals progress on the controversial lab, which has been stalled for many months. The move frees up funding for the next step of construction -- a special utility plant required by the top security lab.

In a joint press release with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the entire Kansas delegation in Washington, Senator Pat Roberts said “this marks a big day for the state of Kansas,” and he said he looked forward to breaking ground in 2013.

Funding for the $1.15-billion lab has been stalled pending questions about its security and necessity. 

The Department of Homeland Security approved Kansas as the site of the new lab in 2009.

The proposed NBAF would replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center off the coast of New York.

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