Dioxin Clean-up at American Air Base

The map below shows the dioxin-contaminated areas of the Bien Hoa Air Base in red. These areas contain an estimated 408,500 cubic meters of soils which require remediation. These dioxin laced soils pose a continuing severe public health threat to people in neighborhoods surrounding the air base. A recent USAID Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) estimates the cost of Bien Hoa clean up at $500 million over ten years.

Both countries recognize Agent Orange as an urgent humanitarian concern that we can do something about. U.S. joint work with Vietnam on Agent Orange has positively impacted all aspects of the bilateral relationship, including military to military cooperation.

The sum of $30 million is being projected in the 2018 Appropriations Act to begin the remediation of soils contaminated with dioxin remaining from the Vietnam War at the Bien Hoa Air Base, divided equally between State/Foreign Operations and Defense appropriations.

Background: In 2007 the U.S. and Vietnam began to work together to address the legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam on the ground. Since then Congress has appropriated a total of $201.2 million for health and disability assistance and for the clean-up of dioxin at former U.S. air bases. Three major dioxin ‘hot spots’ remain in Vietnam as legacies of the Vietnam War. The first, at Phu Cat, was contained in 2012. A joint project of USAID and the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense will complete the clean-up of the second hot spot at the Danang Airport in early 2018. Bien Hoa is the third, and final, dioxin hot spot requiring U.S. assistance for remediation.

bien hoa photo

For further information please contact Dr. Charles R. Bailey at [email protected] or (201) 572-4508.