Nearly 3ha of dioxin-contaminated land at Bien Hoa air base treated

by VNA08 March 2023 Last updated at 17:00 PM

At the hand-over ceremony (Photo: VNA)
At the hand-over ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Nearly 3 million hectares of dioxin-polluted land in the southwest area of Bien Hoa air base, the most contaminated spot in Vietnam, has been treated and handed over to the southern province of Dong Nai.

This is the first area of the air base to be completely remediated, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced at an event to return the treated land on March 7.

The US agency also announced a new contract of over 70 million USD to treat and clean soil at the air base.

Under the new contract, Nelson Environmental Remediation USA, an American small business, will design and build a treatment facility to decontaminate soil and sediment on and around the air base. The first phase will treat more than 100,000 cu.m of the total approximate 500,000 cu.m of dioxin-contaminated soil and sediment.

The Bien Hoa clean-up project was launched in April 2019 and is expected to take 10 years to complete and cost up to 450 million USD. The US government’s contribution to date is 163.25 million USD, out of a total expected contribution of 300 million USD. The Bien Hoa clean-up is nearly four times the volume of a previous clean up project at Da Nang Airport, which USAID and the Vietnamese Ministry completed in 2018.

Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien, Deputy Minister of National Defence, said that the Bien Hoa air base clean-up is an important project for cooperation between the US and Vietnam in overcoming war consequences.

Vietnam still has about 4.8 million people exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin and more than 6 million hectares are still contaminated with mines and explosives, Chien said, hoping for more support from the US, USAID, other countries and international organisations to help Vietnam treat dioxin contamination at such air bases as Bien Hoa and Phu Cat.

“Our example of reconciliation will forever serve as a profound lesson to the rest of the world of what can be achieved when we move forward as trusted friends instead of foes. Let us redouble our efforts in ensuring that our bilateral partnership grows stronger and more resilient for the next 27 years and beyond,” said US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper.


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