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110th Congress                                            Rept. 110-819
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1
======================================================================
 
TO AMEND THE HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002 TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL BIO 
                       AND AGRO-DEFENSE FACILITY

                                _______
                                

                 August 1, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1717]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1717) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to 
establish a National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     5
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     6
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     6
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     6
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     6
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    10
Committee Correspondence.........................................    12

  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL BIO- AND AGRO-DEFENSE FACILITY OF 
                    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

  (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 appointed by the Secretary, in 
consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture.
  ``(b) Mission.--
          ``(1) In general.--The NBAF shall be an integrated foreign-
        animal and disease research, development, testing, and 
        evaluation facility, the purpose of which is to support the 
        Department, the Department of Agriculture, and other Federal 
        agencies, as appropriate, in defending against the threat of 
        potential acts of agroterrorism and natural-occurring incidents 
        related to agriculture with the potential to adversely impact 
        animal health, public health, the economy, or homeland 
        security.
          ``(2) Knowledge production and sharing.--The NBAF shall 
        produce and share knowledge and technology for the purpose of 
        protecting animal health and public health and reducing 
        economic losses caused by foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, as 
        appropriate, endemic animal diseases of livestock and poultry.
  ``(c) Joint Strategy and Interagency Agreement With Department of 
Agriculture.--
          ``(1) Joint strategy.--The Secretary and the Secretary of 
        Agriculture shall develop a joint strategy to define the 
        respective roles and responsibilities of the Department and the 
        Department of Agriculture with respect to activities undertaken 
        at the NBAF on foreign animal diseases, including foot and 
        mouth disease, and zoonotic diseases. The joint strategy shall 
        be updated as necessary.
          ``(2) Interagency agreement.--The Secretary and the Secretary 
        of Agriculture shall formalize the joint strategy developed 
        under paragraph (1) by entering into an interagency agreement, 
        which shall be updated and revised as appropriate.
  ``(d) Other Interagency Agreements.--The Secretary and the Secretary 
of Agriculture may enter into understandings or agreements with the 
heads of Federal departments and agencies with missions that may be 
supported by activities undertaken at the NBAF or may use existing 
understandings or agreements with the heads of such Federal departments 
or agencies, to define the respective roles and responsibilities of 
each department or agency in carrying out research, development, 
testing, evaluation, and diagnostic activities at the NBAF.
  ``(e) NBAF Director.--The Secretary, in consultation with the 
Secretary of Agriculture, shall appoint a Director of the NBAF 
(referred to in this section as the `Director'). The Secretary, acting 
through the Director, shall be responsible for--
          ``(1) managing, operating, and maintaining the NBAF;
          ``(2) ensuring NBAF physical site security, information 
        security, biosafety, biosecurity, and biosurety;
          ``(3) developing an emergency response plan under which 
        emergency response providers in the surrounding community are 
        sufficiently prepared and trained to respond effectively and 
        given sufficient notice to allow for an effective response; and
          ``(4) monitoring the activities of the Department and the 
        Department of Agriculture and reporting to the Secretary and 
        the Secretary of Agriculture on the status of the fulfillment 
        of the respective obligations of each Department, as agreed to 
        under the joint strategy and formalized in the interagency 
        agreement under subsection (c).
  ``(f) Director of Homeland Security Research Programs.--The Secretary 
shall appoint one or more Directors of Homeland Security Programs, one 
of whom shall be the Director of Homeland Security Research Programs at 
the NBAF. The Director of Homeland Security Research Programs at the 
NBAF shall be responsible for--
          ``(1) directing the research programs of the Department at 
        the NBAF;
          ``(2) facilitating the coordination of Federal, State, and 
        local governmental efforts and resources relating to the 
        Department's activities carried out pursuant to the joint 
        strategy developed under subsection (c)(1);
          ``(3) providing training to Department research and technical 
        staff at the NBAF to equip them with the requisite skills and 
        expertise necessary to contribute to and carry out operations 
        at the NBAF;
          ``(4) conducting animal model development and testing and 
        evaluation to support the development of human medical 
        countermeasures where appropriate; and
          ``(5) leveraging the expertise of academic institutions, 
        private industry, the Department of Energy National 
        Laboratories, State and local governmental resources, and 
        professional organizations to carry out the Department's 
        activities at the NBAF.
  ``(g) Directors of USDA Programs.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall 
appoint one or more Directors of USDA Programs at the NBAF who shall be 
responsible for directing the programs of the Department of Agriculture 
at the NBAF.
  ``(h) 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.
          ``(2) The NBAF shall be of sufficient size in terms of 
        acreage and laboratory capacity and shall have access to 
        necessary supporting infrastructure to enable the Secretary and 
        the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out their respective 
        responsibilities pursuant to the joint strategy developed under 
        subsection (c)(1).
          ``(3) 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.
  ``(i) Authorization To Procure Real Property and Accept in Kind 
Donations for the NBAF Site.--The Secretary may acquire real property 
for the NBAF through purchase or donation and may accept and use in-
kind donations of personal property, laboratory and office space, 
utility services, and infrastructure upgrades to carry out the purposes 
of this section.
  ``(j) Live Virus of Foot and Mouth Disease Research.--The Secretary 
of Agriculture shall issue a permit required under section 12 of the 
Act of May 29, 1884 (23 Stat. 31; 21 U.S.C. 113a) to the Secretary of 
Homeland Security for work on the live virus of foot and mouth disease 
at the NBAF. The permit shall be valid unless the Secretary of 
Agriculture finds that the study of live foot and mouth disease virus 
at the NBAF is not being carried out in accordance with the regulations 
issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Agricultural 
Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8401). The suspension, 
revocation, or other impairment of such permit shall be made by the 
Secretary of Agriculture and is a nondelegable function.
  ``(k) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the 
requirements of this section.''.
  (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.''.

  Amend the title so as to read:

    A bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to 
establish a National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility, and for 
other purposes.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 1717 is to amend the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002 to establish a National Bio- and Agro-defense 
Facility, and for other purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Nation currently lacks necessary Biosafety Level (BSL) 
3 and BSL 4 large animal laboratory space needed to research 
many high consequence foreign animal and zoonotic diseases. BSL 
3 facilities require a double door entry and unidirectional 
airflow into the lab. BSL 4 facilities require all these 
things, as well as a complete body suit with separate air 
source worn by the researcher. The National Bio- and Agro-
defense Facility (NBAF) will fill this gap, provide a unique 
capability, and fulfill the guidance in Homeland Security 
Presidential Directive (HSPD)-9, ``Defense of United States 
Agriculture and Food,'' to develop a plan ``to provide safe, 
secure, and state-of-the-art agriculture biocontainment 
laboratories that research and develop diagnostic capabilities 
for foreign animal and zoonotic diseases.''

                                Hearings

    On May 23, 2007, the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, 
Cybersecurity and Science and Technology held a hearing 
entitled ``Reducing Threats to our Nation's Agriculture: 
Authorizing a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.'' The 
Subcommittee received testimony from Dr. John Vitko, Head, 
Chemical and Biological Division, Science and Technology 
Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; Dr. Edward 
Knipling, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, 
Department of Agriculture; and Mr. Kevin Shea, Assistant 
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 
Department of Agriculture.

                        Committee Consideration

    H.R. 1717 was introduced by Mr. McCaul and five original 
co-sponsors on March 27, 2007 and referred to the Committee on 
Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committee on 
Agriculture and the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Within 
the Committee on Homeland Security, H.R. 1717 was referred to 
the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and 
Science and Technology.
    On June 6, 2007, the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, 
Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology met in open markup 
session and ordered H.R. 1717 forwarded to the Full Committee 
for consideration, as amended, by voice vote.
    On August 1, 2007, the Full Committee met in open markup 
session and ordered H.R. 1717 favorably reported to the House 
of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.

                             Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto.
    On June 6, 2007, the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, 
Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology met in open markup 
session and ordered H.R. 1717 forwarded to the Full Committee 
for consideration, as amended, by voice vote.
    The following amendment was offered:
          An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by 
        Mr. Langevin, (#1), was AGREED TO by voice vote.

    On August 1, 2007, the Full Committee met in open markup 
session and ordered H.R. 1717 favorably reported to the House 
of Representatives, as amended, by voice vote.
    The Committee considered a Committee Print showing the text 
of H.R. 1717 as agreed to by the Subcommittee. The title of the 
Committee Print was amended so as to read ``To amend the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a National Bio- and 
Agro-defense Facility, and for other purposes.''
    The Committee adopted the bill, as amended, by voice vote.
    The following amendment was offered:
          An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by 
        Mr. Thompson (#1), was AGREED TO by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

    New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

     In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that 
H.R. 1717, would result in no new or increased budget 
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

     The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 24, 2007.
Hon. Bennie G. Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1717, a bill to 
amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a National 
Bio- and Agro-defense Facility.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
        Sincerely,
                                           Peter R. Orszag,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1717--A bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to 
        establish a National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility

    H.R. 1717 would formally establish a National Bio- and 
Agro-defense Facility in the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS). The department would use this facility--as planned under 
current law--to conduct research on biological and agricultural 
threats against the United States, including diseases affecting 
livestock.
    DHS is currently selecting a site for this facility and 
anticipates beginning construction in 2010, with operations 
commencing by the end of 2013. CBO expects that implementing 
H.R. 1717 would not significantly affect the department's plans 
or spending for this facility. Based on preliminary information 
from the department, CBO expects that it will cost roughly $600 
million to build and equip the new facility; subsequently, 
operating costs will be about $40 million per year. The bill 
would authorize the department to accept in-kind donations of 
real property or services to support the planned facility. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 1717 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no direct costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1717 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    H.R. 1717 establishes, in statute, the National Bio- and 
Agro-defense Facility (NBAF). The bill defines the mission of 
the facility to conduct research in order to protect the U.S. 
from foreign animal and zoonotic diseases. The bill details the 
roles and responsibilities of the Department of Homeland 
Security and the Department of Agriculture at the facility, 
including by authorizing the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
accept real property and in-kind donations for the NBAF site, 
and directing the Secretary of Agriculture to provide to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security a permit to conduct research on 
the live virus of foot and mouth disease at the NBAF.

    Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 1, which grants Congress the power 
to provide for the common Defense of the United States.

                   Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


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.''

Section (a) Establishment

    This section establishes the National Bio- and Agro-defense 
Facility (NBAF).
    The Committee agrees with the assessments of the Department 
of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Agriculture 
that the Plum Island Animal Disease Center is an aging facility 
and that a new integrated foreign animal and zoonotic disease 
research facility will enhance the Nation's defense against 
potential acts of agro-terrorism and naturally-occurring 
incidents relating to agriculture that have the potential to 
adversely impact animal health, public health, and the economy. 
The Nation currently lacks Biosafety Level (BSL) 3 and BSL 4 
livestock laboratory space needed to research many high 
consequence foreign animal and zoonotic diseases and to fulfill 
the requirements of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9. 
The NBAF will fill this gap, providing the capacity and 
capability to fulfill critical homeland and agriculture 
security missions.

Section (b) Mission

    The NBAF shall be an integrated foreign animal disease 
research facility, owned by the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS), to support research by DHS, the Department of 
Agriculture, and other Federal agencies to protect the U.S. 
from these diseases. Knowledge and technology developed at the 
NBAF will be shared between the Departments of Homeland 
Security and Agriculture and with other Federal, State, and 
local agencies to support that mission.
    The Committee expects that the new facility will continue 
to support the efforts of DHS and the Department of Agriculture 
currently ongoing at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, 
provide opportunities for important new foreign animal and 
zoonotic disease research, and enable collaborations between 
DHS, the Department of Agriculture and with other Federal 
departments and agencies.

Section (c) Joint Strategy and Interagency Agreement with the 
        Department of Agriculture

    The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of 
Agriculture shall jointly develop a strategy for the study of 
high-consequence biological threats involving foreign-animal 
and zoonotic diseases. This strategy shall apply to activities 
undertaken at the NBAF and define the respective roles and 
responsibilities of the two Departments which shall be 
formalized in an interagency agreement. The Committee believes 
that all activities at the NBAF should be consistent with but 
not limited to the agreement.
    The Committee recommends that the Joint Strategy should 
include, but not be limited to, activities related to: 
developing countermeasures for foreign-animal, zoonotic, and, 
as appropriate, endemic animal diseases, including diagnostics, 
vaccines and therapeutics; providing advanced test and 
evaluation capability for threat detection, vulnerability and 
countermeasure assessment for foreign animal, zoonotic, and, as 
appropriate, endemic animal diseases; sharing information with 
relevant stakeholders, including the National Animal Health 
Laboratory Network and the American Association of Veterinary 
Laboratory Diagnosticians, and connecting with the network of 
Federal and State resources intended to enable an integrated 
and rapid response to animal health emergencies of potential 
national concern; and identifying and promoting uniform 
national standards for animal disease diagnostics.

Section (d) Other Interagency Agreements

    The Secretaries of Homeland Security and Agriculture may 
enter into interagency agreements with other Federal agencies 
for activities that support shared missions at the NBAF.
    The Committee strongly encourages cooperative and 
collaborative relationships with other Federal agencies that 
conduct disease detection and countermeasure research, 
development, testing, and evaluation, such as the Department of 
Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, and 
encourages the use of interagency agreements to formalize the 
roles and responsibilities necessary for successful 
collaborations.

Section (e) NBAF Director

    The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of 
Agriculture, shall appoint an NBAF Director responsible for 
managing the facility, ensuring security, developing an 
emergency response plan, and monitoring overall activities at 
the facility, including adherence to the Joint Strategy 
developed pursuant to section (c).
    The Committee recognizes that the current governance 
structure at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center is a good 
model for the new NBAF and sections (e) through (g) are 
intended to promote a similar structure while allowing 
flexibility to each Department. The Committee intends such 
organizational structure to provide a necessary framework of 
accountability and responsibility, but not to limit interagency 
coordination and collaboration in any way. The Committee 
strongly urges the Directors of Homeland Security programs and 
the Directors of USDA programs, defined in sections (f) and (g) 
respectively, to establish a mechanism to ensure continual 
dialogue and facilitate coordination in carrying out the 
activities agreed to under the Joint Strategy.

Section (f) Directors of Homeland Security Programs

    The Secretary shall appoint one or more Directors of 
Homeland Security Programs, one of which shall be the Director 
of Homeland Security Research Programs who will be responsible 
for the Department's research activities at the NBAF, 
facilitating coordination with other researchers, providing 
necessary training to Department researchers, conducting animal 
model testing where appropriate, and leveraging the expertise 
of other research facilities.
    The Committee directs that the responsibilities of the 
Director of Homeland Security Research Programs should include, 
but not be limited to: directing the research programs of the 
Department at the NBAF; facilitating the coordination of 
Federal, State, and local governmental efforts and resources; 
providing training to Department research and technical staff 
at the NBAF to equip them with the requisite skills and 
expertise necessary to contribute to and carry out operations 
at the NBAF; conducting animal model development and testing 
and evaluation to support the development of human medical 
countermeasures where appropriate; leveraging the expertise of 
academic institutions, private industry, the Department of 
Energy National Laboratories, State and local governmental 
resources, and professional organizations to carry out the 
Department's activities at the NBAF.

Section (g) Directors of USDA Programs

    The Secretary of Agriculture shall appoint one or more 
Directors of USDA programs who will be responsible for carrying 
out USDA programs at the NBAF.

Section (h) Requirements

    The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that the 
NBAF facility contain large animal Biosafety level 3 and 4 
laboratories, be of sufficient size and capacity to support all 
research, have access to necessary supporting infrastructure, 
and been determined to be located on a suitable site according 
to an Environmental Impact Statement.

Section (i) Authorization to Procure Real Property and Accept in Kind 
        Donations for the NBAF Site

    The Secretary of Homeland Security may acquire real 
property for the NBAF through purchase or donation and may 
accept and use in-kind donations of personal property, 
laboratory and office space, utility services, and 
infrastructure upgrades.
    The Committee expects that the NBAF site selection process 
will ultimately choose the best possible site for the NBAF to 
complete its mission. The Committee therefore grants the 
authority to the Secretary to not only purchase property but to 
accept donations of such in order to obtain the best site at 
the lowest expenditure.

Section (j) Live Virus of Foot and Mouth Disease Research

    The Secretary of Agriculture shall issue a permit to the 
Secretary that allows the study of live virus of foot and mouth 
disease (FMD) at the NBAF. The permit shall be valid unless the 
Secretary of Agriculture finds that the research on live FMD is 
not being carried out in accordance with the agricultural 
select agent rules issued by the Secretary of Agriculture.
    The Committee believes that FMD represents one of the 
largest threats to our Nation's agriculture industry. As such, 
it is imperative that researchers at the NBAF be allowed to 
study the live virus of FMD at the facility. The Committee 
directs the Secretary to ensure that the research on the live 
virus of FMD be pursued vigorously, but always safely and 
securely.

Section (k) Authorization of Appropriations

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out the requirements of this section.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a)  * * *
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:
     * * * * * * *

    TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 316. National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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 appointed by 
the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of 
Agriculture.
  (b) Mission.--
          (1) In general.--The NBAF shall be an integrated 
        foreign-animal and disease research, development, 
        testing, and evaluation facility, the purpose of which 
        is to support the Department, the Department of 
        Agriculture, and other Federal agencies, as 
        appropriate, in defending against the threat of 
        potential acts of agroterrorism and natural-occurring 
        incidents related to agriculture with the potential to 
        adversely impact animal health, public health, the 
        economy, or homeland security.
          (2) Knowledge production and sharing.--The NBAF shall 
        produce and share knowledge and technology for the 
        purpose of protecting animal health and public health 
        and reducing economic losses caused by foreign-animal, 
        zoonotic, and, as appropriate, endemic animal diseases 
        of livestock and poultry.
  (c) Joint Strategy and Interagency Agreement with Department 
of Agriculture.--
          (1) Joint strategy.--The Secretary and the Secretary 
        of Agriculture shall develop a joint strategy to define 
        the respective roles and responsibilities of the 
        Department and the Department of Agriculture with 
        respect to activities undertaken at the NBAF on foreign 
        animal diseases, including foot and mouth disease, and 
        zoonotic diseases. The joint strategy shall be updated 
        as necessary.
          (2) Interagency agreement.--The Secretary and the 
        Secretary of Agriculture shall formalize the joint 
        strategy developed under paragraph (1) by entering into 
        an interagency agreement, which shall be updated and 
        revised as appropriate.
  (d) Other Interagency Agreements.--The Secretary and the 
Secretary of Agriculture may enter into understandings or 
agreements with the heads of Federal departments and agencies 
with missions that may be supported by activities undertaken at 
the NBAF or may use existing understandings or agreements with 
the heads of such Federal departments of agencies, to define 
the respective roles and responsibilities of each department or 
agency in carrying out research, development, testing, 
evaluation, and diagnostic activities at the NBAF.
  (e) NBAF Director.--The Secretary, in consultation with the 
Secretary of Agriculture, shall appoint a Director of the NBAF 
(referred to in this section as the ``Director''). The 
Secretary, acting through the Director, shall be responsible 
for--
          (1) managing, operating, and maintaining the NBAF;
          (2) ensuring NBAF physical site security, information 
        security, biosafety, biosecurity, and biosurity;
          (3) developing an emergency response plan under which 
        emergency response providers in the surrounding 
        community are sufficiently prepared and trained to 
        respond effectively and given sufficient notice to 
        allow for an effective response; and
          (4) monitoring the activities of the Department and 
        the Department of Agriculture and reporting to the 
        Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture on the 
        status of the fulfillment of the respective obligations 
        of each Department, as agreed to under the joint 
        strategy and formalized in the interagency agreement 
        under subsection (c).
  (f) Director of Homeland Security Research Programs.--The 
Secretary shall appoint one or more Directors of Homeland 
Security Programs, one of whom shall be the Director of 
Homeland Security Research Programs at the NBAF. The Director 
of Homeland Security Research Programs at the NBAF shall be 
responsible for--
          (1) directing the research programs of the Department 
        at the NBAF;
          (2) facilitating the coordination of Federal, State, 
        and local governmental efforts and resources relating 
        to the Department's activities carried out pursuant to 
        the joint strategy developed under subsection (c)(1);
          (3) providing training to Department research and 
        technical staff at the NBAF to equip them with the 
        requisite skills and expertise necessary to contribute 
        to and carry out operations at the NBAF;
          (4) conducting animal model development and testing 
        and evaluation to support the development of human 
        medical countermeasures where appropriate; and
          (5) leveraging the expertise of academic 
        institutions, private industry, the Department of 
        Energy National Laboratories, State and local 
        governmental resources, and professional organizations 
        to carry out the Department's activities at the NBAF.
  (g) Directors of USDA Programs.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
shall appoint one or more Directors of USDA Programs at the 
NBAF who shall be responsible for directing the programs of the 
Department of Agriculture at the NBAF.
  (h) 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.
          (2) The NBAF shall be of sufficient size in terms of 
        acreage and laboratory capacity and shall have access 
        to necessary supporting infrastructure to enable the 
        Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out 
        their respective responsibilities pursuant to the joint 
        strategy developed under subsection (c)(1).
          (3) 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.
  (i) Authorization to Procure Real Property and Accept in Kind 
Donations for the NBAF Site.--The Secretary may acquire real 
property for the NBAF through purchase or donation and may 
accept and use in-kind donations of personal property, 
laboratory and office space, utility services, and 
infrastructure upgrades to carry out the purposes of this 
section.
  (j) Live Virus of Foot and Mouth Disease Research.--The 
Secretary of Agriculture shall issue a permit required under 
section 12 of the Act of May 29, 1884 (23 Stat. 31; 21 U.S.C. 
113a) to the Secretary of Homeland Security for work on the 
live virus of foot and mouth disease at the NBAF. The permit 
shall be valid unless the Secretary of Agriculture finds that 
the study of live foot and mouth disease virus at the NBAF is 
not being carried out in accordance with the regulations issued 
by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Agricultural 
Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8401). The 
suspension, revocation, or other impairment of such permit 
shall be made by the Secretary of Agriculture and is a 
nondelegable function.
  (k) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the 
requirements of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        Committee Correspondence

           Congress of the United States, House of 
         Representatives, Committee on Agriculture,
                                    Washington, DC, August 2, 2007.
Hon. Bennie G. Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Thompson: Thank you for your recent 
correspondence regarding H.R. 1717, a bill to establish the 
National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF). As you are 
aware, the Committee on Agriculture was granted an additional 
referral of this legislation.
    I appreciate your collaboration in developing the Amendment 
in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 1717, which greatly 
improved the underlying bill and was adopted at the Committee 
on Homeland Security's full committee markup on August 1, 2007. 
In order to expedite this legislation, the Committee on 
Agriculture will forgo formal action on H.R. 1717 with the 
understanding that our Committee does not waive any future 
jurisdictional claims over this or similar measures. In 
addition, in the event a conference with the Senate is 
requested on this matter, the Committee on Agriculture reserves 
the right to seek appointment of conferees.
    I also ask that you insert a copy of our exchange of 
letters into the Committee Report on H.R. 1717 and into the 
Congressional Record during consideration of this measure on 
the House floor.
    Thank you very much for your courtesy in this matter and I 
look forward to continued cooperation between our Committees as 
we deal with issues regarding homeland security and agriculture 
in the future.
        Sincerely,
                                Collin C. Peterson,
                                                  Chairman.
                                ------                                

           Congress of the United States, House of 
   Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security,
                                  Washington, DC, August 2, 2007.  
Hon. Collin C. Peterson,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Peterson: Thank you for working with me to 
address concerns in H.R. 1717, a bill to establish the National 
Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) within the Department of 
Homeland Security. Like you, I strongly believe that the 
nation's health and economic security must be protected from 
the threat of zooanotic diseases and other biological threats, 
both manmade and naturally-occurring.
    Yesterday, the Committee on Homeland Security approved an 
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 1717 that was 
developed between our two Committees that improves on the 
underlying legislation. It makes clear that Congress expects 
the Departments of Homeland Security and Agriculture to work in 
partnership. Specifically, it requires the two agencies to 
develop a joint strategy for research at the new facility and 
to formalize their respective responsibilities in an 
interagency agreement. As amended, H.R. 1717 will ensure that 
the interests of both the Departments of Homeland Security and 
Agriculture are protected and the security of the U.S. 
agriculture industry is enhanced.
    Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
announced the completion of the initial site selection process 
for the NBAF and that five sites have been selected as 
finalists. Timely passage of H.R. 1717 is critical to this 
endeavor, as DHS needs the authorities granted in the bill to 
ensure final completion of the site selection process and 
commence land acquisition and construction.
    I appreciate your willingness to work with me to develop 
the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute in lieu of acting 
on H.R. 1717 in the Agriculture Committee. I do not construe 
your decision to waive consideration of this bill as a waiver 
of jurisdiction over H.R. 1717. Further, I would support a 
request for appointment of conferees during any House-Senate 
conference convened on H.R. 1717 or similar legislation, should 
such a request be made.
    Thank you, again, for working with me on this important 
legislation.
        Sincerely,
                                Bennie G. Thompson,
                                                  Chairman.