The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is leading a requirements analysis process to identify a next-generation biological and agricultural defense facility to replace the important but aging facility at Plum Island, New York. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) is an essential component of the national strategy for protecting U.S. agriculture from a bioterrorist attack involving the intentional introduction of foreign animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, as described in the Homeland Security Presidential Directive, "Biodefense for the 21st Century." The Plum Island facility was built in the 1950s and is nearing the end of its life-cycle, and the Homeland Security mission requires replacing PIADC with a new facility. The President's FY06 budget requests $23 million for the needs assessment and design process for a new National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF). In addition to agricultural and animal studies, public health threats from emerging high consequence zoonotic pathogens and the development and licensure of medical countermeasures are generating additional demands for biocontainment laboratory space. DHS is working closely with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate future needs in the context of this new national facility.
Dept. of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/