Last update 1/3/2011 5:00:00 PM (GMT+7)

US okays $17 mln for AO cleanup in post-war Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge - The US government has earmarked US$17 million to partly clean up a former US air base from toxic defoliant Agent Orange in the central Da Nang City next year.

Considered to be dioxin "hot spot," the Da Nang Airport will be decontaminated in the summer, said Nguyen Van Rinh, chairman of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin Thursday.

He added it cost an estimated $35 million to detoxify the whole airport.

Last year the US provided $1.69 million for a year-long project to assess the environmental impact and draft plans to clean up the airport.

According to the Association, the US army used around 80 million liters of toxic chemicals, mainly Agent Orange, in Vietnam between 1961 and 1971.

Meanwhile, two other dioxin "hot spots" in Vietnam - former US air bases at Bien Hoa and Phu Cat - have yet to be cleansed.

The US has not announced plans for them, Rinh told the press.

Meanwhile, Ngo Quang Xuan, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Foreign Affairs, and Co-Chair of the Vietnam-US Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, has sent a letter to US and other donors to seek $300 million for a 10-year plan to detoxify 28 dioxin hot spots across Vietnam.

Dioxin is a component of Agent Orange and other herbicides. They were used by the US army during the War to kill foliage to deny cover to the Vietnamese guerillas.

Source: Tuoi Tre