Project launched to clean up dioxin at Da Nang airport

Vietnam and the US jointly launched a project at Da Nang airport in the central Da Nang city on August 9 to clean up Agent Orange/dioxin in the area. 

Addressing the launching ceremony, Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh said together with Bien Hoa and Phu Cat airports, Da Nang airport was used by the US military to store and load barrels of herbicides containing Agent Orange/dioxin onto helicopters to spray over Vietnamese forests and land during the war and became a “hotspot” of dioxin contamination. 
After years, the toxic chemicals have spread out and affected people’s health and the surrounding environment, he added. 
Vinh said the project reflects the resolve of the Vietnamese and US governments as well as the sense of responsibility of the Vietnamese Defence Ministry, the US Embassy in Vietnam and the efforts of the Air Defence and Air Force and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). 
US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear affirmed that the event is of great significance to the two countries’s bilateral ties. 
The project marked is a joint plan between the Defence Ministry of Vietnam and the USAID to clean up dioxin contaminated soil and sediment at the airport, left from the Vietnam war, he said, adding that the experts will create a safe and clean environment for residents of the area. 
The project that the two countries implement is “a sign of the hopeful future we are building together,” said the Ambassador. 
The long-term objective of the project, costing a total 41 million USD, is to raise Vietnam ’s capacity in treating dioxin and hardly-disintegrated organic pollutants at the contaminated airport and other sites. 
Workers will dig up the contaminated soil and sediment and place it in a stockpile, where it will be treated using the latest thermal desorption technology and make it safe by Vietnamese and US standards for people living and working in the area. 
The project will last until 2016.-VNA