Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tacoma Smelter Plume: Ecology continues work to replace soil on yards in Tacoma and on Vashon-Maury Island

By Crescent Calimpong, Yard Program Outreach Coordinator

Soil Removal and replacement in 2015.
In 2013, the Department of Ecology Yard Program removed and replaced soil on its first eight yards.  Since then, work has increased each year.  In 2015, we completed our largest cleanup group to date, completing soil removal on 94 properties in North Tacoma and on Vashon Maury Island. 

This month we are wrapping up the last construction items on the properties in North Tacoma and starting to look ahead to the start of the 2016 construction season.  In late May, we will start the process again, working with 80 property owners to perform soil removal and replacement through the Yard Program. 

The Yard Program cleans up arsenic and lead from the former Asarco smelter in Tacoma.  It is a voluntary program that’s offered at no cost to the homeowner.  This work is part of Ecology’s efforts to sample and replace contaminated soil in the Tacoma Smelter Plume.  The plume is a 1,000 square-mile-area of arsenic and lead contamination from the former Asarco smelter in north Tacoma.

Questions about the Yard Program?

Please call the project line at (360) 407-7688 and press 2 for Tacoma Smelter Plume, or email the Yard Program Outreach Coordinator at

Questions about the soil in your yard?

If you live in north Tacoma, we may have sampling results for your yard.  To check, visit our online database.  If you do not find results for your yard, you can sign up for free soil sampling by contacting the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at (253) 798-3503 or

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