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Homeland Security

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Initial Selection Process

Initial Group of Proposed Locations

Eighteen sites were selected from a group of 29 as potential locations for the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). These sites were:

  • University of California/LLNL
  • Georgia Consortium for Health and Agro-Security 2-sites
  • Heartland BioAgro Consortium (Kansas) 2-sites
  • Kentucky and Tennessee NBAF Consortium (Kentucky)
  • Mid-Atlantic Bio-Ag Defense Consortium (Maryland)
  • Gulf States Bio and Agro-Defense Consortium (Mississippi) 3-sites
  • University of Missouri at Columbia NBAF Consortium
  • North Carolina Consortium for the NBAF
  • Oklahoma State University Consortium
  • Texas A&M University and the NBAF Consortium
  • Brooks Development Authority and Brooks City-Base Foundation (Texas)
  • Texas Research and Technology Foundation (San Antonio NBAF Consortium)
  • Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (San Antonio NBAF Consortium)
  • Wisconsin Consortium (University of Wisconsin-Madison site at the Kegonsa Research Facility)

Additional Information Requested

The Department of Homeland Security requested additional information within each of the four evaluation criteria to supplement the information received in the original Expression of Interest submissions in a letter to each consortia on December 8, 2006 (PDF, 6 pages - 3.70 MB ). These criteria were:

  • The proposed site is within a comprehensive research community that has existing research programs in areas related to the NBAF mission requirements (veterinary, medical and public health, and agriculture).
  • The proposed site is within proximity to skilled research and technical staff with expertise in operations conducted at biological and agricultural research facilities. The proposed site is within proximity to training programs to develop skilled research and technical staff with the needed expertise.
  • The title to the proposed minimum 30 acre site would be deeded at no cost or minimal cost to the federal government (in-kind contribution, sale, or quit claim). The Department would be able to construct the entire NBAF (BSL-3 and BSL4 laboratories) at the 30 acre site.
  • In-kind contributions [e.g., deeded land at no cost rather than sale, new utility provisions and/or upgrades (e.g., sewer, electricity, water, chilled water, steamed water, etc.), and new roadways] would be offered to the Department (by the consortium, state government, local government, or private entities).
  • The proposing consortium demonstrates that the consortium itself, or other organizations within proximity to the site, will assist the Department in the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process to conduct the environmental analysis at the proposed site.
  • The proposing consortium demonstrates that local and national agriculture stakeholder community members (e.g., local and national agricultural associations) support or, at a minimum, do not oppose locating the NBAF at the proposed site.

Additional information submissions were to be postmarked on or before February 16, 2007. This request for additional information was originally stated in the Department’s notice of request for Expression of Interest (“EOI”) submissions published on the Federal Business Opportunities website on January 17, 2006 and the Federal Register on January 19, 2006 (the “Notice of Request”), reserving the right to request additional information and clarifications from consortia whose submissions were deemed worthy of further consideration based on our evaluation of their EOI submissions.

The consortia representing the final five site alternatives were sent a letter on February 29, 2008 (PDF, 10 pages - 1.22 MB) requesting verification of their site offers.

Review Process

  • Individual reviewers are federal employees who evaluated each submission for the specific criteria in which they are an expert.
  • Committee members and committee chairs represent multi-department component offices and multi-governmental agencies (the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA], Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] and Department of Defense [DOD])
  • There are three Criteria Committees (Research Capabilities and Workforce, Acquisition/ Construction/Operations, and Community Acceptance) that developed a consensus evaluation on each criterion for the Steering Committee to evaluate.
  • The Steering Committee comprised the Criteria Committee Chairs and was chaired by the Director of the Department's Science and Technology S&T Office of National Laboratories.
  1. Individual Criteria Reviewers (Research Capabilities and Workforce, Acquisition/Construction/Operations, and Community Acceptance)
  2. Consolidate Individual Reviews for Criteria Committees
  3. Criteria Committees meet and reach Consensus on Ratings and Comments
  4. Consolidate Criteria Committee Consensus data for Steering Committee
  5. Steering Committee meets to review/edit Ratings and Comments
  6. Site Visits (Validate information; Observe Sites)
  7. Steering Committee meets and provides recommendation
  8. Selection Authority makes the final down select (sites for the EIS)

Site Visits

Upon the completion of the evaluation of the additional information, the Department scheduled site visits for all 14 consortia (18 sites).

The Department grouped the proposed sites into four geographical areas and visited the sites by geographic order based on a random selection.

Completed Steps

Milestones Date
Additional information due February 16, 2007
Conduct reviews March 2007
Site visits and final recommendations April - May 2007
Issue Notice of Intent (NOI) announcing sites for evaluation in the EIS July 31, 2007
Begin EIS July 2007
Publish Final EIS December 2008
Publish Record of Decision (ROD) January 2009


Last Published Date: July 31, 2012
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