Phu Cat military airbase removed from dioxin hotspot list

17 Aug 2012

A closing ceremony for a dioxin-contaminated soil landfill will be jointly held tomorrow (August 18) at the Phu Cat airbase by the Office of National Steering Committee on Overcoming of the Consequences of Toxic Chemicals used by US during the war in Viet Nam (Office 33)/ Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and UNDP Viet Nam Country Office. Completion of the landfill removes the Phu Cat airbase from the list of dioxin hotspot in Viet Nam.

Phu Cat, Da Nang and Bien Hoa are three known dioxin hotspots. These airbases are highly contaminated by dioxin due to large quantities of herbicides stored or handled there during the war. The levels of dioxin concentration in these hotspots are as high as 365,000 parts per trillion (ppt) of international toxicity equivalents (I-TEQ). This is hundred of times the required clean-up level by national and international standards.

More than 7,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated soil found at Phu cat airbase with the levels of dioxin concentration higher than 1,000 parts per trillion (ppt have been safely contained in the landfill. This Phu Cat landfill was constructed in full compliance with national regulations and met international standards. The landfill stops spreading of the dioxin to the environment and eliminate exposure of the local population.

The landfill is part of a US$5 million UNDP and GEF (Global Environment Facility) project "Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hotspots in Viet Nam”, launched in July, 2010 and implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ Office 33 in close cooperation with the Ministry of Defense.

"With the landfill’s closing, Phu Cat airbase has been removed from the list of three dioxin hotspots in Viet Nam. Dioxin is no longer leaking from the site and the dioxin will not have an impact on the environment and people living in the surrounding area,” said Assoc. Prof. Le Ke Son, Director General of the Viet Nam Environment Administration and General Director of Office 33, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. "Together with the United States, UNDP and other partners, we will continue to remediate dioxin contamination in Bien Hoa and Da Nang airbases.”

Contact Information

Nguyen My Hang, Project Manager;
email: nguyen.my.hang@gmail.com; phone: +84-4-3773 6354
Nguyen Viet Lan, UN Communications;
email: nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org;
phone: +84-4-3822 4383 (ext 121)