MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are backing President Donald Trump’s plan to switch federal agency control of a biodefense laboratory complex under construction in the state.
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility is currently controlled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Federal and state officials say the $1.25 billion project in Manhattan will aid efforts to prepare for agro-terrorism and research how to protect the country’s food supply.
Trump this year proposed handing over operational control of the facility to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of his budget plan. The idea brought some concern, but federal officials and Kansas lawmakers on Monday supported the bureaucratic changeover.
Construction on the facility is about two-thirds complete. The facility is expected begin operating in 2022 or 2023.
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security toured the National Agro-Defense Facility that is under construction in Manhattan.
Today, I toured the National Bio & Agro-Defense Facility at @KState, an asset that’ll provide indispensable capabilities essential for food security in a global economy. Together with @USDA we will defend our Ag industry & public health. Learn more here: https://t.co/V5pO6vrzIL pic.twitter.com/ofoaKEJXtM
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) September 10, 2018
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the facility Monday with a host of federal and state leaders. They include U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall and Kevin Yoder, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Kansas State President Richard Myers.
The $1.25 billion research facility, or NBAF, will study diseases that can be spread from animals to humans. The facility is expected to open in 2022.
MANHATTAN – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts will host U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on a tour of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), currently under construction, and of Kansas State University’s Bio Research Institute (BRI) next door.
Roberts will be joined by U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, Representatives Roger Marshall and Kevin Yoder, and Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer.
The federal and state leaders will be joined by Kansas State University President Richard Myers.
Senator Roberts invited Secretary Nielsen to see NBAF firsthand to ensure the protection of plant and animal health remains a national security priority.