DHS signs land transfer agreement with Kansas for NBAF site

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently signed a land transfer agreement with the state of Kansas for the Manhattan, Kansas, site that will be used for the planned National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility.

The approximately 46-acre site is located on the north side of the Kansas State University campus. The state committed $105 million in matching state funds to the NBAF project and $35 million of research funding to transition the NBAF mission to the new site.

"While there is much more work to be done, signing of the land transfer agreement is a good step forward in securing the future health, wealth and security of the our nation," Sam Brownback, Kansas' governor, said. "It demonstrates DHS' continued commitment to completing the NBAF in Manhattan. Kansas stands ready to partner with DHS to move this important national security priority forward."

The $650 million laboratory will be involved in the research and development of countermeasures for human, animal and zoonotic diseases. The DHS invested more than $125 million into the design, engineering, preparation and risk-assessment for the site.

"This land transfer is good news for Kansas and critical to our national security," Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said. "The facts are clear: without the capabilities NBAF provides, our country is at risk from foreign animal disease threats. This is even more significant with the damage Plum Island sustained during Hurricane Sandy and the millions of dollars that are needed to repair it, all of which offers more reason to move quickly on NBAF. Construction should begin immediately."

The facility is expected to have a $3.5 billion economic impact on Kansas in its first 20 years of use.

Brownback and the Kansas Congressional Delegation said they will strongly pursue federal funding for the NBAF.