United States and Vietnam Sign Land Handover Memorandum to Initiate Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 1, 2019

HANOI, November 1, 2019 - Today, at the Vietnam Ministry of National Defense’s Headquarters in Hanoi, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, Vice Minister of National Defense Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, and USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene participated in an event to commemorate the handover of 37 hectares of the Airbase by Air Defense-Air Force Command (ADAFC) to USAID, a key initial milestone in the Dioxin Remediation at Bien Hoa Airbase Area Project. USAID and ADAFC’s initial work will remediate dioxin in an area known as “Pacer Ivy” using treatment and isolation methods similar to those successfully used at Danang Airport.

At the ceremony, Deputy Administrator Glick highlighted the importance of U.S.-Vietnam efforts at Bien Hoa to deepen our Comprehensive Partnership by addressing legacies of war.

The Bien Hoa Airbase, the primary Agent Orange storage and handling site during the U.S.-Vietnam War, is the largest remaining hotspot of dioxin contamination in Vietnam. In 2016, USAID, in partnership with the Government of Vietnam, completed an assessment of dioxin contamination at the Airbase. The assessment identified almost 500,000 cubic meters of dioxin contaminated soil and sediment in need of remediation – almost four times the volume that was remediated at Danang Airport. Last year, USAID signed an agreement with ADAFC for a $183 million USAID contribution for the first initial five years of remediation work at the Bien Hoa Air Base area and the Project was officially approved and launched in April 2019. USAID estimates overall remediation efforts will be completed over a ten-year period.

As an important pillar of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, the United States and Vietnam continue to cooperate on the humanitarian mission of accounting for personnel still missing from the war, and resolve wartime legacy issues including the removal of unexploded ordnance, support for persons with disabilities, and the remediation of dioxin - including the November 2018 completion of the six-year, $110 million Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination at Danang Airport Project.

For more information about Dioxin Remediation at Danang Airport and Bien Hoa Airbase Area, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xpC55.

To view photos of the event, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHZqLYb.