Facility Site ID: 767 Cleanup Site ID: 47

Related Information

  • Le Roi Smelter and the Upper Columbia River Story Map - Students in Western Washington University's Huxley College Science, Management, and Outreach of Contaminated Sites course interviewed Ecology staff and others to create this story map about the Le Roi Smelter cleanup and effects to the upper Columbia River valley from the Trail Smelter in Canada.&nbsp;<br />

Town Purchases Property For Community Space

In 2018, the Town of Northport purchased the Le Roi Smelter property. Prior to the purchase, we met with the Town Council to discuss the owner's responsibilities regarding maintaining the cleanup remedy and the potential for redevelopment. We will continue to work with local officials to assist with redeveloping this property into a beneficial community space.

Environmental Protection Agency Completed Cleanup

In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consolidated all scrap metal for recycling, consolidated and capped contaminated soil with a protective barrier, and properly disposed of hazardous materials off-site. Access controls and an environmental covenant limit public access and protect the integrity of the cleanup actions. You may read the Removal Action Report and visit EPA's Le Roi Smelter website for more information.

Periodic reviews

Ecology visited the site for a periodic review August 3, 2017, and found that the cleanup actions remain intact. 

Site History

Le Roi (Northport) Smelter, 1901
Le Roi (Northport) Smelter, 1901

The LeRoi Co Smelter site covers approximately 30 acres at the northeast end of Northport, Washington.

The facility began smelting copper and gold tellurium ores from the Le Roi Mine in Rossland, British Columbia, and copper, lead, and silver ores from northeastern Washington in 1896. Heap roasting of tellurium ore involved open roasting on brick platforms. Burned ore was placed in a furnace that produced iron and slag waste. Some of the waste was formed into bricks that were then used as construction materials for on-site as well as off-site buildings. The gold and copper concentrate was shipped off the site by rail for further refining.

At the peak of operation, the Le Roi Smelter processed 500 tons of ore per day; operations were suspended in 1909. In 1914, the Le Roi Smelter reopened to process lead ore from Leadpoint, Washington, to meet government demand during World War I. Lead smelting operations during this period produced up to 30 tons per day of airborne sulfur emissions. Operations ceased permanently in 1921, and the Site remained inactive until 1953. The furnace, roaster, crusher, and ore buildings were removed during this period of inactivity.

From 1953 to 2001, the site was used as a lumber mill. The main lumber operations were located in the western portion of the Site, and the eastern portion was used to store lumber products and old metal parts. The lumber mill processed mostly cedar wood from rough-dimension lumber into exterior siding and exterior paneling. Mill processes included cutting, drying, and shipping the wood products. Mill operations ran on propane. No wood treatment or chemical use was reported during the mill’s operating history.

Site use restrictions called institutional controls are in effect

Institutional controls can be fences, signs, or restrictions on how the property is used. For instance, an institutional control may prohibit installing drinking water wells or disturbing a protective cap that isolates contamination. These restrictions keep the contamination contained and keep people from being exposed to the contamination. The controls are usually listed in environmental covenants recorded with the county.

Periodic reviews are required when institutional controls are required at a site. Ecology conducts reviews to make sure the controls remain effective and the cleanup still protects human health and the environment. We conduct periodic reviews about every five years.

Environmental Covenant

County Recording #: 2010 0000214
County Recording Date: 1/12/2010

Covenant Restrictions

  • Prevent the Reuse or Relocation of Site Soil
  • Prohibit Soil Disturbance
  • Restrict Land Use

Media Restrictions

  • Soil
Legal 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
LeRoi Smelter Environmental Covenant 1/12/2010 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Technical Reports 6
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Periodic Review: LeRoi Co Smelter Site 9/29/2017 Periodic Review (5 Year)
Removal Action Report: Le Roi Smelter 4/25/2005 Remedial Action Report
Work Plan for State Remedial Investigation: LeRoi Smelter Site 6/1/1996 Remedial Investigation Work Plan
Site Inspection Report: LeRoi Company Smelter 10/15/1993 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Preliminary Assessment Report: LeRoi Company Smelter 4/28/1993 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Health Impact Assessment of Metals Detected in Gardens in Northport, Washington 8/1/1955 Human Health and/or Eco Risk Assessment
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

  • Eastern Regional Office
    N 4601 Monroe St
    Spokane, 99205-1265
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.

Contaminants 2

Contaminant Type
Soil
Groundwater
Surface Water
Air
Sediment
Bedrock
Metals - Arsenic C
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.