Proposal Calls for Biodefense Center in Arkansas

April 23, 2006 - Posted at 12:39 p.m. CST

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) _ The Pine Bluff Arsenal is one of several

facilities hoping to become the sites of a federal center that

would assess biological threats to the country.

An Arkansas and Louisiana consortium has applied for the

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. Its proposal is one of 29

submitted to the federal government.

The proposal calls for a 450 million dollar,

500-thousand-square foot facility on at least 30 acres. The

operation would employ 250 people.

The center would involve Homeland Security, the U.S. Department

of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services. A Homeland Security spokesman says that once the site is

chosen construction could start in about three years and the center

could open in 2011.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)