Monday, August 5, 2013

Tacoma Smelter Plume: Soil cleanup in progress at Tacoma parks

By Hannah Aoyagi, Toxics Cleanup Program

Loading soils into a truck to send to the landfill (Jane Clark Park).
Scraping off the top layer of soil from Jane Clark Park in Tacoma.
Ecology's Soil Safety Program is spending the summer at several parks, cleaning up arsenic and lead soil contamination from the old Tacoma Asarco smelter

The largest project is at Jane Clark Park in north Tacoma, where we will remove and replace 2.2 acres of soil! 

Other projects include finishing some soil replacement at Titlow Park in west Tacoma, and finishing last fall's work at American Lake in Lakewood.

Why do park work in the summer?

Unfortunately, construction season in the Pacific Northwest overlaps with summer break.  To keep our cleanup work from interfering with summer camps and sports, we work with local park districts as we plan each project.  We have also spaced cleanups out over several years so we don't have too many parks under construction in the same area.

How can I find out what's in my own yard?

Depending on where you live, you may qualify for free soil sampling, or we might already have sampling results for your yard. You can search your address on our interactive map to see if you live in an area that could have soil contamination.

June 2013 fact sheet for neighbors of Jane Clark Park.

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