K-State Says Proposed Funding For NBAF Is A Big Step Forward | KCUR

K-State Says Proposed Funding For NBAF Is A Big Step Forward

Jun 24, 2014

U.S. Department of Homeland Security rendering of finished facility.
Credit courtesy photo / U.S. Department of Homeland Security

A U.S. Senate subcommittee has appropriated $300 million in funding for the National Bio and Agro- Defense Facility , or NBAF, in Manhattan, Kan.

Ron Trewyn, vice president for research at Kansas State University, says this week's appropriation for a top-security animal disease lab on Kansas State's campus will allow the Department Of Homeland Security lab be finished.

“The full price tag for the facility for all aspects is $1.25 billion. This $300 million will finalize (the project and allow us) to do the third part of the contract, which is for the lab itself,” Trewyn says.

The laboratory will have special features such as state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems, ventilation, and waste removal.  DHS and proponents  say the provisions enable the lab to safely research  exotic foreign animal diseases.  Structural elements of the building are designed to protect it from severe weather - this in response to a national review outlining possible risk from tornados.

Critics claim research on such contagious pathogens as Foot and Mouth Disease pose a risk to livestock. Also, opponents of the lab  argue there is a risk of human error that could cause the release of other deadly diseases.

The appropriation now goes before full Senate.