Text: H.R.1717 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (03/27/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1717

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 27, 2007

Mr. McCaul of Texas (for himself, Mr. Pickering, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Etheridge, and Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committees on Agriculture and Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.

(a) In general.—Title III of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6. U.S.C. 181 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

“SEC. 316. National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.

“(a) Establishment.—There is in the Department a National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (referred to in this section as the ‘NBAF’), which shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the Secretary.

“(b) Purposes.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The NBAF shall be an integrated human, foreign-animal, and zoonotic disease research, development, testing, and evaluation facility with the purpose of supporting the complementary missions of the Department, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Health and Human Services in defending against the threat of potential acts of agroterrorism and natural-occurring incidents related to agriculture with the potential to adversely impact public health, animal health, and the economy, or may otherwise impact homeland security.

“(2) KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION AND SHARING.—The NBAF shall produce and share knowledge and technology for the purpose of reducing economic losses caused by foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, as appropriate, other endemic animal diseases of livestock and poultry and preventing human suffering and death caused by diseases existing or emerging in the agricultural sector.

“(c) Responsibilities of Director.—The Secretary shall vest in the Director primary responsibility for each of the following:

“(1) Directing basic, applied, and advanced research, development, testing, and evaluation relating to foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, as appropriate, other endemic animal diseases, including foot and mouth disease, and performing related activities, including—

“(A) developing countermeasures for foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, as appropriate, other endemic animal diseases, including diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics;

“(B) providing advanced test and evaluation capability for threat detection, vulnerability, and countermeasure assessment for foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, as appropriate, other endemic animal diseases;

“(C) conducting nonclinical, animal model testing and evaluation under the Food and Drug Administration’s Animal Rule as defined in parts 314 and 601 of title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, to support the development of human medical countermeasures by the Department of Human Services under the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq);

“(D) establishing NBAF information-sharing mechanisms to share information with relevant stakeholders, including the National Animal Health Laboratory Network; and

“(E) identifying and promoting uniform national standards for animal disease diagnostics.

“(2) Facilitating the coordination of Federal, State, and local governmental research and development efforts and resources relating to protecting public health and animal health from foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, as appropriate, other endemic animal diseases.

“(3) Ensuring public safety during an emergency by developing an emergency response plan under which emergency response providers in the community are sufficiently prepared or trained to respond effectively and given sufficient notice to allow for an effective response.

“(4) Ensuring NBAF site and facility security.

“(5) Providing training to develop skilled research and technical staff with the needed expertise in operations conducted at biological and agricultural research facilities.

“(6) Leveraging the expertise of academic institutions, industry, the Department of Energy National Laboratories, State and local governmental resources, and professional organizations involved in veterinary, medical and public health, and agriculture issues to carry out functions describes in (1) and (2).

“(d) Requirements.—The Secretary, in designing and constructing the NBAF, shall ensure that the facility meets the following requirements:

“(1) The NBAF shall consist of state-of-the-art biocontainment laboratories capable of performing research and activities at Biosafety Level 3 and 4, as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

“(2) The NBAF facility shall be located on a site of at least 30 acres that can be readily secured by physical measure.

“(3) The NBAF facility shall be at least 500,000 square feet with a capacity of housing a minimum of 80 large animals for research, testing and evaluation.

“(4) The NBAF shall be located at a site with a preexisting utility infrastructure, or a utility infrastructure that can be easily built.

“(5) The NBAF shall be located at a site that has been subject to an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

“(6) The NBAF shall be located within a reasonable proximity to a national or regional airport and to major roadways.

“(e) Authorization to procure real property and accept in kind donations for the NBAF site.—The Secretary may accept and use donations of real property for the NBAF site and may accept and use in-kind donations of real property, personal property, laboratory and office space, utility services, and infrastructure upgrades for the purpose of assisting the Director in carrying out the responsibilities of the Director under this section.

“(f) Applicability of other laws.—

“(1) PUBLIC BUILDINGS ACT.—The NBAF shall not be considered a “public building” for purposes of the Public Buildings Act of 1959 (40 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.).

“(2) LIVE VIRUS OF FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE RESEARCH.—The Secretary shall enable the study of live virus of foot and mouth disease at the NBAF, wherever it is sited, notwithstanding section 113a of title 21, United States Code.

“(g) Coordination.—

“(1) INTERAGENCY AGREEMENTS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall enter into understandings or agreements with the heads of appropriate Federal departments and agencies, including the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to define the respective roles and responsibilities of each Department in carrying out foreign-animal, zoonotic, and other endemic animal disease research and development at the NBAF to protect public health and animal health.

“(B) DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.—The understanding or agreement entered into with the Secretary of Agriculture shall include a provision describing research programs and functions of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security, including those research programs and functions carried out at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and those research programs and functions that will be transferred to the NBAF.

“(C) DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.—The understanding or agreement entered into with the Department of Health and Human Services shall describe research programs of the Department of Health and Human Services that may relate to work conducted at NBAF.

“(2) COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIPS.—The Director shall form cooperative relationships with the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians to connect with the network of Federal and State resources intended to enable an integrated, rapid, and sufficient response to animal health emergencies.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to title III the following:


“Sec. 316. National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.”.