Comment history

Obama budget has $300M for Kansas NBAF project

National Bio and Agro Defense Facility tornado protection still an issue

The tornado that struck Joplin, Mo. would almost certainly have destroyed the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility in Manhattan, Ks. had it struck there, studies show, potentially releasing dangerous toxins, including a foot-and-mouth disease virus, into the atmosphere.

A study released in October 2010 concluded “the containment and structural features of the NBAF may fail in an F2 or more intense tornado event.”

The Joplin tornado is widely believed to have been an F4 or F5 event.

The study — called a site-specific risk analysis — recommended “hardening” the $650 million facility to withstand an F2 tornado, at a cost of roughly $60 million. It also suggested studying the cost of hardening the facility to withstand an F3 event, defined as winds reaching 206 mph.

Other studies suggest the Department of Homeland Security will redesign the structure to at least meet the F2 standard, which would still be far short of the devastating Joplin storm.

The study said the chance of a damaging tornado at NBAF — and a subsequent release of foot-and-mouth disease — is exceedingly small. It predicts an F2 or greater tornado would hit the facility and cause a pathogen release, on average, every 770 years.

But the consequences would be devastating. A tornado-related release of foot-and-mouth disease virus would cost $5 billion, studies estimate.

Critics of the NBAF facility have worried about the tornado danger for some time.

John Kerr, chairman of a Texas consortium that sought the facility, told the AP two years ago that locating NBAF in Manhattan would be “grossly irresponsible, the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with Mother Nature.”

In its final environmental impact statement, the Department of Homeland Security said the NBAF building will withstand an F3 tornado, but made no claims about anything stronger.

Other studies, though, show the building as now designed would struggle against an F2:

The SSRA assessment of the current NBAF design (90 mph design load with 1.15 Importance Factor and 1.6 Factor of Safety) indicated that an F2 or greater intensity tornado may cause a loss of biocontainment. DHS has specified that the NBAF should be able to maintain containment if struck by an F2 or lesser intensity tornado, and planning efforts are underway to modify the schematic design to be consistent with this requirement.

March 5, 2014 at 6:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Obama budget has $300M for Kansas NBAF project

No NBAF in Kansas
Real Biosecurity for the Heartland

Risk Assessment for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas

March 5, 2014 at 6:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Praeger urges defeat of health care compact bill

Stop the Kansas Legislature’s Medicare Takeover
Reckless and irresponsible Tea Party legislators could force Kansas out of the federal Medicare program. Stop them now.

The Kansas Legislature is considering a bill that will allow Governor Brownback to force Kansas into a movement of states seeking Congressional authority to separate themselves from the federal Medicare and Medicaid systems. The so-called Health Care Compact is a risky, reckless gamble that Tea Party legislators are eager to take, but it’s your security they are playing with. They are rolling the dice with the health and security of Kansas who count on Medicare - like seniors and Kansans with disabilities - and Medicaid -
Kansans with disabilities and Kansas kids living in poverty. Governor Brownback has already turned over Medicaid to for-profit insurance companies, and now the Kansas Legislature wants to get their hands Medicare. Just like the recent legislation that would have legalized discrimination in Kansas, this "Compact" legislation (HB 2553) is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. And just like so many of the unfortunate debates we have had in Kansas recently, this is another bill that that could undermine the quality of life that Kansans expect and deserve.

February 27, 2014 at 8:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

2013 law an issue in Kansas gay marriage debate


Post of the Day

February 24, 2014 at 8:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Capitol Report: College savings, unwanted building, marriage at issue

Kansans Check Your Voter Registration status to ensure

February 24, 2014 at 8:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Debate over religious beliefs, gay rights will continue

What's really sad is State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe wife begs him to come to bed but he is too busy staying up late at night telling gays what they can and can not do in bed!

February 20, 2014 at 8:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Judicial role

Gov. Brownback and the Kansas Legislature continue to play games with the judicial budget. Funding has become so critical that Chief Justice Nuss is warning of closures. The only losers here are Kansans who want access to free and fair courts. Will you pay the price? Are you willing to bet your life on it?

January 27, 2014 at 8:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Judicial role

ACT NOW: Don’t allow Kansans for Life to rig our courts in their favor. Stop the intimidation of judges and women in Kansas by taking action today at

January 27, 2014 at 8:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Open government

Did you know Koch industries and their think tanks pay dave to make comments in all the local papers?

January 25, 2014 at 8:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback: Kansas economy can sustain budget goals

Kansans is your name is on Kris Kobach's Suspended Voters list
Check Voter Registration

January 25, 2014 at 8:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )