RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Both national and state government officials were on hand for the dedication of a new, state-of-the-art facility at Research Triangle Park.
The new $273 million campus, located off Alexander Drive, will specialize in research regarding air quality, including air quality for homeland security. Scientists from the facility were also involved in monitoring the air at ground zero in New York and assessing exposure levels for people involved in the cleanup effort.
"One of the main research undertakings in this building will be the decontamination of buildings and the identification of the kinds of contaminants that we could face as threats," said Christie Whitman, administrator of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA was in 13 buildings spread across the Triangle. By being on one campus, the government said it can save taxpayers $100 million.
"Having it here in one location is good because it makes it that much easier to protect it than having it spread all over where you would have to protect each individual site," Whitman said.
"The research that's conducted at this RTP facility plays a fundamental role in protecting our environment and safeguarding the health of people across the country," said Rep. David Price. "I'm proud that the 4th District is home to innovative and groundbreaking work and that North Carolina will remain the center of the nation's environmental research effort."
Years ago, the Research Triangle Foundation gave the EPA 500 acres of land for $1. The new building is the biggest EPA research facility in the nation and the second-largest EPA facility in the country, next to Washington, D.C.
Design of the new EPA facility began in 1992, and construction followed in 1997. The new campus encompasses 1.2 million square feet of space and 132 acres of property.