A ceremony, held by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Vietnam Defence-Air Force Service and the National Action Centre for Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Treatment (NACCET), was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, US Deputy Chief of Mission in Vietnam Caryn R. McClelland, and representatives from ministries and sectors.
USAID plans to clean up 37 hectares at the airbase. The objective is to first eliminate the risk of further dioxin migration off base, working with Dong Nai authorities to clean up surrounding areas, and treating contaminated soil.
The US has government committed US$300 million to restoring the airbase and its surrounding areas, which will take 10 years to complete.
Speaking at the event, Deputy PM Binh hailed the efforts of Vietnamese and US experts for their meticulous preparations for the project.
Over 3.6 million hectares of forest were destroyed while 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin, he said, adding that the toxic chemical was still taking its toll on the third generation.