Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Kentucky One of 14 Nationwide Finalists for New National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 09, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

List narrowed from 29 original locations

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced that Pulaski County is one of 14 finalists to be the home of a new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). The Pulaski County site now moves to the next stage of the ongoing site selection process.

“Today’s announcement is further proof that Kentucky is being recognized for its availability to be a leader in the field of bio research and testing,” said Governor Fletcher. “I sincerely thank Congressman Rogers, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and all the consortium members who are working diligently on this project. I look forward to continuing our efforts to bring this facility home to Kentucky.”

“This is obviously great news, and puts us one step closer to our goal. I am proud of our team and the case we have made to locate this new federal research laboratory in Southern Kentucky,” said Rogers. “We have assembled an extraordinary consortium that combines the assets of Kentucky and Tennessee and highlights the resources of our region. We are up against very strong competition, but as the selection process indicates, we are effectively competing for this facility.”

The Kentucky/Tennessee NBAF Consortium Expression of Interest was submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last Friday, March 31st.  The consortium is led by the states of Kentucky and Tennessee and includes the universities of Kentucky, Louisville and Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The consortium also includes economic and development organizations from the commonwealth. The consortium also is in discussions with other national and regional institutions concerning their joining the group.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proposing to build the NBAF to meet the demand for increasing levels of research and testing for foreign animal and zoonotic diseases. The department has determined current U.S. laboratory capabilities are inadequate to meet future research requirements.

The NBAF would provide the nation with its first integrated agricultural, zoonotic diseases and public health research, development and testing facility.

If the consortium’s proposal is ultimately selected, the new bio-defense lab would be located in Pulaski County at a site approximately 12 miles northeast of Somerset. The lab would create hundreds of jobs both during construction and to staff the facility. An economic study of the proposed facility indicates it will support more than 400 jobs with an annual local payroll of more than $30 million. Construction of the lab alone will create $262 million in new payrolls.