Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cleaning Up: Welcome to 'the Neighborhood'!

Polluted properties dot Washington's landscape. Literally.
Each dot represents a contaminated site in the state.

More than 12,300 toxic sites have been identified in the state -- and those are just the ones we know about right now. More are reported to us each year, even as others are cleaned up. At this point, just over half of them are considered to be “cleaned up.” But there is still a long way to go.

Search for cleanup sites near you

So do you ever wonder if one -- or more -- of those sites could be next door to your residence or workplace? Or maybe close to the local school or places where you do business?

If such thoughts have crossed your mind, search our new What's In My Neighborhood mapping tool to find contaminated sites around you. Instructions are found by clicking the "help" button on the left side of the web page.

Let's use Ecology's headquarters as an example. The building is located at 300 Desmond Drive SE in Lacey. So we type in that address to search for cleanup sites within 1 mile of the building and we get 13 sites.

Scrolling down the left side shows that many of those sites are "cleaned up." More information may be available on individual sites by clicking on the site name.

You can do the same thing with your home, your workplace, local schools, and other locations. You just need a device with internet access and a few minutes.

The "What's In My Neighborhood" mapping tool shows 13 cleanup sites within 1 mile of Ecology's Lacey building.

Tell us what you think

The "Neighborhood" tool is easy to use, though it's still a work in progress -- information on some of the smaller, less-contaminated sites is not as plentiful as information on more complex sites. We intend to develop and add more information, and we welcome your feedback.

If you have questions, suggestions for improvement, or run into technical issues, please email

By Erika Bronson, public involvement, Toxics Cleanup Program

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