January 28, 2019
US$4 million to fix problems at poultry lab in Georgia, US
The facility in question was set up at the four-year-old lab in Gainesville to deal with viruses like avian influenza, but has since been found with design flaws, according to Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. Workers were withdrawn from the room last spring after some of the employees complained of having headaches and hearing loud vibrations.
In addition, Black told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that pressure in the biosafety level 3 lab clean room - where staffers could handle things such as avian influenza or bird flu cases - caused seals to blow on windows.
While the facility is currently closed, its work on viruses can be conducted at other facilities in Georgia. Contractors have also fixed problems at the poultry lab.
"It's the most aggravating problem when we have to wait.... and when we get something (done), we have problem after problem...," Black told lawmakers at a joint hearing of the House and Senate Appropriations committees. "The only reason we discovered this US$4 million problem is because we had roof leaks that would not stop."
He also requested from Georgia's general assembly for an additional US$4 million to fix the lab's problems.