(Boston) — The Massachusetts Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs announced that he has issued a Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) certificate for Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL). This action signifies the state’s approval for BSL-3 and BSL-4 research to be conducted in the NEIDL and allows final state permits to be issued for the project.
The Secretary’s report stated that the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Report submitted by Boston University, “adequately and properly complies with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act and with its implementing regulations.”
“We are pleased that the MEPA process has had a positive finding,” said John Murphy, Interim Director, NEIDL. “Our research will make important contributions toward improving public health and will have local, national, and global impact.”
Boston University will now request permission from the Boston Public Health Commission to transfer on-going BSL-3 research from an existing BSL-3 lab on the BU Medical Campus to the NEIDL. This research involves tuberculosis-related bacteria and finding new ways to treat the disease, including improved vaccines.
BSL-4 research will not commence until some additional regulatory and judicial determinations are made.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.