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Agriculture

Funding For NBAF Brings Lab Closer To Completion

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Laura Ziegler
/
KCUR

The top-security animal disease laboratory already being built in Kansas is one step closer to being done.

The final $300 million in funding for The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility was part of a bill passed by Congress this week. It had been held up by the battle over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that will operate the lab.

The $1.2 billion facility known as NBAF, will replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center, an island off  N.Y. Building on NBAF is already underway on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

The NBAF project has been slowed by a number of questions about its safety and necessity but is currently scheduled to open in 2022. Along with federal dollars, it’s being funded with $307 million from Kansas.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported that initial site work for the research lab has been completed, and a power plant to serve the facility is nearly complete. Construction on the laboratory itself is expected to begin in late May or early June, the newspaper reported.

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