DHS to address community concerns at NBAF meeting

DHS to address community concerns at NBAF meeting

Athens, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will hold an informal community meeting to answer questions about the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 6:30 to 10 p.m., at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

UGA-owned property on South Milledge Avenue is one of six sites under consideration by DHS for the NBAF, a new national facility that would address the federal government’s need for research and development space to meet threats from foreign animal diseases that affect livestock and diseases that may transmit from animals to humans.

Experts from DHS, the U. S. Department of Agriculture and Plum Island Animal Disease Center will present information about the mission of NBAF, its design, safety measures, impact on the environment and more. The officials will also answer written and oral questions.

“The top concerns of the Athens community will be addressed,” said David Lee, UGA vice president for research and lead of the Georgia Consortium for Health and Agro-Security. “This is an opportunity to get answers to questions about NBAF and separate fact from fiction. DHS wants to address misperceptions about NBAF and set the record straight.”

Meeting moderators Jim Thompson, Athens Banner-Herald editorial editor, and Ben Emanuel, Flagpole city editor, will select the written questions that are submitted by community members before and during the meeting to assure that a balance of questions are addressed and as many questions as possible can be answered. Questions may be submitted in advance to jim.thompson@onlineathens.com or ben@flagpole.com. Written questions also may submitted on cards available during the “meet and greet” portion of the meeting from 6:30 to 7 p.m., as well as during a break. The presentation begins at 7 p.m.

Tim Bryant, WGAU news director, will moderate the meeting and call on people for oral questions. Each person approaching the microphone will be allowed one initial question and one follow-up question.

For information, call 706/542-5941.