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NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.
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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Friday, March. 28, 2003

Media Contact:
Chuck Dasey
(301) 619-2736
Laurie Doepel James Hadley
(301) 402-1663
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Environmental Impact Statement Planned for NIH Laboratory at Fort Detrick

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued today a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) associated with the construction and operation of a proposed Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick. A Public Scoping Meeting will be conducted at Whittier Elementary School, 2400 Whittier Drive, in Frederick, MD, at 7:00 p.m. on April 16. The purpose of the Public Scoping Meeting is to describe the National Environmental Policy Act process and solicit public comment on environmental issues and alternatives related to the proposal.

The Proposed Action, construction and operation of a new Integrated Research Facility, will enable researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to safely study disease-causing microbes. The proposed facility will support research at Biosafety Levels (BSL) 2, 3, and 4. The facility will be located on approximately six acres at Fort Detrick near the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). NIAID and USAMRIID have worked together for many years on developing new vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and other interventions for infectious diseases.

NIAID, a component of NIH, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, conducts and supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-mediated illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, illness from potential agents of bioterrorism, tuberculosis, malaria, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. Recently, the Institute's resources and expertise have been increasingly applied to studying organisms that might be used as agents of bioterrorism and the response of the human immune system to those organisms. This knowledge will be used to develop new and improved diagnostic tests, vaccines, and therapies to protect civilians.

Significant issues to be analyzed in the EIS will include safety of laboratory operations; public health and safety; handling, collection, treatment, and disposal of biomedical research waste; and analysis of other risks, as well as concerns for pollution prevention and impacts of the proposed action on air quality and biological resources, cultural resources, water resources, land use and socioeconomic resources.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health ®

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NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.

Last Updated March 28, 2003