Local News

Raleigh Comes Out Against Proposed Bio-Defense Lab

Posted February 19, 2008

— The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose a federal bio-defense laboratory proposed for Granville County.

Butner is one of five finalist locations that the Department of Homeland Security is considering for a National Bio- and Agro-Defense facility, which would study animal diseases and diseases spread from animals to humans. Supporters say the lab would bring about 1,500 short-term construction jobs and would eventually employ up to 500 people and could generate $6 billion in the local economy over the next two decades.

The idea of a lab studying avian flu, Mad Cow disease and other illnesses has upset local residents. Granville County commissioners withdrew their support for the project last month because of the growing opposition.

Raleigh officials began questioning the site for the lab last fall, saying they feared contamination in the headwaters of Falls Lake, the city's primary reservoir.

On Tuesday, the council asked Homeland Security officials to address their concerns and those of Granville County officials. The council also demanded that federal officials devise a plan that would guarantee no sediment from the facility would flow into Falls Lake and create civilian oversight for the lab.

The council also suggested that federal officials look for another suitable site in North Carolina for the lab.

Other finalists for the facility are:

  • Flora Industrial Park, Madison County, Miss.
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
  • Texas Research Park, San Antonio, Texas
  • University of Georgia/South Milledge Avenue, Athens, Ga.

The department is expected to choose a site in the fall. If Butner is selected, the lab could be operating by 2013.


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  • GWALLY Feb 19, 2008

    These are the some of the same people that DID NOT see the WATER SHORTAGE problem before it got to the emergency stage it is today. Yea....their "expertise" is phenomenal!!!!!

  • Funky Neighbor LEE Feb 19, 2008

    How do those Raleigh City Council Members get those big heads through the door into their meeting room?

  • gvmntcheese Feb 19, 2008

    www.tradencheese.com, also, you can catch us every Friday nights at 9pm EST www.blogtalkradio.com/tradencheese

    Solutions start with understanding the problem. If one can not fully understand the underlying root of the problems we have as a county, then no solution is feasible.

  • jmarkhams24 Feb 19, 2008

    And for those of you not familiar with Granville....a jump to the 20th Century would be a major improvement!!!

  • jmarkhams24 Feb 19, 2008

    Why is everyone having a problem with this? Do you not realize that the Research Triangle Park, Duke University and a few other "hidden" facilities dominate the landscape around here? Please! What will one more facility do to our economy. For one, Granville County needs all the help it can get to bring it up to the 20th Century. And with jobs being so scarce I would think that the # of jobs this facility would create would be great for the entire area. For those of you complaining, do some research of your own and see what is being done in RTP, Duke, etc. There is stuff going on there that movie producers couldn't even re-create on screen. Wake up!!!! It's already here and has been for years.

  • getrealpeople Feb 19, 2008

    "The city should do its homework and not reject projects that are potentially beneficial to the region"

    They have. They are against it since it will discharge to your drinking water supply!! Get it. And don't say they will treat it.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Feb 19, 2008

    Feds need to close the prison and move to where they are wanted.
    This is small town hype.... without growth they just slowly die.

  • Adelinthe Feb 19, 2008

    Build it next to Shearon Harris - then if anything happens, maybe they'll equal each other out.


    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • rnsjr Feb 19, 2008

    I don't guess we need the jobs.

  • Not_So_Dumb Feb 19, 2008

    And when Raleigh makes a decision, how often do they consult Granville County? Here is message for the city council - MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!