The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has signed a land transfer agreement with the State of Kansas for the site where the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility will be built in Manhattan on Wednesday.
"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. 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," Gov. Sam Brownback said.
DHS announced its selection of the Manhattan site in 2009.
"This marks a big day for the state of Kansas as the land transfer is now complete. Last week, I spoke with Secretary Napolitano and she made clear construction of the Central Utilities Plant should be underway without further delay. I look forward to planning a ground breaking in 2013," U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said.
The approximately 46 acre site is located on the north side of the Kansas State University campus. It provides land acquisition potential; highway access; environmental compatibility; adequate utility infrastructure; an available local work force for skilled labor and academic research; and proximity to agricultural, academic, medical and bioscience resources.
"This land transfer is good news for Kansas and critical to our national security. After years of hard work by Kansans and numerous studies that substantiate the need for NBAF, I'm glad to see that DHS and Secretary Napolitano have signed the land transfer agreement and will work with the state of Kansas to move forward toward construction of the Central Utility Plant," U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran 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."