Kansas and Missouri Senators push DHS for NBAF

Senators from Kansas and Missouri recently wrote a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in an effort to push forward plans to build the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.

The letter, written by Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), asks Napolitano to move forward with the land transfer from Manhattan, Kansas, now that the project has met the Congressional requirements regarding a recently released updated risk assessment.

"We urge you to continue to work with Congress, especially the Kansas and Missouri delegations, to ensure NBAF becomes a reality," the Senators wrote. "This is not just an agriculture issue. Rather, the Department of Homeland Security was specifically chosen to handle this mission and its laboratories because of the direct implications such research and development hold for our country's security."

The legislators also asked the DHS secretary for an update to release $90 million in funding designated for the facility's construction. They asserted that delays will increase costs for contracts, labor and materials, as well increase the risk to national security.

"NBAF proves to be the safest laboratory built of its kind to date and the risk of not moving forward with NBAF is a risk the American people should not have to accept," the senators wrote. "Academic and theoretical discussions of potential and unknown risks are important but should not hinder your department from taking action to address bio and agro-defense at the national level with NBAF. While we do not agree with every aspect of the review, we agree that NBAF is a necessary and critical asset for our country."