Biohazard lab for North Carolina?

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed siting of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security biohazard lab in North Carolina is receiving public hearings today and tonight in Granville County. In conjunction, public comments may also be presented in writing by Monday, Aug. 25.

The proposed biohazard lab would be located in Granville County, one of five sites around the country that are under consideration. It would be a replacement for the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center, an aging lab located off the tip of Long Island, N.Y. According to the Department of Homeland Security Web site, the facility would be a joint activity with the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, addressing biological and agricultural security risks and the development of vaccine countermeasures. The Independent Weekly of Durham recently published a news story regarding support and opposition for the proposal (“Biotech or Biohazard?”). And a public commentary about the lab appeared in the Mountain Xpress on June 18.

Tonight’s 6 p.m. meeting takes place at the Butner-Stem Middle School, 501 East D Street, Butner, in the gymnasium. Written comments must be received no later than Aug. 25, and should be addressed to the U.S. Department Homeland Security; Science and Technology Directorate; James V. Johnson; Mail Stop #2100; 245 Murray Lane, SW; Building 410; Washington, DC 20528A.
Fax (toll free): 1-866-508-NBAF (6223).

Nelda Holder, associate editor


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7 thoughts on “Biohazard lab for North Carolina?

  1. SH

    Why anyone would want to move Foot and Mouth Disease to the middle of an agricultural area is beyond me. Wasn’t the British disaster a few years back, when millions of farm animals (many of them beloved pets) were needlessly slaughtered, traced to a lab escape of Foot and Mouth? This stuff rides on shoes, on hair, even on the breath of anyone around it. So much for supporting the small farmer. Under this plan, our animals’ lives may depend of the continual diligence of an underpaid lab tech.
    Keep it on an island, I say, away from farms. Not the mainland. And please, not here!

  2. Chad Nesbitt

    We do not want this in NC. Visiting London England, and have seen first hand what enviormental damage one of these places can do.

    There are great safety measures in Nuclear. But there could never bee enough for a lab like this.
    It will tear our farm lands all to pieces not to mention our NC economy and the
    economy of Granville County.

    Call your Senator, Congressman, NCGov.

    Senator Dole – 202-224-6342 Washington Office
    Heath Shuler – 828-252-1651 Asheville Office
    Gov. Mike Easly – 919-733-5811 Raleigh Office

    This isn’t about politics or view points.
    It’s a no win situation for everybody.
    Call the numbers above and tell them NO!

    Chad Nesbitt

  3. Chad Nesbitt

    OOPs. Hooligans is going to have a field day with my spelling. Again. In a hurry and dislexic.
    But you get the gist. Now call the numbers.

    Chad Nesbitt

  4. Gordon Smith


    Could you explain a little more about what kinds of hazards folks might expect? You seem to indicate it’s more dangerous than nuclear waste or nuclear reactor meltdown.

    More please.

  5. Zanna

    Gordon, I read what Chad said as implying that a disaster from a biohazard lab was likelier to happen at all, not that it would be more serious if it did. And I tend to agree, there’s just too many ways a tiny invisible organism can escape into the environment undetected.

    What are the other sites under consideration, do we have any information about them? I don’t want to be a typical “not in my backyard” sort, but it just so happens that MY backyard is a cradle of biodiversity and full of farms. Isn’t there some desert or rocky island we can isolate this center on?

  6. Chad Nesbitt


    When mad cow disease was rampant in the news media a few years ago, Nancy, Savannah, and I visited London England. We had to stay in the London city limits. Held there by the military.
    No castles in the country side. No stonehenge. Etc.. If you lived in the country but worked in the city you were not alowed to return home. And vice versa. Most of these people had to live in shelters.

    The government was afraid people would bring in disease from their tires, shoes, or person. They were killing cows left and right to try to stop the disease. Then they sprayed the fields the dead cows were on. The spray got into the streams and then the fish started dieing.

    It destroyed the tourism of the area and the entier economy for months.

    Why did this happen? The local news media reported that diseased cows were brought in to a local government lab for examination. Yes precautions were taken at the lab but they did’nt think about the trucks that delivered the cows. These trucks drove over the infected fields and farms of the diseased cows before showing up at the lab bringing the disease to the city and surrounding areas. You could have turned what we saw into a horror movie.

    Nuclear is not a viris. It’s clean. Waste is now contained in unbreakable containers. With the new technology, waste is very min.. You liberals were right about nuclear in the past. I even fought against the nuclear dumpsite they wanted to put in Sandy Mush back in the 1980’s.
    But now nuclear is a no brainer. It is one of the best and safest ways to make energy.

    Ha, ha, ha. I laugh sometimes at you liberals. If you would just quit screaming and listen every once in a while you will see that we common sense folks have some things in common with you progressives. The enviorment is crucial to our survival. We just don’t need Al Gore leading the way.

    Chad Nesbitt

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