Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich at Bien Hoa airport (Source: VNA) 
 
Dong Nai (VNA) – Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich inspected dioxin detoxification work at Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai on February 15.

The area surrounding the Bien Hoa airport contains high levels of the chemical and is considered one of the country’s dioxin hotspots. According to assessments from Vietnam and the US, around 515,000 cu.m of dioxin-contaminated land around the airport still needs to be treated, with southwest of the airport as the most contaminated area at a contaminant level 92 times higher than the standard level.

To reduce dioxin contamination at the airport, from 1995-2016, 160,000 cu.m of contaminated land was dug up, shoveled, and buried to keep it isolated, thanks to efforts from the High Command of Chemistry and relevant units.

In 2012, with assistance from the UN Development Programme and the Global Environment Fund, another 70,000 cu.m was successfully isolated from human contact.

In 2017, the Ministry of National Defence launched a project on infrastructure construction at the airport with an investment of 270 billion VND (11.6 million USD). The move was a technical infrastructure preparation for a 10-year dioxin treatment project worth 390 million USD in non-refundable aid from the US and other partners. The first phase of the project will be carried out in April.

At the meeting with the dioxin contamination treatment project’s management board, Lich hailed efforts by relevant domestic units, and local and international organisations to deal with dioxin hotspots and provide support for dioxin victims.

He asked for thorough preparations to start construction on the project’s first phase in April, and to step up dissemination to attract more domestic and foreign assistance in both capital and technology.–VNA