Vietnam Time

11/7/2018 3:21:13 PM

Da Nang airport free from dioxin contamination

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink and Vietnam Ministry of National Defense (MND) Vice Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh today witnessed the signing of an agreement to hand over 13.7 hectares of remediated land at the Da Nang International Airport to the control of the Ministry of Transportation.

This is the third and last portion of land to be turned over for expansion of Da Nang International Airport. The ceremony also marked the completion of the six-year, US$110 million Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Danang Airport Project, jointly implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and MND.

US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink (second, right) at the handover ceremony. Source: USAID

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Kritenbrink said: “Today we celebrate 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. And we are now ready to continue this collaboration at Bien Hoa.”

Meanwhile, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene expressed his delight to witness the result of the successful joint efforts of two countries, which will drive regional economic growth.

Da Nang’s former US air base is considered a dioxin hotspot due to its high levels of dioxin. Launched in August 2012, USAID’s Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Da Nang Airport 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 the city.

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

USAID and MND 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 (<1 ppt), exceeding all project goals.

Besides Da Nang, Bien Hoa Airbase area is the largest remaining hotspot of dioxin contamination in Vietnam. On May 11, USAID signed a grant with Vietnam's Air Defense-Air Force Command for a total expected contribution of US$183 million towards remediation activities in the Bien Hoa Air Base area over an initial five-year period./.

  ( VNF )
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