VN, US start dioxin cleanup project at biggest hotsport
17:34 | 20/04/2019
VGP - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Viet Nam’s Air Defense Airforce Command (ADAFC) on April 20 launched the dioxin remediation project at Bien Hoa Airbase, the largest remaining hotspot of dioxin contamination in Viet Nam.

At the launching ceremony of the dioxin cleanup project in Dong Nai province

The project will remediate high-risk areas over an estimated ten-year period using treatment and isolation methods similar to those used at Da Nang Airport.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh, and USAID/Viet Nam Mission Director Michael Greene and some U.S. Senators joined the launch ceremony to highlight the importance of U.S.-Viet Nam efforts to deepen Comprehensive Partnership by addressing legacies of war.

Present at the ceremony included nine U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, Lisa Murkowski, Debbie Stabenow, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Rob Portman, Tammy Baldwin, Mazie Hirono and Tim Kaine as well as U.S. Ambassador to Viet Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink,

In partnership with the Government of Viet Nam, USAID completed an assessment in 2016 of dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa Airbase, the primary dioxin storage and handling site during the U.S.-Viet Nam War.

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 Danang Airport.

Following the assessment, USAID signed agreements with the Ministry of National Defense in early 2018 for an initial five-year, US$183 million commitment to the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project.

As an important pillar of the U.S.-Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership, the U.S. and Viet Nam 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.

*The same day, the USAID and the Office of the Standing Board for the National Committee on the Settlement of Post-War Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Office 701), signed a memorandum of intent that will improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities in seven targeted Vietnamese provinces - Quang Tri, Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, and Tay Ninh.

Over the next five years, USAID and Office 701 will work with the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Health; local organizations; and the People’s Committees in these provinces to provide direct care, build the capacity of the rehabilitation sector, and develop community level social services.

By Thuy Dung

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