us announces new uss37 million commitment for dioxin remediation in vietnam picture 1

Vice Minister of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien came together with Samantha Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper to announce a new contract of up to US$73 million to treat and clean soil at Bien Hoa Air Base.

This programme is a reflection of the United States’ enduring commitment to Vietnam, particularly as the two sides mark 10 years of the US-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership. Standing on a recently remediated parcel of land at Bien Hoa Air Base, the representatives of the deal marked the recent progress made and announced the next stage of bilateral efforts aimed at easing the issue of dioxin contamination.

Under the terms of the new contract, Nelson Environmental Remediation USA, an American small business, will design and build a treatment facility aimed at decontaminating soil and sediment both in and around the Bien Hoa Air base.

The first phase will treat more than 100,000 cubic meters of the total approximate 500,000 cubic meters 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 US$450 million.

The US Government’s current contribution to the Bien Hoa clean-up is US$163.25 million, out of a total expected contribution of US$300 million.

The Bien Hoa clean-up is nearly four times the volume of a previous Da Nang Airport clean-up project, which USAID and MND completed back in 2018.

USAID and MND officials also inaugurated a park at the site of today’s ceremony, installed by USAID and Vietnam’s Air Defense Air Force Command (ADAFC) with support from the US Department of Defense, in order to commemorate this key milestone in US-Vietnam ties. During a signing ceremony, USAID officially handed over this park land to the Vietnamese Government, which marks the first decontaminated parcel of Bien Hoa Air Base to be returned to MND.

Previously, USAID and MND completed the remediation of the first parcel of land, located off-base near Gate 2.

“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 Ambassador Knapper.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were Susan Burns, consul general of the US, Aler Grubbs, mission director of USAID, Craig Hart, deputy assistant administrator for Asia of USAID, and Cao Tien Dung, vice chairman of Dong Nai People’s Committee.

In December, 2022, USAID began a US$29 million programme with a Vietnamese firm in order to complete critical preparatory work at Bien Hoa Air Base.

This contract was signed with VINA E&C and is the largest ever from USAID’s Mission in Vietnam to a local organisation.

USAID is fully committed to building Vietnamese expertise in this nascent area of environmental health and safety.

Source: VOV