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Environmental Decontamination Ltd, (EDL) a New Zealand owned company with internationally patented technology developed locally has been approved for use in assisting Vietnam with the remediation of its highly contaminated soil. 
The approval comes after six years of working with Vietnamese Government authorities and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to demonstrate that the technology was capable of dealing with and destroying the deadly toxins that resulted from years of warfare in the country.
An independent evaluation by an international expert of several candidate technologies demonstrated through the GEF supported program concluded that EDL’s MCD technology was capable of ‘large scale remediation applications on the large majority of PCDD/F (dioxins) contaminated soil likely to be encountered for even the most restrictive land use.’ PCDD/F is one of the most toxic substances that can by found in contaminated soil and when present the land is rendered unusable and extremely hazardous to human health. It further concluded that the technology likely has broad application to many other types of contaminated sites including those contaminated by Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) controlled by the Stockholm Convention. 
EDL’s executive director, Marcus Glucina, says that this is a major breakthrough for the company and has the potential to earn millions of dollars over the next few years globally.
“We are one of only three companies internationally that have been given this endorsement and we have a track record of working with Vietnamese authorities that goes back many years on the dioxin issue and are the only fully demonstrated and qualified non-combustion destruction technology currently qualified in this application,” Glucina said.
EDL’s technology was developed by New Zealand engineer Bryan Black and patented globally in 2002. It has been applied in New Zealand at a site in Mapua where it  was effective in removing contaminants such as DDT, aldrien, dieldrin and lindane. It has been trialed at sites in the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Philippines and South Africa. At these locations it was proven to deal with commonly found soil contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins, pesticides and heavy metals.
“The advantage of our technology over existing methods of soil decontamination is that is a rapid, environmentally safe non-incineration method of soil remediation providing destruction of the harmful organic contaminants that allows sites and the soil in a condition where it can be eventually re-used,” Glucina said. “Previously the convention for dealing with highly contaminated soil was to treat it at very high temperatures which has significant potential environmental impacts and restrictions on the utility of the resulting residues. We have made considerable progress in designing a process that effectively gives the land back to its owners.”
 Funding for soil remediation in Vietnam comes largely from international organizations such as the GEF and national donors , primarily the United States. EDL says that having achieved the major hurdle of approval in the independent evaluation it will now target the huge opportunity for work in Vietnam,  other parts of Asia and globally. 
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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