Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tacoma Smelter Plume: 2016 Yard Program Construction Underway

The Tacoma Smelter Plume Residential Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program work is well underway for 2016.

We started construction on the first yards in early June. Currently our contractors are actively working on 16 yards. The contractors generally work on several properties at a time, removing and replacing the soil in groups to pool resources and localize the construction activity.

Properties receiving soil replacement in 2016.
Properties receiving soil replacement in 2016.
In 2016, Ecology will remove contaminated soil on a total of 80 residential yards in Tacoma (see map at right). Work hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and some Saturdays with permission from Ecology. With so many properties, you will likely see construction related activity in those neighborhoods through February 2017.

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.

Follow our yard cleanup work

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

By Crescent Calimpong, Yard Program Outreach Coordinator, Toxics Cleanup Program

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