BINH DINH — Work to remove soil contaminated by dioxin has been completed at Phu Cat airbase in central Binh Dinh Province under a project organised by the Office of the National Steering Committee on Overcoming the Consequences of Toxic Chemicals used by the US during the war in Viet Nam, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The landfill is part of a US$5 million UNDP and Global Environment Facility project named "Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hotspots in Viet Nam", launched in July 2010 and implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in close co-operation with the Ministry of National Defence.
Associate Professor Le Ke Son, director of the project, said the landfill was completed in full compliance with national regulations and met international standards. With the closing of the landfill, the risk of dioxin exposure to the environment and local population had been eliminated.
"Phu Cat airbase has been removed from the list of three dioxin hotspots in Viet Nam. Dioxin is no longer leaking from the site and dioxin will no longer have an impact on the environment and people living in the surrounding area," he said.
Along with dioxin remediation at Phu Cat airbase, dioxin contaminated sites in Da Nang will also be remediated before 2016 using thermal desorption technology with funding from the US Government.
For Bien Hoa airport, a master remediation plan is expected to be completed and approved by the Prime Minister this year. Officials estimate that at least 200,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil remained at these three hotspots.
Colonel Than Thanh Cong, an official from the Ministry of National Defence's Department of Science, Technology and Environment, said the project had proven the determination of the Government of Viet Nam, the efforts of local organisations, and attention and support from international communities in completing remediation of Agent Orange contaminated areas.
The landfill is just one of a series of assignments to be completed towards complete environmental remediation in particular and overcoming toxic chemicals in Viet Nam after the war in general, he said.
"The landfill marks good progress for us along the path to overcoming toxic chemicals in the country after the war," he said. — VNS