Wednesday Public Briefing In Kapolei For Major Level 3 Bio Lab In Kalaeloa
by John Bond
The local Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34, on Wednesday June 9, 2012 were told "No bio-weapons would be developed here, and the BSL 3 facility could never become a BSL 4 due to the differences in equipment, engineering and infrastructures required for BSL 4 facility."
Some communities are strongly against these labs. Is it just a "diagnostics lab" for "treatments and vaccines for infectious diseases"?
Live Anthrax, plague, Japanese encephalitis virus is considered as level 3 lab research.
An informational briefing for the public to learn about the proposed "Pacific Health Research Laboratory (PHRL)" at Kalaeloa will be held on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Kapolei High School Cafeteria at 91-5007 Kapolei Parkway.
The local Ewa - Kapolei public deserves the full story about this lab before it is built. Pearl City and Kakaako did not want this lab in their communities.
Biosafety level 3 is applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching, research, or production facilities in which work is done with indigenous or exotic agents which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease after inhalation. It includes various bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans but for which treatments exist.
"The mission of the laboratory is to develop new diagnostics and effective low-cost treatments and vaccines for infectious diseases, particularly those found in the Asia-Pacific Region," says the press release for the Kapolei informational briefing.
The Pacific Health Research Laboratory at Kalaeloa will be located on a two-acre site on Saratoga Avenue at Kalaeloa, near the Hawaii National Guard and FBI new Hawaii’s headquarters in West Oahu, just off Roosevelt Avenue.
Level 3 labs can be upgraded later to Level 4 labs and Kalaeloa, with a large National Guard and new Pacific Region FBI headquarters would be a natural location for a future Federal level 4 lab, compared to other past considered locations. Very dangerous, exotic and lethal diseases, without any known treatments, could be brought into the Kalaeloa area by special high security vehicles and aircraft for use at the lab. This could also involve testing on live animals.
Biosafety level 4 is required for work with dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections, agents which cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, smallpox, and various other hemorrhagic diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a positive pressure personnel suit, with a segregated air supply, is mandatory.
Special HazMat equipment vehicles are already stored in nearby Ewa Village.
Once a facility like this gets going there will be endless Federal funding opportunities to bring in more and more equipment to continuously enlarge and expand the lab into a major regional Federal Level 4 center for bio terrorism research of all kinds. At that point it will become Top Secret and the public will no longer have any idea what is actually being done.
"While one may calculate the probabilities of certain calamities, the likelihood of a terrorist mission targeting the facility or of a disgruntled employee intent on sabotage is inestimable." - 2012 Comment on Risk Assessment Report for Boston Bio-Lab.
According to the United State Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published on October 4, 2007, a total of 1356 CDC/USDA registered BSL-3 facilities were identified throughout the United States (GAO-08-108T. This represents a very conservative estimate of the number of facilities in the US in 2007. Approximately 36% of these laboratories are located in academia.
Only 15 BSL-4 facilities were identified at the time, including 9 at federal labs.
Protests Against Lab in Boston...
So what would be studied in this level 3 lab?
Protestors on mainland, trying to stop similar facility there: VIDEO
WBUR: Hurdles Remain For South End Infectious Disease Lab