For years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has carefully conducted its most dangerous, sometimes secretive, animal disease research on a secluded strip of land off the New York and Connecticut coastline. Known as the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), the aging and outdated laboratory facilities, now more than 50 years old, darken against the promise of a new state-of-the-art facility funded through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Looking to expand animal disease operations and research capabilities, DHS is exploring six potential sites for the new National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). In addition to Plum Island, the department is considering five other locations for NBAF, all of which are exclusively mainland — Manhattan, Kan.; Athens, Ga.; Flora, Miss.; Butner, N.C.; and San Antonio, Texas.
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