Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — About 90,000 cubic metres of sludge and soil contaminated with dioxin has been safety removed and cleaned at the International Đà Nẵng Airport. A total of 32.4 hectares of newly cleaned area will be handed over to the city to expand the airport.
Secretariat of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Toxic Chemical Consequences Thân Thành Công spoke at a November 6 workshop on Việt Nam–US Co-operation on the environmental remediation project to remove dioxin contamination at the airport.
Công said the project succeeded thanks to co-operation between the Ministry of Defence, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Air Defence and Air Force command, contractors and other agencies.
“We have mitigated exposure risk to humans and the environment and brought dioxin to the lowest level, and the airport has been removed from Việt Nam’s dioxin hotspot list,” Công said.
“This was the first and biggest dioxin contamination cleaning project in Việt Nam using an In-Pile Thermal Desorption (IPTD) system to destroy dioxin in contaminated soil and sediment,” he said.
Công said the project showed off good co-operation and co-ordination between Việt Nam and the US in resolving war consequences responsibly.
A photo shows the progress of the Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Đà Nẵng Airport Project. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Christopher Abrams from USAID said the project was the largest dioxin soil treatment project in the world.
He said the project would provide experience for the upcoming dioxin remediation at Biên Hòa airport.
According to USAID, contaminated soil was placed in a container and heated to a temperature of 335 degrees Celsius, which destroys 72 per cent of dioxin. 99.99 per cent of dioxin was removed from the soil.
The project treated soil and sediment that attained dioxin concentration of 150 parts per trillion under the dioxin toxic equivalents in surface soil standard.
Nghiêm Xuân Trường from the Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre said the project was monitored in terms of air emission and waste water released by the cleaning process.
“The project reached its target in removing dioxin from the soil at the airport,” Trường said. “Samples of waste water and air pollution were taken for assessment.”
“Contractors and agencies of both Việt Nam and the US had good co-operation in dealing with difficulties over the past six years,” he added.
Trường said the airport should be continuously monitored to make sure that dioxin is absent from the air, waste water and underground water.
Deputy Head of the Environment Administration Agency, Hoàng Văn Thực, said the project should compile a scientific report.
Thực said the project would help Việt Nam improve its treatment capability for dioxin and chemical contamination in the future.
Major General and deputy head commander of Air Defences Bùi Anh Chung said efforts had been made by contractors and agencies from Việt Nam and the US to complete the project on schedule.
He said the successful treatment measures at Đà Nẵng airport will be used as practical and scientific standard for cleaning 50ha of land at Biên Hòa Airport in Đồng Nai Province. An estimated 500,000 cubic metres of soil will be excavated for dioxin cleaning.
Launched in 2012, the Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Đà Nẵng Airport Project serves as an important milestone in the bilateral relationship between the governments of Việt Nam and the US, and will result in a cleaner, safer environment for the people of Đà Nẵng.
Đà Nẵng’s former US air base is considered a dioxin hotspot due to its high levels of dioxin. Other dioxin-polluted spots include Biên Hoà in the southwestern province of Đồng Nai and Phù Cát Airport in Bình Định Province.
Việt Nam and the US will host a land handover ceremony at Đà Nẵng Airport today. — VNS