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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.

Study Outlines Economic Impact Of NBAF Lab

A new report says NBAF -- the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility -- could create 1300 jobs during the construction phase alone.

The report was presented to lawmakers this week. It estimates that during the first 25 years of operation, the Manhattan facility will create more than 600 permanent jobs, paying more than a billion dollars in total wages.

Paul Scheuren, an economist who worked on the NBAF study, says more than half the permanent jobs created will be located at nearby companies, rather than the federal lab itself.

"We believe that the new bioscience firms will be created or may choose to locate in the state as a result of the facility, as businesses have clustered near other research facilities in the country," Scheuren said.

Congress has appropriated $80 million for the facility so far and construction is already underway. Another risk assessment of the facility should be completed next month.

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

As the Kansas News Service managing 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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