REEDLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A congressional subpoena has been issued to the City of Reedley over the unlicensed lab that was operating within the city.
It was announced during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
"I have been served with a congressional subpoena, very happily served with a congressional subpoena, because what that means is that congress is taking us seriously and bi-partisan congress is taking us seriously," said Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba.
Exactly one week ago, members from the House Select Committee on China issued a congressional subpoena to the City of Reedley.
"By issuing a subpoena, they are able to access documents that the city has that would not be disclosable otherwise during an investigation," said Zieba.
Through a green garden hose at the end of last year, officials found illegal COVID-19 and pregnancy tests, refrigerators filled with chemicals and human blood, just under 1,000 mice.
"We agree there is a gap here in our nation, national laboratory security, and we need to address that. How we do that, we want to be at the table as a solution," said Assistant Director of the Fresno County Department of Public Health, Joe Prado.
The congressional attorneys did not subpoena the Fresno County Department of Public Health, but both Director David Luchini and Assistant Director Joe Prado met with the representatives to discuss their experiences and potential solutions.
"A couple of areas we wanted them to address at a national level are regulations of labs, looking at how public labs are regulated -- to how private labs -- especially research and development labs are regulated," said Director of the Fresno County Department of Public Health, David Luchini.
"There's an infrastructure in place in every state in the United States, and that is an opportunity there. There is specific language in the code of federal regulations that excludes research labs. Let's delete that paragraph," said Prado.
Until a federal fix can be implemented, both the city of Reedley and the county of Fresno are working on temporary legislation for private research labs.
"In the meantime, thy city, just last night, did pass an ordinance that puts a temporary moratorium on any labs coming into town that have anything to do with human infectious diseases," said Zieba.
Additionally, they will amend their zoning code so they know what businesses are coming in and out of the city, and the county also plans to introduce an ordinance to the board in the next couple of months.
"The department of public health would do annual inspections, and we're going to be evaluating the environmental controls that are in place, that should be in place for a biosafety lab, two, three, four, whatever that may be," said Prado.
Prado says they will also look at permits and protocols research labs have in place. They expect the full report from the subpoena in one to two weeks, and Chief Administrative Officer Paul Nerland added that they hope change will come.
"It is expected that this review will not just bring looking at this, but actual oversight of privately funded research labs into sharp focus," said Nerland.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from a previous broadcast and will be updated.