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Environmental Assessment

Language: English | Vietnamese

Continuing the strong partnership developed with Vietnam's Ministry of National Defense (MND) through the Danang Airport Project, USAID conducted an environmental assessment of dioxin contamination on and around Bien Hoa Airbase, where the largest amount of Agent Orange was stored and handled during the Vietnam War. The assessment determined the nature and extent of dioxin contamination and developed and evaluated potential remediation alternatives, including both containment and treatment options, to reduce the risk of dioxin exposure on and around the airbase.

This was accomplished by first creating a database of historical environmental investigations conducted on and around the airbase; developing and implementing a field sampling plan to address data gaps between November 2014 and April 2015; developing and screening potential technologies and remediation alternatives; and documenting the assessment results in a comprehensive final report.

Over 1,400 environmental samples were collected as part of the environmental assessment. In addition, all remediation technologies and alternatives were developed in close collaboration with Vietnam's Academy of Military Science and Technology and other technical agencies within MND. The results of this evaluation were shared with Government of Vietnam stakeholders and the final document is posted in both English and Vietnamese below.  

Sample Preparation at the Bien Hoa Airbase.
Sample Preparation at the Bien Hoa Airbase.
Photo: CDM Smith, 2014.

In May 2016, former President Barack Obama announced a U.S. commitment to partner with Vietnam to make a significant contribution to cleaning up dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa, and the two governments are now reviewing the detailed technical recommendations in the report and developing a plan to proceed.

Throughout the assessment process, USAID conducted a four-part training series aimed at increasing the knowledge base and remediation skillset of approximately 30 of Vietnam's next generation of dioxin experts, largely within MND and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, using Bien Hoa as a case study.

Environmental Assessment of Dioxin Contamination at Bien Hoa Airbase (English - Vietnamese