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Army plans animal lab at Fort Detrick, Md.

FREDERICK — The Army says it plans to build an animal laboratory for use by military and civilian scientists at the National Interagency Biodefense Campus taking shape at Fort Detrick in Frederick.

Officials said Thursday they are seeking bids from contractors interested in writing an environmental impact statement for the $584 million project. The lab would be ready for occupancy in 2018.

Army officials say the lab would be used for testing promising vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tools developed by researchers at the biodefense campus.

The campus will include an upgraded version of the military’s flagship biodefense lab, plus neighboring labs run by the federal departments of homeland security, agriculture and health and human services.

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