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Congressman Bost on NGA location: ‘This isn’t over.’

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, prepares for his guest appearance on St. Louis on the Air in 2014.
St. Louis Public Radio file photo
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, is fighting the decision to locate the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency north of downtown St. Louis.

Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro< is asking for an investigation into the report that laid out the pros and cons for the proposed sites for a new $1.75 billion federal facility.

That’s after he and several other member of Illinois’ congressional delegation met with National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency director Robert Cardillo on Thursday.

Last month Cardillo indicated a site in north St. Louis was his preferred location for the new NGA campus. That came as a blow to St. Clair County, which had offered 182 acres right next to Scott Air Force Base to the NGA free of cost.

In Thursday’s meeting, the Illinois officials laid out their concerns about security at the St. Louis site, as well as errors about St. Clair County in the U.S. Army Corps report. That included mistakenly using information from St. Clair counties in Missouri and Michigan.

At the conclusion of the meeting, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and Mark Kirk, a Republican, and U.S. Reps. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville,, Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Bost released a statement:

“The security assessment and the environmental impact are two of the most important criteria for this project.  Our meeting today raised serious concerns that these elements were not properly studied. NGA-West is a facility with significant national security importance which demands more attention to detail than it has received.”

Bost told St. Louis Public Radio that he would send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Inspector General, which looks into complaints. He said he made the decision to seek an investigation after asking Cardillo to delay his final decision.

Bost said the director declined to do so.

“This is supposed to be the primary agency for discovering things so someone in the director’s position can make a wise and informed decision. I don’t believe this is a wise and informed decision,” he said.

A call to an NGA spokesman was not immediately returned.

The NGA is expected to release a final decision in early June.  

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