Plum Island Animal Disease Center of New York (PIADCNY) is a United States federal research facility dedicated to the study of animal diseases. It is part of the DHS Directorate for Science and Technology. Since 1954, the center has had the goal of protecting America's livestock from animal diseases. During the Cold War a secret biological weapons program targeting livestock was conducted at the site. This program has been the subject of controversy. Spoiler: Plum Island Building 257, also known as Lab 257, was a United States biological warfare research laboratory located at Fort Terry on Plum Island, New York. Originally intended for munitions storage, the facility researched anti-animal biological agents beginning in 1952 under the United States Army. Biological warfare research continued in the building under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) until a new laboratory was completed. Building No. 257 at Fort Terry, on Plum Island near Long Island, New York, was completed around 1911. The original purpose of the building was to store weapons, such as mines, and the structure was designated the Combined Torpedo Storehouse and Cable Tanks building. Fort Terry went through a period of activations and deactivations through World War II until the U.S. Army Chemical Corps took over the facility in 1952 for use in anti-animal biological warfare (BW) research.The Chemical Corps planned a laboratory for the fort, to be housed in Building 257. The conversion of Fort Terry to a BW facility required the remodeling of Building 257 and other structures. As work neared completion on the lab and other facilities in the spring of 1954 the mission of Fort Terry changed. Construction was completed on the facilities on May 26, 1954 but the post was transferred to the USDA before the military could utilize the new laboratory facilities. Fort Terry was officially transferred to the USDA on July 1, 1954, at the time scientists from the Bureau of Animal Industry were already working in Building 257. Construction on a new lab facility, known as Building 101, also began about this time but was not completed until September 1956. A modernization program in 1977 aimed to update both Building 257 and Building 101, but the program was canceled in 1979 because of construction contract irregularities. Plum Island facilities were essentially unchanged until a new modernization began in 1990. Two-thirds of the laboratory facilities inside Building 101 were renovated and operations in Building 257 were consolidated into Building 101. According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Building 257 was closed in 1995 and currently poses no health hazard. -Wiki Nestled near the Hamptons, the fashionable summer playground of America's rich and famous, and in the shadow of New York City, lies an unimposing 840-acre island unidentified on most maps. On the few on which it can be found, Plum Island is marked red or yellow, and stamped U.S. government—restricted or dangerous animal diseases. Though many people live the good life within a scant mile or two from its shores, few know the name of this pork chop–shaped island. Even fewer can say whether it is inhabited, or why it doesn't exist on the map. That's all about to change. Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory blows the lid off the stunning true nature and checkered history of Plum Island. It shows that the seemingly bucolic island on the edge of the largest population center in the United States is a ticking biological time bomb that none of us can safely ignore. Based on innumerable declassified government documents, scores of in-depth interviews, and access to Plum Island itself, this is an eye-opening, suspenseful account of a federal government germ laboratory gone terribly wrong. For the first time, Lab 257 takes you deep inside this secret world and presents startling revelations including virus outbreaks, biological meltdowns, infected workers who were denied assistance in diagnosis by Plum Island brass, the periodic flushing of contaminated raw sewage into area waters, and the insidious connections between Plum Island, Lyme disease, and the deadly 1999 West Nile virus outbreak. An exploration of the complex world of microbiology, viruses, and bacteria, Lab 257 also shows how the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which ran Plum Island for the last half century, is far more than wholesome grade-A eggs and the food pyramid. The book probes what's in store for Plum Island's new owner, the Department of Homeland Security, in this age of bioterrorism. And for those interested in questions of national security and safety, it is a call to action for those concerned with protecting present and future generations from preventable biological catastrophes. Lab 257 will change forever our current understanding of Plum Island -- a place that is, in the words of one insider, "a biological Three Mile Island." I couldn't put this book down and I read it straight through the day I bought it. Highly recommended reading.