Draft environmental impact statement prepared for USAMRIID facilities at Fort Detrick

The Department of the Army has issued a Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) associated with the construction and operation of new U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) facilities and the decommissioning and demolition or re-use of the existing USAMRIID facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland. A Public Meeting for the DEIS will be conducted at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, 1501 N. Market St., Frederick, at 7 p.m. on August 30. The purpose of the Public Meeting is to allow the public an opportunity to provide comments on the DEIS.

The Proposed Action will replace the existing USAMRIID facilities and provide adequate state-of-the-art biocontainment laboratory space at Biosafety Levels (BSL) 2, 3, and 4. USAMRIID's mission involves conducting research to develop medical solutions -- vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostics -- to protect our armed forces and citizens from biological threats. The proposed new USAMRIID facilities will be located on Fort Detrick, adjacent to the existing USAMRIID facilities and near the Integrated Research Facility of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, now under construction, and the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center of the Department of Homeland Security.

USAMRIID, an organization of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, is the lead biodefense laboratory of the Department of Defense (DoD), with unique facilities and expertise to safely conduct critical research, development, testing, and evaluation for medical solutions to protect our armed forces from biological threats they may encounter on the battlefield. In addition, USAMRIID has been assigned a second mission, namely to leverage these capabilities to support government-wide biological defense efforts by acting as the DoD's lead laboratory for the testing and evaluation of medical biological defense products.

Environmental analyses of the Proposed Action and alternatives evaluated land use, climate, geology, soils, water resources, wetlands, plant and animal ecology, air quality, historical and cultural resources, socioeconomic environment, noise, odors, transportation, energy resources, hazardous material management, human health and safety, environmental justice, and cumulative effects with respect to potentially significant impacts. The issues addressed included safety of laboratory operations and demolition of the existing biocontainment laboratories; public health and safety; handling, collection, treatment, and disposal of research wastes; analysis of other risks; and pollution prevention.

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For more information: Caree Vander Linden, USAMRIID Public Affairs, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5011, Telephone: (301) 619-2285, Fax: (301) 619-4625.

View the USAMRIID EIS web site at http://www.usamriid.army.mil/eis


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