Asarco Tacoma Smelter Site

Facility Site ID: 89267963 Cleanup Site ID: 3657

Tacoma Smelter Plume Cleanup

Former Asarco copper smelter in Ruston and north Tacoma
Former Asarco copper smelter in Ruston and north Tacoma
For almost 100 years, the Asarco Company operated a copper smelter in Tacoma. Air pollution from the smelter settled on the surface soil over more than 1,000 square miles of the Puget Sound basin. Arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals are still in the soil as a result of this pollution.

Ecology is sampling and replacing soil on residential yards in the most highly contaminated areas of the plume.  We are also cleaning up play areas at schools, childcares, parks, camps, and public multi-family housing.  See the Interim Action Plan for more information.  

Ecology partners with local health departments on education and outreach through the Dirt Alert program.  You can protect yourself and your family by taking healthy actions like washing hands and taking off shoes. 

We also offer technical assistance for land owners doing cleanup during development. 

For the full website, visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/tacoma_smelter/ts_hp.htm.

Document Archives

Tacoma Smelter Plume map
Tacoma Smelter Plume map

For a list of links to Tacoma Smelter Plume documents, click the "View Electronic Documents" link to the right.  The archives have:

  • Maps
  • Fact sheets
  • Educational brochures and curriculums
  • Posters and presentations
  • Studies of contamination
  • Technical documents
Legal 7
Document Title Document Date Document Type
TPCHD Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Sampling Access Agreement 3/4/2022 Property Access Agreement
Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Sampling Access Agreement_Web Version 3/4/2022 Property Access Agreement
Home Soil Testing Access Agreement PHSKC 1/28/2020 Property Access Agreement
Home Soil Testing Access Agreement TPCHD 3/22/2017 Property Access Agreement
TPCHD Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Sampling Access Agreement 11/17/2016 Property Access Agreement
Tacoma Smelter Plume Sampling Access Agreement in Spanish 7/8/2014 Property Access Agreement
Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Sampling Access Agreement 3/13/2013 Property Access Agreement
Map 6
Public Information 123
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Tacoma Smelter Plume Annual Mailer_Pierce County 3/24/2022 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Plant and Lawncare Handout 3/16/2022 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Construction Alert: Tacoma 11/1/2021 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Yard Program Construction Notice 6/1/2020 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Yard Program Construction Notice 6/1/2020 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Pre-construction Meeting Script 3/17/2020 Multimedia
Tacoma Pre-construction Meeting presentation 3/17/2020 Multimedia
Construction Alert: Tacoma 3/12/2020 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Construction Alert Tacoma 1/6/2020 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Dirt Alert: Soil Sampling & Safety Guidance for People Concerned about Arsenic & Lead 8/26/2019 Focus Sheet
Were Covered Window Sign 7/24/2019 Multimedia
Dirt Alert Resource List and Coupons 7/24/2019 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Mulch Instructions 7/24/2019 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Get Covered Postcard Extended Deadline 7/24/2019 Multimedia
Get Covered Postcard 7/24/2019 Multimedia
Vashon Construction Alert Mailer 3/6/2019 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Construction Alert Vashon 1/15/2019 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2018 Annual Report Tacoma Smelter Plume 12/20/2018 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Pre-construction Meeting presentation Vashon 2018 12/11/2018 Multimedia
Pre-construction meeting ppt 2018 6/6/2018 Multimedia
Yard Program Construction Site handout 4/26/2018 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
2017 Annual Report Tacoma Smelter Plume 12/20/2017 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2017 Cleanup Settlement Account Legislative Report 10/31/2017 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Plant and Lawn Care Handout 10/16/2017 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Pre-construction Meeting_4.20.17 4/20/2017 Multimedia
Soil Replacement Orientation Mtg- Tacoma Presentation 1/25/2017 Multimedia
2016 Cleanup Settlement Account Legislative Report 12/21/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2016 Annual Report Tacoma Smelter Plume 11/18/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
What Happens During Soil Removal 11/9/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Homeowners Guide to Cleanup_Outside EPA Study Area 10/19/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2016 Public Meetings_Tacoma Smelter Plume 6/3/2016 Multimedia
Update on the Progress of the Tacoma Smelter Plume project-Vashon 5/6/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Update on Tacoma Smelter Plume project 2016-Tacoma 5/2/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Update on Tacoma Smelter Plume Project 2016-Study Area 5/2/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
April 14 and 21, 2016- Tacoma presentation 4/14/2016 Multimedia
Cleanup Orientation Tacoma Presentation 4/5/2016 Multimedia
Take Off Shoes Poster_English 3/18/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Take Off Shoes Poster_Spanish 3/18/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Ft. Nisqually Park Fact Sheet 1/1/2016 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Cleanup Settlement Account 2015 Legislative Report 12/18/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2015 Annual Report Tacoma Smelter Plume 12/18/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
PHSKC 2015 Dirt Alert Awareness Survey Report 8/25/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
July 23, 2015-presentation 8/11/2015 Multimedia
August 4th, 2015-Vashon-Maury Island presentation 8/11/2015 Multimedia
August 5th & 12th, 2015-Tacoma presentation 8/11/2015 Multimedia
Yard Program Construction Site handout 7/16/2015 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Baltimore Optimist Meeting Presentation 6/11/2015 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Optimist Park Fact Sheet 5/19/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Baltimore Park Fact Sheet 5/19/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
May 6th, 2015 Vashon Update Presentation 5/6/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Vashon Community Meeting Notice May 6th 2015 4/22/2015 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Healthy Actions Poster in Somali 9/15/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Healthy Actions Poster in Korean 9/15/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Healthy Actions Poster in Spanish 9/15/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Healthy Actions Poster in English 9/15/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Dirt Alert: Buying or Selling a Home handout 9/3/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Buying and Selling Real Estate in the Tacoma Smelter Plume 9/3/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Yard Cleanup Work in Tacoma, 2014 8/18/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Spanish Landscaping and Gardening Dirt Alert Brochure 7/16/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Yard Program FAQ in Spanish (Preguntas Mas Frecuentes) 7/8/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Pre-construction meeting June 17th, 2014 presentation 6/17/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Vassault Park Neighborhood Meeting Presentation 5/19/2014 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Vassault Park Cleanup Fact Sheet 5/5/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
What Happens During Soil Removal FAQ 5/1/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
2013 Cleanup Settlement Account Legislative Report 4/25/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Landscaping & Gardening Dirt Alert brochure 4/23/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Homeowners Guide to Cleanup_Vashon-Maury Area 4/23/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Homeowners Guide to Cleanup_EPA Study Area 4/23/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
What Happens During Soil Sampling FAQ 4/22/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Soil Removal and Replacement FAQ 4/22/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Tacoma Smelter Plume Excluded Areas handout 4/17/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Sampling for Arsenic and Lead in Soil 4/11/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Elevated Arsenic and Lead in Soil 3/14/2014 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Ruston/N. Tacoma Superfund fact sheet (Tacoma Smelter Plume) 1/10/2014 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2013 Annual Report Tacoma Smelter Plume 12/18/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Construction in the Tacoma Smelter Plume 11/19/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Program Design Responsiveness Summary 11/18/2013 Responsiveness Summary
Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Program Final Design fact sheet 11/15/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Working in Arsenic and Lead Contaminated Soils 9/1/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Dirt Alert Brochure Spanish - King County 2013 8/1/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Cleanup Orientation Presentation 7/29/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Dirt Alert Brochure - King County 2013 5/1/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program Technical Workshop Presentation 4/11/2013 Multimedia
Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program Vashon Presentation 4/3/2013 Multimedia
Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program North Tacoma Presentation 3/28/2013 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Program Fact Sheet - Southern Vashon-Maury Island Homes 3/14/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Program Fact Sheet - Ruston/North Tacoma Superfund Area Homes 3/14/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Program Fact Sheet - Tacoma Homes 3/14/2013 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Program FAQ 3/12/2013 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
2012 Cleanup Settlement Account Legislative Report 12/31/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Quick Guidance for Arsenic and Lead Soil Sampling and Cleanup 12/1/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
2012 Annual Report Tacoma Smelter Plume 11/1/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Fact sheet on the Responsiveness Summary for the IAP 6/29/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Responsiveness Summary for the IAP 6/29/2012 Responsiveness Summary
Tacoma Smelter Plume - Soil Safety Program - Federal Way Parks mailer 6/27/2012 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Public Meeting Slides - Des Moines 12/6/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Public Meeting Slides - University Place 11/16/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Public Meeting Slides - Vashon 11/9/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Poster - Plume map 11/2/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Poster - Soil Safety Program map 11/2/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Poster - Phase 2 cleanup 11/2/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Poster - Plume map 11/2/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Poster - High Zone 11/2/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Public Meeting Slides - Tacoma 11/2/2011 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Cleanup Level and Action Level FAQ 10/20/2011 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Tacoma Smelter Plume Interim Action Plan Reading Guide 10/17/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume IAP Pierce County Fact Sheet 10/12/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume IAP King County Fact Sheet 10/12/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
King County Tacoma Smelter Plume mailer 7/1/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Dirt Alert brochure 3/29/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume: Asarco Settlement Update and Cleanup Plans 2/1/2011 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Safety Program Parks FAQ 5/1/2010 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Dirt Alert Curriculum for grades 4-5 9/29/2009 Multimedia
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Dirt Alert brochure (Russian) 8/5/2009 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Legislative Report: Soil Safety Program 2008 6/1/2009 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Dirt Alert Curriculum in Spanish 1/1/2009 Multimedia
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Dirt Alert brochure (Spanish) 1/1/2009 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Tacoma Smelter Plume Thurston County Update 2/1/2008 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
K-3 Dirt Alert Curriculum by Public Health--Seattle & King County 1/1/2008 Multimedia
Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Safety Program Update 8/1/2007 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Legislative Report: Soil Safety Program 2006 12/1/2006 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Fern Phytoremediation Study 2005 Update - Tacoma Smelter Plume 12/1/2005 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
Fern Phytoremediation Study 2005 Intro - Tacoma Smelter Plume 4/1/2005 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
State Environmental Policy Act 17
Technical Reports 21
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Tacoma Smelter Plume Model Remedies Guidance 7/10/2019 Interim Action Documents
Tacoma Smelter Plume Residential Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program Final Design and Implementation Plan 11/18/2013 Interim Action Documents
Fern Phytoremediation Study Summary - Tacoma Smelter Plume 7/31/2013 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Tacoma Smelter Plume Final Interim Action Plan 6/29/2012 Interim Action Documents
Soil Safety Program Addendum to Final Design 2010 5/1/2010 Interim Action Documents
Tacoma Smelter Plume Management Plan 2/1/2007 Interim Action Documents
Child Use Area Study - Metro Parks 8/1/2006 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Pierce County Child Use Area Study Report Addendum 8/1/2006 Remedial Investigation Report
Soil Safety Program Final Design 2006 4/24/2006 Interim Action Documents
Extended Footprint Study - Tacoma Smelter Plume 7/1/2005 Remedial Investigation Report
Pierce County Child Use Area Study Report 7/1/2004 Remedial Investigation Report
Pierce County Footprint Study Final Report 4/1/2004 Remedial Investigation Report
Credible Evidence Report: The ASARCO Tacoma Smelter and Regional Soil Contamination in Puget Sound 9/1/2003 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Vashon School District Resample Technical Memo 7/9/2003 Remedial Investigation Report
Mainland King County Child Use Area Study Report 6/30/2003 Remedial Investigation Report
Tacoma Smelter Plume Site Trace Element Analyses Report 4/1/2003 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Mainland King County Footprint Study - Tacoma Smelter Plume 3/29/2002 Remedial Investigation Report
Docton Park Study 1/1/2002 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Vashon Maury Island Child Use Area Study Report 11/1/2001 Remedial Investigation Report
Survey of Typical Soil Arsenic Concentrations (University Place, WA) 3/1/2001 Remedial Investigation Report
Vashon-Maury Island Soil Study 1999-2000 7/1/2000 Remedial Investigation Report
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Southwest Regional Office
    300 Desmond Dr SE
    Lacey, 98503-1274
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.

Contaminants 3

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants C S
Metals - Arsenic C S
Metals - Lead C
S
Suspected
C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
B
Below Cleanup Levels
RA
Remediated-Above
RB
Remediated-Below
R
Remediated
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.