Kansas poised to land hundreds of jobs as pick for biodefense lab

WASHINGTON | Congressional lawmakers and staff say the federal government will recommend a site in Kansas for a new $450 million laboratory to study biological threats like anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease.

The Department of Homeland Security's choice of Manhattan, Kan., beat out intense competition from other sites in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas.

Agency officials revealed their choice to lawmakers late Tuesday.

Lawmakers and staff familiar with the decision spoke only on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement won't be made until later this week, when the agency releases an environmental impact statement.

The choice won't be made final until sometime after a 30-day window for comments on the decision, which could face legal challenges from losing states.

The new lab would replace an aging facility on Plum Island, N.Y.