Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thursday meeting focuses on Everett smelter cleanup work

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

On Thursday, Nov. 4, Everett-area residents are invited to learn about and talk over plans to clean up the toxic legacy of the old Asarco smelter.

The Everett Smelter Site, located in northeast Everett, is contaminated with lead, arsenic and associated metals. The smelter operated from 1894 to 1912. The smelter was built by the Puget Sound Reduction company and sold to ASARCO Inc. (Asarco) in 1903. Asarco operated the smelter until 1912, and demolished it between 1912 and 1915.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the former smelter property was developed into residential properties. In 1990, Ecology received and confirmed reports of elevated concentrations of arsenic and lead in the soil near the site.

Since then, more than 100 residential properties have been cleaned up. Hundreds more remain.

Asarco declared bankruptcy in 2005. The state of Washington pursued a settlement to make the company pay for past and future cleanup costs. In late 2009, the state received a settlement of $188 million for several contaminated sites, including the Everett Smelter Site.

Thursday’s meeting is scheduled at the Snohomish County PUD auditorium at 2320 California St., Everett. The doors open at 6 p.m. A presentation starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by questions and answers at 7 p.m., and an open house at 7:30 p.m.

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