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Boston biolab plan will be reassessed

Boston University and the NIH have agreed to reassess the environmental risks of their high-security anti-terrorism lab

John Dudley Miller
Boston University (BU) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have agreed to conduct a second, much broader environmental impact assessment for their BSL-4 anti-terrorism biolab, which has been under construction since March in Roxbury, a poor, densely populated part of Boston's South End.Last February, the NIH gave its final approval for the university to build the seven-story, $178 million National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory. In May, community residents sued to try to force the agency to stop funding the lab, which is intended for BSL-4 research on incurable fatal diseases like plague and Ebola virus. The suit was the culmination of three years of sustained community opposition to the lab.In an October 20 order, Federal District Judge Patti Saris deferred granting the plaintiffs' request to make the NIH temporarily cut off funding, but announced that the NIH and BU had agreed to conduct a comprehensive environmental reassessment to see...

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