DANANG -- Vietnam and the United States today launched a project to clean up dioxin contamination from the herbicide Agent Orange in areas of Danang airport where it was stored and handled during the U.S.-Vietnam War.
"We are both moving earth and taking the first steps to bury the legacies of our past. I look forward to even more successes to follow" said U.S. Ambassador David B. Shear. "Over the next few years, workers will dig up the contaminated soil and sediment and place it in a stockpile, where it will be treated...to break down the dioxin in the contaminated soil and make it safe by Vietnamese and U.S. standards for the many men, women, and children who live and work in this area."
The project has been carefully planned to prevent any harmful impacts in the area of the airport where work will be performed and in the surrounding community. Safety measures will be in place to control dust, storm water runoff, and steam or vapor emissions.
The governments of Vietnam and the United States have been collaborating on issues related to Agent Orange since 2000. USAID has worked closely with Vietnamese authorities to develop the project in Danang since 2009.
USAID's work in environmental remediation and health has received broad bipartisan congressional support in Washington, in particular, from Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Sen. Leahy has strongly advocated for the dioxin cleanup effort and assistance for people with disabilities, regardless of cause, in Vietnam to help resolve remaining war legacy issues and advance relations between the governments of Vietnam and the United States.
Last updated: January 21, 2015