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Airport to be cleared of dioxin by 2015

Update: September, 24/2011 - 08:58

HA NOI — Dioxin contamination at Da Nang Airport would be remediated by 2015, co-chair of the Joint Advisory Committee on Agent Orange Le Ke Son said at yesterday's press conference as the committee concluded its sixth meeting.

Dr. Son said the two-day meeting attracted representatives from the US and Vietnamese governments, but also from the international community here in Ha Noi, emphasising that the agent orange/dioxin issue has become an "international matter."

In 2006, the US and Vietnamese governments created a joint advisory committee to identify technical issues and assist policy-makers.

Kevin Teichman, the US government co-chair, said this year's meeting discussed the recent progress being made to permanently clean up the contaminated soil and lake sediment at Da Nang Airport.

In April, the US Congress allocated an additional $US18.5 million to continue AO activities in Viet Nam, of which $15.5 million went to the decontamination at Da Nang Airport.

Teichman said the committee also discussed environmental efforts to remediate the Bien Hoa Airport in Dong Nai Province and Phu Cat Airport in Binh Dinh Province.

However, Dr. Son said the decontamination work at Phu Cat Airport would likely be done next year while comprehensive technical assessment of the decontamination work at Bien Hoa Airport had not been completed.

Son noted that the US government had continued increasing its financial commitments to deal with dioxin/AO consequences

Last year, the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin released a report calling for the US government and other donors to provide $300 million to expand services to people with disabilities linked to dioxin exposure, clean dioxin-contaminated soils and restore damaged ecosystems in about two dozen dioxin "hot spots" in Viet Nam. — VNS

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