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ARLINGTON, VA-The Department of Defense has agreed to extend by two years stringent anti terrorism protection requirements for buildings that house DOD employees or operations. The extension for the standards, set to go into effect at the end of the month, was made after a huge lobbying push, spearheaded by the business and real estate community in Northern Virginia, home to many such buildings. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

Called the Minimum Anti-Terrorism Standards for Buildings, these specs were put in place to protect against a truck bomb scenario. They include 82 feet set back from the road, as well as no underground parking or direct metro access. The requirements are controversial, with critics maintaining that while such standards are necessary for high profile facilities, they are not for nondescript offices used by low profile workers.

If kept in place, the building security standards–which were first announced along with BRAC in 2005–would not have allowed several leases to be renewed here, unless the buildings would have been in compliance by September 30, 2009. Under the modified deadline, lease renewals may be executed up to September 30, 2011 and the leases themselves extended until September 30, 2014 without having reached compliance.

Along with the extension the DOD will also be developing, together with GSA and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, a detailed plan to acquire compliant leased-facility space.

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