Biodefense Lab Opposed
Columbia is one of 17 locations across the country being considered for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. Columbia residents who oppose the lab held a meeting to educate others on the potential dangers of the lab.
Dr. Karen Onofrio lives near the proposed site.
"It will be the largest level three Ag combined with a level four lab, and what that means is it will be the largest next generation laboratory of this kind in the United States," Onofrio said.
A level four lab would house deadly viruses like the avian flu. A major concern is the lab's proposed location next to New Haven Elementary School and a residential subdivision.
But Columbia and MU officials say they are taking the resident's concerns into consideration.
"I understand the neighbors concerns about it, and I don't blame them. I think that they have every right to be concerned and that their questions would have to be answered before this would be decided to be an appropriate place," Mayor Darwin Hindman said.
"There are a lot of questions out there about the facility. We also know that we can answer some of them and we can't answer some of them. And that some of those questions or all of them will be answered during that year and a half, 18 month review," Christian Basi, MU news bureau associate director said.
Columbia expects to know whether or not it is in the final group of sites in early July.