VN, US sign land handover memorandum to initiate dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa airbase
15:37 | 02/11/2019

VGP – Viet Nam and the US have signed a land handover memorandum to initiate dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area in Ha Noi on November 1.

A land handover memorandum to initiate dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area is inked in Ha Noi on November 1 - Photo: Vietnam News

Participants at the signing ceremony included Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, and U.S. Ambassador to Viet Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink.

Under the memorandum, Viet Nam handed over 37 hectares of the Airbase by Air Defense-Air Force Command (ADAFC) to the USAID, a key initial milestone in the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project.

The area is known as “Pacer Ivy” using treatment and isolation methods similar to those successfully used at Da Nang Airport.

At the ceremony, Deputy Administrator Glick highlighted the importance of U.S.-Viet Nam efforts at Bien Hoa to deepen the bilateral Comprehensive Partnership by addressing legacies of war.

The Bien Hoa Airbase, the primary Agent Orange storage and handling site is the largest remaining hotspot of dioxin contamination in Viet Nam.

In 2016, USAID, in partnership with the Government of Viet Nam, completed an assessment of dioxin contamination at the airbase. The assessment identified almost 500,000 cubic meters of dioxin contaminated soil and sediment in need of remediation – almost four times the volume that was remediated at Da Nang Airport.

Last year, USAID signed an agreement with ADAFC for a US$183 million USAID contribution for the first initial five years of remediation work at the Bien Hoa Air Base area and the project was officially approved and launched in April 2019. USAID estimates overall remediation efforts will be completed over a ten-year period.

As an important pillar of the Viet Nam-U.S. Comprehensive Partnership, both countries continue to cooperate on the humanitarian mission of accounting for personnel still missing from the war, and resolve wartime legacy issues including the removal of unexploded ordnance, support for persons with disabilities, and the remediation of dioxin - including the November 2018 completion of the six-year, US$110 million Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Da Nang Airport Project.

By Thuy Dung



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