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Vietnam Today

Vietnam & US continue dioxin treatment project in Da Nang

Released at: 09:10, 19/10/2016

Vietnam & US continue dioxin treatment project in Da Nang

Photo: The US Embassy

Second and final phase of project cleaning up Da Nang Airport gets underway on October 18.

by Hai Van

Vietnam and the US jointly commemorated the start of the second and final phase of thermal treatment at the Da Nang International Airport on October 18. 

The long-term effect of the project will be the elimination of potential health risks associated with dioxin exposure at the site.

This phase will remediate a second batch of approximately 45,000 cu m of dioxin-contaminated soil and sediment under a project that is greatly benefiting the people of Da Nang and is of historic importance for the bilateral relationship.

According to the plan, the second phase of thermal treatment is expected to be completed in mid-2017 with site restoration and demobilization expected in 2018.

“I am encouraged by how this project continues to be a symbol of our honesty about the past, dealing with what remains, and turning an issue of contention into one of collaboration,” said US Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Ted Osius. “Both Vietnamese and Americans together enjoy great benefits from our growing friendship.”

The Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Da Nang Airport Project, managed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of National Defense (MoD), will treat an estimated 90,000 cu m of contaminated soil and sediment to less than the Vietnamese Government’s standard of 150 parts per trillion. 

In May 2016 the two governments announced the successful treatment of approximately 45,000 cu m of contaminated soil from the first phase of thermal treatment as well as the beneficial reuse of the treated land and soil to expand the airport.

Ambassador Osius and Deputy Minister of National Defense, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, switched on the thermal treatment system at a ceremony attended by many US and Vietnamese government officials, representatives from foreign embassies and development partners, and the media. 

The Project was launched in August 2012 and serves as an important milestone in the bilateral relationship and for the people of Da Nang. In July 2013 President Barack Obama and State President Truong Tan Sang announced the launch of an environmental assessment at the former Bien Hoa Airbase in Dong Nai province as part of the US-Vietnam comprehensive partnership, which was completed by USAID and MoD, along with other stakeholders, in May 2016.

During his visit to Vietnam last May President Obama announced a US commitment to partner with Vietnam to make a significant contribution to cleaning up dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa and the two governments are now reviewing the detailed technical recommendations in the assessment report and developing a plan to proceed.

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