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Monday, April 16, 2007  
Lawrence Livermore Lab Potential Site for Bio-Warfare Research Facilit

By: Bay City News wire, TV5 evening news
Published In: CBS 5 Television


In spite of widespread opposition to a proposed plan to construct a massive bio-warfare agent research facility at Lawrence Livermore Lab's Site 300 near Tracy, the Department of Homeland Security is sending a "site selection" team to the area today to evaluate the location, according a Livermore-based environmental group working to abolish nuclear weapons.

Tri-Valley CAREs, which has been monitoring activity at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 1983, reported today that the proposed new bio-warfare facility would cover 500,000 square feet, the size of five Wal-Marts, and house the most lethal pathogens on earth.

Plans for the facility include experiments on infectious or exotic pathogens, such as live anthrax, plague and Q fever, according to Tri-Valley CAREs.

Site 300 is located about six miles southwest of downtown Tracy and 15 miles southeast of Livermore. More than 7 million people live within a 60-mile radius of the facility, according to Tri-Valley CARES.

According to Tri-Valley CARES, Site 300 is directly above an active fault, the Elk Ravine fault, and is in an area susceptible to frequent wildfires. The property is currently a federal superfund cleanup site.

According to Tri-Valley CAREs, the Department of Homeland Security is currently studying 17 potential locations for the proposed bio-warfare research facility. One of the department's criteria for finding an appropriate location is "community acceptance," Tri-Valley CAREs reported.

The group has been working to rally opposition to the proposed facility. In January, the Tracy City Council voted to oppose the bio-lab at Site 300. An estimated 7,000 residents have signed petitions, called, e-mailed and sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security urging it to eliminate Site 300 from its list of potential locations for the bio-lab.

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