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Dioxin-remediated land handed over in Da Nang

Released at: 16:27, 07/11/2018

Dioxin-remediated land handed over in Da Nang

Photo: U.S. Embassy Hanoi

Over 13.7 ha of treated land to be used for expansion of Da Nang International Airport.

by Ngoc Lan

US Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Daniel J. Kritenbrink, and Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh witnessed the signing of an agreement on November 7 to hand over 13.7 ha of remediated land at Da Nang International Airport to the Ministry of Transport.

The ceremony also marked the completion of the six-year, $110 million Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Da Nang Airport Project, jointly implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of National Defense.

This is the third and last portion of land to be turned over for the expansion of Da Nang International Airport.

Launched in August 2012, the project serves as an important milestone in the bilateral relationship between the two governments and will result in a cleaner, safer environment for the people of Da Nang.

The project has successfully treated over 90,000 cu m of contaminated soil and sediment through thermal desorption and safely contained an additional 50,000 cu m of low concentration, dioxin-contaminated material.

USAID and the Ministry of National Defense tested the treated soil and sediment to determine if the cleanup objective of 150 parts per trillion (ppt) was achieved. Phase 1-treated soil was less than 9 ppt and Phase 2 even lower, at <1 ppt; exceeding all project goals.

Mr. Michael Greene, Director of USAID Vietnam, said he was pleased that successful efforts with Vietnam’s Air Defense-Air Force Command have resulted in over 30 ha of additional land for the airport’s expansion, which will drive regional economic growth.

Ambassador Kritenbrink said that this is an historic achievement: two former adversaries working together to overcome the past while partnering for a mutually-prosperous future. “Over these past six years, we have worked as a team with the Ministry of National Defense to make the city of Da Nang and Vietnam safer,” he added. “We are now ready to continue this collaboration at Bien Hoa [Air Base, in southern Dong Nai province].”

The US is committed to working with Vietnam and the ministry to resolve war legacies while continuing to strengthen economic, cultural, and security ties between the two countries. The Bien Hoa Air Base area is the largest remaining hotspot of dioxin contamination in Vietnam.

USAID signed a grant with Vietnam’s Air Defense-Air Force Command on May 11 for a total expected contribution of $183 million towards remediation activities in the Bien Hoa Air Base area over an initial five-year period. The signing of this joint project document is the first step in this important initiative.

Since 2000, the US has worked with Vietnam to resolve humanitarian and wartime legacy issues. These include the removal of unexploded ordinance, the identification of remains of missing personnel, and the remediation of dioxin.

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