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Plum Island For Sale – Top-secret Germ Warfare Facility Still Operational

December 5, 2011

Plum Island Southold, NY 11957

October 31, 2012 -Though battered, Plum Island weathered storm well  – By Dave Rogers Staff Writer Newburyport Daily News

Hurricane Sandy a spectacle in Plum Island

Hurricane Sandy Spills Sewage, Triggers Toxic Troubles

One particular concern is the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, which abuts a 1.8 mile canal that was recently designated a Superfund cleanup site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency due to a legacy of industrial pollution and sewage discharges. So far, only reporting about the homeowners on Plum Island have been reported about.  No mention about the conditions at the once infamous Biological Warfare Facility.

This is where Federal Regulations are very necessary.  This is why the passing of HR 527 was so disturbing. This bill delays implementing regulations, often specific to the safety of humans and animals, just for congressional scrutiny.  These regulations would most often impact the profit margin of congressional contributors.  So, since congressional ethics is questioned daily, we are twice at risk for contamination now than before the cold war.  The public sale of one of the most dangerous places on earth is imminent. Plum Island, New York was ground zero for chemical and biological warfare testing.

This island was used for unspeakable biological warfare testing as well as more recent animal disease testing.  The Cold War created some of the most despicable man-made products since “humans” began. From the 1950s, America has experimented with the most deadly nuclear, chemical and biological products.  Sometimes, these tests were made on Americans.  Sometimes, tests were made on unsuspecting participants.

In January 2009, I posted “Plum Island to Manhattan – Pathogens On The Move” because I was worried about the future.  “The most dangerous pathogens imaginable are to be moved from an isolated island off the coast of Long Island, New York into the breadbasket of the United States, Manhattan, Kansas.  For decades the mysteries surrounding the US Government (no names of course) has conducted and denied work on biological weapons.  Biological Weapons of any class are capable of eliminating, or mutating, living matter.  With the sad and fragile state of  this planet, earth already strains to support today’s human population, while they consume more and more .  Introducing more virulent forms of deadly biology appears insane.  Granted, pursuing antidotes requires working with extraordinary and dangerous life forms.  One would expect to keep this kind of work in the most isolated location possible. Kansas?  What portion of earth’s population relies on Kansas livestock and field crops, vegetables, oats, wheat, canola, soy, to mention a few.  Sure, Kansas Universities are well suited to engage in this dangerous research … but BioSafety Level 4?”

Historically, the best intentions of humans have gone awry.  There are so many examples of this that this article would last for pages.  The most recent example is pretty damning,  Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility has discovered a leak of 45 metric tons of radioactive water.  Who could have anticipated a double whammy of an earthquake and tsunami back to back, in the most earthquake active part of the world?  

Contaminated water found leaking at Japanese nuclear plant.  TEPCO said it is still working to see how much contaminated water may have reached the ocean

So, what is the most common hazard found in Kansas?  Oh My! We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto, then a tornado relocates Dorothy and her dog to visit the man behind the curtain …

Situation in Kansas:

 

US high security bio lab faces uncertain futurePlans to build one of the world’s most secure laboratories in the heart of rural America have run into difficulties.

The National Bio and Agro defence facility (NBAF) would be the first US lab able to research diseases like foot and mouth in large animals.

But reviews have raised worries about virus escapes in the middle of cattle country.

And rising costs have cast doubts over the project’s future.

For over 50 years the United States has carried out research on dangerous animal diseases at Plum Island, just off the coast of New York. However after 9/11 the Department of Homeland Security raised concerns about the suitability of the location and its vulnerability to terrorist attack.

After carrying out an exhaustive search for an alternative, the Department selected Manhattan, Kansas as its preferred location.

KBA target of criminal investigation –  Lets move a BIOWEAPONS LAB to Tornado Alley, in the middle of America’s food basket.

Kansas Bioscience Authority, a publicly funded venture enterprise developed to promote biotechnology, is currently under criminal investigation. CEO Tom Thornton has resigned.  KBA also lobbied the Dept. of Homeland Security for the highly controversial bioweapons and cattle disease lab in the state, along with former Governor Sebelius, now President Obama’s Cabinet Secretary. Under her governorship and full support, the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 passed, funding KBA’s mission with $581 million in tax revenue to develop a bioscience industry in Kansas.

The Record of Decision (ROD), The Manhattan, Kansas site was selected for the construction and operation of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility signed on January 12, 2009 and published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2009.  All comments on the NBAF Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were considered before the Record of Decision was issued.

Environmental Impact Statement Process for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) for Manhattan Kansas is a part of Homeland Security. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate released the Record of Decision (ROD) on the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).  Selected Manhattan Kansas as the site for a state-of the-art, high-security laboratory facility to study foreign animal and zoonotic (transferable from animal to human) diseases that can impact livestock.  In January 2009 –  Under Secretary for Science and Technology Jay Cohen. “I accepted the NBAF DHS/Department of Agriculture Steering Committee’s unanimous recommendation to build the NBAF in Manhattan because it represents the best overall proposal on how to meet mission needs. I greatly appreciate the well thought-out proposals from over a dozen states and their consortia, which reflected the impressive capabilities of many communities.”  The NBAF Final EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of taking no action, as well as siting, constructing and operating the proposed NBAF at the six site alternatives.

Then there is the Kansas Real Estate twist from REMAX:  Kansas and Missouri lagging behind in new Economy

According to an article in the Kansas City Business Journal Kansas City is lagging behind in the transition to a new global economy.  This news is dissapointing as it adds nothing to the Kansas City outlook to the future.  We have been folowing the new NBAF facility coming to Manhattan Kansas for some time.  If this area does not keep up with the national scene how are we to be expected to keep the NBAF.  Much news regarding the NBAF recently has not been positive.  While we know Manhattan is a couple of hours west of Kansas City the ripple effect of jobs and sevices will surely be felt if we don’t retain the NBAF to the Midwest.  Some controversy follows the NBAF,but what controversy does not follow any project that might be just a bit on the political side.  Let’s make sure we decide to do the right thing, not what’s best for politics.

Some in Kansas appear to be tickled pink to receive this facilityKansas: Protecting the Food Supply and Agriculture Economy – Kansas State University has been selected as the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) — once again highlighting the state’s deep agricultural heritage, bioscience expertise, research infrastructure, world-class animal health industry, and strong public support.  THE NBAF BELONGS IN KANSAS

Future NBAF Site: Manhattan, Kansas – Proposed NBAF Site Location
The proposed site for locating the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is on the Manhattan, Kansas, campus of Kansas State University, immediately adjacent to the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI). The BRI is a $54 million research/education facility having biosafety level 3 (BSL-3), BSL-3 Enhanced (BSL-3E), and BSL-3 Agriculture (BSL-3Ag) state-of-the-art research space. The site also has proximity to the KSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the KSU College of Agriculture which includes the Department of Animal Science and Industry.

The $650 million research facility will provide the country with an urgently needed, state-of-the-art lab to protect the food supply and agriculture economy. Kansas is exceptionally well suited to accelerate the achievement of this mission.

Not everyone in Kansas is happy about this facility in their backyard.   Letter to Livestock Producers  Posted by tmanney on February 1, 2011

We are sending the following letter to livestock producers in Kansas and surrounding states to inform them of the risk to their livelihood that is posed by the NBAF, in Kansas or anywhere else on the U. S. Mainland. We are urging them to contact their legislators and tell them of their real concern about having Foot and Mouth Desease Research conducted in the middle of cattle and other livestock production.

Situation in New York:

Plum Island, New York – Public Sale

This is an ongoing soap opera with dire consequences not only for America, but the world.  Plum Island is still operational.  It cannot shut down and move until the Kansas project is ready to receive the operation.  Still, right now, more Millions of dollars are being poured into Plum Island, at the same time NY real estate developers are salivating at the windfall of building condos and resorts.  

Meanwhile, there are growing concerns in Kansas that this Bio Facility might not be such a good idea.  Kansas business and real estate developers are moaning about the delays … they see dollar signs flying away, too.  Both sites give private developers wet dreams.  But, typical of the government, required studies are not complete, they should have been published last year.  So, the most recent status of relocating the most dangerous Stage 4 biological facility is incomplete.

The Plum Island EIS is a report independent of the NBAF project and will analyze the impacts of the sale of the Property. All analyses pertaining to the relocation of the mission off of Plum Island have already been presented in the NBAF EIS.

GSA: Plum Island, New York Public Sale – Environmental Impact Statement - The EIS will identify potential impacts on biological and cultural resources, noise and air quality, geology and soils, hazardous waste, infrastructure, land

use, socioeconomics, traffic and transportation, waste management, and water resources, as well as other environmental issues that could occur as a result of the sale. For potentially significant impacts, the EIS may determine mitigation measures to reduce these impacts, where feasible.

Questions about Plum Island’s future unresolved – Federal report on possible sale is still not completed
By Judy Benson Day Staff Writer – Article published Oct 19, 2011
… The Senate passed a Homeland Security appropriations bill in September that did not include the $150 million sought by the Department of Homeland Security for the new lab, citing a need for completion of a risk assessment of the proposed new site. The House had approved the allocation, but that Senate was not satisfied, Longwell said.

“The criteria had not been met to be proved it can be built safely,” he said. Bishop, he said, is “going to keep fighting for Plum Island” and thinks it a better location because it is farther from major populations of livestock and people.
“Right now the island is functioning very well as a bird sanctuary, and it’s very valuable in that regard,” Longwell added.
About 150 Connecticut residents work on the island, commuting via ferry from Old Saybrook. The 180 New York residents who work there take a ferry from a 9-acre terminal at Orient Point, L.I.
Longwell said he expects Congress to take up the funding issue again next month. The risk assessment, however, is not scheduled to be competed until January, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Longwell also said he doubts the sale of the island could generate enough money to cover the costs of the new lab, because of the environmental remediation that would be needed and other issues with its decades of use as a biohazard lab.
The increasing costs of the new lab are also a significant obstacle, given efforts to rein in federal spending, he said. Even as planning continues for a new facility, the federal government is investing in the existing lab. Peter Boogaard, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said Monday that two new animal rooms for cattle vaccine trials were recently built, and water supply and electrical distribution systems were updated. The work was needed because while the new lab is under construction, the Plum Island lab “will remain open and ongoing maintenance, and improvements are necessary to keep the facility operational,” he said. The Homeland Security department’s timeline calls for construction of the new lab to begin in February and be completed by July 2018. The closing of Plum Island and transition to the new lab would be done by 2020. j.benson@theday.com

Documents show vast cleanup of Plum Island land – 60 years of top-secret Army germ warfare research causes hundreds of years of hazard.

Cleanup of Plum Island
Superfund QuickFinder and National Priorities List (NPL)

Future of Plum Island Still at Standstill - Southold Planning Director expressed frustration to Connecticut newspaper about federal delays in dealing with Plum Island.

Since Congress first approved the sale of the site in 2008 with the stipulation that a new site for Plum Island’s animal disease research center would be found, the U.S. General Services Administration has supposedly been preparing an Environmental Impact Statement. A site near Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., was identified as a possible location for a new lab in 2009.

“We’ve been told so many different things about the timing of that,” Lanza told The Day of the draft impact statement.

With Safety Concerns, Plum Island Officials Demolish Orient Switch House

Plum Island management takes down the historic ‘Cable Crossing’ building at Orient Point this past summer.

No, aliens did not reclaim the “Cable Crossing” building, a historic brick switch house that disappeared from the tip of Orient Point just before Tropical Storm Irene hit this past summer. And no, there is no extra parking space for the Cross Sound Ferry now, as some North Fork Patch readers commented this weekend.

The building and chunk of land that it stood on is owned by the federal government  — Homeland Security, the agency that has overseen Plum Island and its animal disease research center since 2003. Plum Island is powered by underwater cables stemming from Orient Point, and the brick shed was for years surrounded by large “Cable Crossing” signs to warn boaters.

According to John Verrico, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, the 15-by-15-foot building was built in the early 1900s but had not been used since 1999, and its condition had deteriorated to a point that was no longer safe.

“The roof collapsed earlier this summer and the walls were ready to do same,” Verrico said. “Plum Island management was concerned about collapse and resulting debris in the event of severe storm conditions.”

Verrico added that several “unauthorized people” had been hopping the fence and entering the building recently and with a possible hurricane looming this past August, the building and fence was taken down ultimately due to safety concerns.

“A temporary fence was put up and a new, permanent fence will go up in the coming weeks along with new cable crossing signs,” Verrico said.

Parting thought:  As long as the mainstream media ignores this drama, we are all at risk.  Mainstream media needs to focus on human impact consequences of hazardous materials and how the politicians comlpetely miss the point.  Politicians are guilty of focusing on contributions from the companies doing the damage to their constituents. These consequences are always brought to light after people are hurt.  Why are Mea Culpas always more acceptable than preventative actions.  Why is the public always the last to know when the government exposes them to hazards, intentionally or accidentally. Rather gamble with money than lives?  The economic disaster most of us are still experiencing is a little more tolerable than this. But because the economics force regulators to cut back on oversight and inspections, now is not the time to implement such a dangerous move.  America has experienced too many regional disasters lately and is having a very hard time attending to them.  A disaster the size of a weapons grade chemical or biological mishap is global.  Just like the Fukushima radiation contamination of the Pacific Ocean is global.

UPDATE February 2012: Funding Cut for Plum Island Lab Move to Kansas

Kansas officials were stunned and upset Monday to learn that President Barack Obama recommended no additional funding for construction of a new biosecurity lab to replace the one at Plum Island, jeopardizing a high-visibility project that the state had seen as a powerful engine of economic growth.

The spending plan from Obama also said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will reassess the viability of the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility planned for Manhattan, near Kansas State University. The project would cost an estimated $650 million and would replace an aging facility at Plum Island.

A National Academy of Science study on the feasibility of placing the lab in the nation’s heartland identified a 70 percent chance that a release of foot-and-mouth disease could occur at the new facility during its projected 50-year lifespan. Damages to the livestock industry could total as much as $50 billion if a release were to occur, officials have said.

The academy is again studying the feasibility of placing the facility in Kansas. A final report is due this summer.

At a field hearing last month in Manhattan, critics of NBAF argued that the risks associated with studying foot-and-mouth disease and other deadly pathogens outweighed any economic benefit to the region. They urged Homeland Security and others to stop work on the project and leave the research on Plum Island.

I am pleased to report that someone in charge of this country has paid attention to the implications of this move … and see it for what it really is.  The National Academy of Science is under a lot of pressure from both sides to reconsider this move.  Kansas elite still see dollar signs associated with this project.  Common sense must prevail before we put this facility in the heartland.

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