At the ceremony to hand over the last 13/7 hectares of treated areas in Da Nang airport to the Ministry of Transport (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – The last 13.7 hectares of detoxified land in the dioxin-polluted area in Da Nang airport were handed over to the Ministry of Transport at a ceremony held in the central city on November 7, raising the total remediated area to 32.4 hectares.

The activity also marked the conclusion of a six-year project to remediate the environmental pollution at the airport, which was jointly implemented by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and the US International Development Agency (USAID) with a non-refundable aid of 110 million USD funded by the US Government.

The project, started in August 2012, was considered an important milestone in the bilateral cooperation between the governments of Vietnam and the US, aiming to returning a clean and safe environment for the local community.

It successfully detoxified over 90,000 cubic metres of toxic sediments by thermal treatment method, while isolating other 50,000 cubic metres of low-contaminated sediments.

The testing results on treated soil and sediments taken by the USAID and the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence showed that the contamination is even lower than the safe level, affirming the success of the project.

Addressing the handover ceremony, Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh said that although the war ended decades ago, the bomb, mine and chemical pollution have directly harmed the safety and health of many people, affecting Vietnam’s environment and socio-economic development as well as its implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

Therefore, the Party, Government and relevant agencies of Vietnam have applied a number of policies, measures and practical activities to speed up the settlement of war aftermaths, with priority given to the treatment of toxic chemicals.

He affirmed that the project to deal with dioxin pollution in the Da Nang airport has completed all of its objectives.

Vinh asked authorised agencies and the US side continue to working closely in performing long-term environmental monitoring following the project, thus maintaining the clean environment for social-economic development of Da Nang city.

Vietnam’s authorised agencies should promptly give evaluation on the results and efficiency of the project, thus building an overall scientific report to announce internationally, he requested.

The Deputy Minister also expressed his hope that a project to remediate dioxin pollution in Bien Hoa airport will be launched in 2019, along with many other activities to settle war consequences in Vietnam.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kristenbrink announced the accomplishment of dioxin detoxification in the Da Nang airport, describing it as a considerable milestone in the expanding relationship between the two countries.

The handing over of the last treated area is expected to facilitate the expansion of the airport and promote socio-economic growth of Da Nang, said the diplomat.

The USAID will continue collaborating with Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence to detoxify dioxin pollution in the Bien Hoa airport, he affirmed.-VNA