Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Despite federal budget cut, getting NBAF remains a priority for Kansas, leaders say

February 14, 2012


TOPEKA ­— Clay Blair, the first chairman of the Kansas Bioscience Authority and former chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, said Tuesday he was surprised and disappointed that President Obama did not propose new funding for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in his budget.

Getting NBAF was a top priority of the Bioscience Authority, Blair said.



And helping Kansas win the $650 million lab for Manhattan in a nationwide competition was construction of another lab at Kansas State University, the $54 million Biosecurity Research Institute, under an initiative pushed by the Kansas Board of Regents.

“All these were strategic plays — each step had to fall in line,” Blair said.

Blair said he had no idea now whether NBAF would become a reality.

State elected officials say they will do everything possible to get the lab built and operating.

Under the proposal, scientists at NBAF will research deadly animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease. The facility would replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, an aging lab off Long Island, N.Y.

Kansas officials have touted NBAF as the anchor to what could be an internationally known animal health corridor from Manhattan to Columbia, Mo., that would have billions of dollars of economic impact.

Workers in Manhattan have already cleared the site for the project.

Last year, Obama included $150 million for the project, but Congress appropriated only $50 million.

The White House said that wasn’t enough to start construction.

“In light of this, the Administration will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the project in 2012, which will consider the cost, safety and alternatives to the current plan that would reduce costs and ensure safety,” the budget document unveiled Monday states.

Obama has asked the Department of Homeland Security to re-evaluate the project. His budget would also spend $10 million to increase the amount of research being done at K-State’s Biosecurity Research Institute.

While Kansas officials applauded the $10 million, it is NBAF they want to nail down. The state was selected as the NBAF site in 2008 with operations to start as early as 2018.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., “will consider all legislative options to fund this critical national security priority,” his office said.

But the effort will face a Congress seeking to cut spending, plus congressional officials from New York who are urging the Obama administration to keep the Plum Island site in operation.

NBAF was also dealt a setback when a National Academy of Sciences study identified a 70 percent chance that a release of foot-and-mouth disease could occur at the new facility during its projected 50-year lifespan. Damages to the livestock industry could total as much as $50 billion if a release were to occur, officials have said.

The academy is again studying the feasibility of placing the facility in Kansas, and a final report is due this summer.


lucky_guy 3 years, 9 months ago

Surprise, surprise, Kansas congressional delegation gets crushed again. Although I am no fan of NBAF, this really shows us how well our guys in Washington are doing, first Boeing then NBAF. We should stop sending any reps or senators out and save the money till we can find someone who is effective or at least can stay sober long enough to attend a session.

somebodynew 3 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, and Sam - how does that snub and sending all that Federal money back feel now???

yep, doing a great job Brownie !!!!

Joe Blackford II 3 years, 9 months ago

“All these were strategic plays — each step had to fall in line,” Blair said.

Because Col/Dr David R. Franz said to make it so:

Commander U S A M R I I D;

VP Midwest Research Institute, KC, MO ($450K in sole source contracts from Kansas Bioscience Authority, per forensic audit;

charter member of the Dept. of Homeland Security Science & Technology Advisory Committee (as in put the NBAF at my alma mater, KSU; & Plum Island is too antiquated to rehab & Not In My Back Yard);

charter member of the Kansas Bioscience Authority (as in spend $450K in contracts to my employer, M R I);

charter member of Nat'l. Insitute of Health's "dual use research" committee (as in my Army scientist used my anthrax to kill 5 people & start the "bio-terrorism" mantra for me);

"On April 14, 2009, an additional contract, “Task Order No. 3,” for Biosecurity Research Institute compliance acceleration support was effective for $200,000. We did not observe an RFP in the corporate file for these contracts. These finding are included in Exhibit 53 - Contract Exhibit B- RFP Findings."

The BRI is a PR prop; with "researchers" sitting around twiddling their thumbs for far too long awaiting certification of both their abilities & their lab. And when KSU's "experts" couldn't get their BRI accredited as a BSL-3 lab, Franz had the KBA send his company (MRI) another $200K to put a rush on it. Ask KSU for a list of where their BRI contracts came from (US taxpayers).

Patricia Davis 3 years, 9 months ago

Isn't it amazing that our entire delegation to DC has let known just how much they dislike Obama and his agenda and now they act sooooo surprised that money is not flowing to Kansas (well it did, but SB sent that back in a jiffy). The BRI needs to be dissolved.

blindrabbit 3 years, 9 months ago

The greatest gift Obama can give Kansas is not allowing his administration to build this boondoggle on his watch. Don't want this potential disaster in a populated area, let alone one that is so important to the agricultural industry. But, it shows the ineptitute of the Kansas congressional delegation including Tiahrt, Moran, especially Roberts, Brownback and what ever other Repub. lining up at the Koch-a-Kola machine. Rather than lobby to keep a clean industry like Boeing these guys went after a hazardous Bio-Lab, and a potentially damaging Keystone Pipeline. But the real shame is that they wasted all of thier time bashing Obama, and not paying attention to the candy store. Shame on yu'all

Also, I'll bet some real estate developers are looking over the Plum Island site for it's investment potential. Island waterfront on the East Coast!

scaramouchepart2 3 years, 9 months ago

Everyone has said it well, but saying it again cannot not get old. Brownback told the federal government to stay out and they are.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

talk smack and question a man's citizenship when his White/Cherokee Dunnam ancestors were from Kansas and few people here acknowledge it and there's a price to pay. We're done being nice. Like Patrick Swayze said...."There's a time to be nice and a time to not be nice". Now if Kansans were actually smart enough to vote the GOP out. Probably not.

oldbaldguy 3 years, 9 months ago

In the old days, the Reds had one of their bio-war test centers on the Caspian Sea. We could telll they were getting ready to do tests because you could see goats staked out on an island. Afterwards you saw bodies or lack there of. They used to have accidents all the time where people died instead of goats. They let antharx get loose in Sverdlosk one time. Over 600 dead.

My grandfather used to tell stories about how hoof and mouth would wipeout cattle herds in the 20's-40's here in Kansas. Either the disease got them or the farmer had to destroy the herd.

Plum Island is still a good place for the lab. Anybody see Contagion or read any Michael Crichton novels lately? Put it next to KSU stadium?

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 9 months ago

This is for the best. All of that federal money with strings attached would just pollute the ideological purity of Kansas. Just like the ACA money Blowback refused.

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