FREDERICK, Md. (AP) – Fifteen contract laboratory workers are being laid off at Fort Detrick because of budget cuts at the Department of Homeland Security.
The agency has cut $8 million from its contract with the new biodefense lab operated by Battelle National Biodefense Institute at Fort Detrick.
Late last year, a spokesman says Homeland Security officials decided to scale back the contract and write risk assessment reports in-house, rather than contract them out.
Homeland Security spokesman John Verrico says the new $147 million lab is still a priority. The lab’s construction was completed in 2008, and it is still undergoing safety and environmental testing to become fully operational.