Over the past year, 1,134 cubic meters of dioxin contaminated sediment have been removed from a lake in a Bien Hoa City public park. This is the effort between US and Vietnam to address war resolving war legacies, reported by US Consulate General HCMC on January 20.
– My Huyen
In the coming weeks, after restoration of grass and trees in the park, USAID and Vietnam’s Air Defense Air Force Command (ADAFC) will hand back the land to Bien Hoa City. This result is the first milestone achieved through the $300 million U.S. Government commitment to restoring the airbase and surrounding areas, which will take 10 years to complete.
At the request of the Government of Vietnam (GVN), the U.S. Government agreed to cooperate on dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area, the primary Agent Orange storage and handling site during the U.S.-Vietnam War and the largest remaining dioxin hotspot in Vietnam. In 2016, USAID completed an assessment of dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa.
The assessment identified almost 500,000 cubic meters of dioxin contaminated soil and sediment in need of remediation – almost four times the volume in Danang, another large remaining dioxin hotspots in Vietnam.
USAID and Vietnam’s Air Defense Air Force Command (ADAFC) also signed an additional land handover agreement which will focus on the removal of contaminated sediment over the next two years on the airbase.
The U.S. Government, through USAID and Government of Vietnam partners, including the National Action Center for Chemical and Environmental Treatment (NACCET), also launched a project to provide support for persons with disabilities in eight priority provinces. USAID has committed $65 million towards this project over the next five years to ensure that persons with disabilities can fully participate in society while improving their overall quality of life.
Additionally, the U.S. Government, through USAID, signed a letter of intent with the Office of the Standing Board for the National Steering Committee on Overcoming the Post-war Unexploded Ordnance (“UXO”) and Toxic Chemical Consequences in Vietnam to guide future cooperation and collaboration on joint war legacy communications.