Backyard Bioweapons

Backyard Bioweapons


Proposed New "Hot Zone" Labs(pdf)


Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML)
National Institutes of Health (Hamilton, MT)
New BL4

RML to be one of NIH's new 'intramural' labs. Corixa Corp has a vaccine production facility in Hamilton.

Western National Center for Biodefense
University of California at Davis
New BL4

Seeking a NIAID national lab. Affiliations include LLNL, California Dept. of Health.

Oregon Health and Sciences Univ. (Portland)
New BL4

Collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab. This is in addition to PNNL's DOE-funded BL3.

Centers for Disease Control (Fort Collins, CO)
New BL3+

CDC in Fort Collins spends roughly 25% of its budget on biodefense research (as of 2002).

US Army Dugway Proving Ground (Dugway, Utah)
New aerosol chamber, BL3 upgrades

Proposed 200% activity increase.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
US Department of Energy (Livermore, CA)
New BL3

Planned operation in July 2003. Located adjacent to a LLNL
lab with a 1600 liter fermenter capacity.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
US Department of Energy (Richland, WA)
New BL3

PNNL is upgrading an existing BL2 to BL3 level. This lab is funded by DOE.

Tripler Army Medical Center (Honolulu, HI)
New BL3

Not mentioned in the US Army's systemwide plans.


University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston)
New BL4

First phase to open in mid-2003. Affiliations include Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs.

Texas Technological University / City of Lubbock
New BL4

Lab proposal for decommissioned Reese AFB site.

University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
New BL4

University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, TX
New BL4

Los Alamos National Laboratory
US Department of Energy (Los Alamos, NM)
New BL3


University of Illinois at Chicago
New BL4

Seeking NIAID BL4 grant

Homeland Security Research Center
US EPA (Cincinnati, OH)
BL3 Upgrade

The Ohio State Univ. / Battelle collaboration to obtain a NIAID 'Regional Center of Excellence' (see below) will seek the operating contract for this facility.

National Agricultural Biosecurity Center
Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)
New BL3 (minimum)

USDA affiliation. Information previously available on the KSU web site has been deleted.

Univ. of Chicago, Argonne National Lab, Northwestern Univ. (Chicago, IL)
New BL3

NIAID funding program proposal. Facility to be situated at Argonne National Lab. University of Chicago PR announcement.

Center for Biodefense Excellence
Ohio State Univ. / Battelle Inst (Columbus, OH)
(Minimum BL3 upgrade)

NIAID designation/funding sought. NIAID funding minimally
requires appropriate BL3 facility.

Battelle Memorial Inst. (West Jefferson, OH)
unknown upgrades

Upgrades reported both in the US Army Biodefense PEIS and by Ohio State Univ (Battelle's partner)

Midwest Research Institute (Kansas City, MO)
unknown upgrades

Currently operates BL3 facility and 190m3 bioaerosol chamber.


Southern Research Institute (SRI) / Univ. of Alabama (Birmingham, AL)
New BL4

Oak Ridge National Lab (Oak Ridge, TN)
New BL4

ORNL is laying the groundwork for a BL4 facility for work related to its genomics and transgenic animals programs.

Southern Research Institute (Birmingham, AL)
BL3 upgrades

New animal and enhanced bioaerosol capability. SRI promotes its biodefense work by boasting of the high number of its employees who hold "secret" and "top secret" security clearances.

Duke University / University of North Carolina
Research Triangle Park, NC
New BL3 (minimum)

NIAID proposal for a regional facility


Fort Detrick / National Institutes of Health
Frederick, MD
New (2nd) BL4 lab

Johns Hopkins Univ. / Univ. of Maryland
(Baltimore/College Park, Maryland)
New BL4

Department of Defense, Pentagon Grounds
(Northern Virginia near Washington, DC)
New BL3

Prefabricated BL3 unit manufactured by Certek

Southern Research Institute (Frederick, MD)
BL3 upgrades

This is the same SRI as in Alabama. This is a major BL3 capacity expansion at Frederick, MD.

George Mason University (Manassas, VA)
New BL3 bioaerosol chamber

Capable of full-body primate exposures. Led by Dr. Ken Alibek, former deputy chief of the Soviet Union's offensive program.

Aberdeen Proving Ground (Aberdeen, MD)
New BL3

This new US Amy BSL3 is separate from other Aberdeen/Edgewood complex upgrades.

University of Virginia (Charlottesville)
New BL3

Regional center application to NIAID program.

Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (Aberdeen, MD)
Unknown upgrades

Outline of US Amy PEIS indicates upgrades. ECBC already operates BL3s and aerosol chambers.

US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (Aberdeen, MD)
Unknown upgrades

Naval Surface Weapons Center (Dahlgren, VA)
Unknown upgrades

Outline of US Army Biodefense Program Programmatic Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIS) indicates upgrades will be made.


Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biodefense, Boston Univ. (Boston, MA)
New BL4

Wadsworth Center
NY Department of Public Health (Albany, NY)
New BL4
(possibly affiliated with RPI)

Wadsworth won't confirm or deny they have proposed a new BL4 ("we're not giving any information on that.").

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
New BL4
(possibly affiliated with Wadsworth)

RPI will not confirm or deny a NIAID bid for a BL4

Calspan - UB Research Center (Buffalo, NY)
BL3 Upgrade

Has a 600 m3 bioaerosol chamber, including an explosives unit, both at BL2. Is adding animal and BL3 capacity.

USDA Plum Island Animal Disease Center (New York)
BL3 upgrade

Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
BL3 Upgrade