US Department of Homeland Security National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility: Draft Environmental Impact Statement [open pdf - 35MB]
"The United States needs to update and expand its facilities to study the range of foreign animal diseases that are potential threats to United States (U.S.) agriculture.1 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed to augment existing capabilities through the construction and operation of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). Operation of this biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) and BSL-4 research facility would enable basic and advanced research, diagnostic testing and validation, countermeasure development (i.e., vaccines and antiviral therapies), and diagnostic training for high-consequence livestock diseases with potentially devastating impacts to U.S. agriculture and public health. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), where much of the current research on foreign animal diseases is performed, is an essential component of the national strategy for protecting U.S. agriculture from a bioterrorist attack involving the intentional introduction of viruses such as foot and mouth disease. However, PIADC was built in the 1950s and is nearing the end of its lifecycle. The NBAF would fulfill the need for a secure U.S. facility that could support collaborative efforts among researchers from federal and state agencies and academia."
United States Department of Homeland Security, http://www.dhs.gov