Facility Site ID: 215 Cleanup Site ID: 712

Asarco Smelter Cleanup Background

Former Asarco smokestack
Former Asarco smokestack
For nearly 100 years, the Asarco Company operated a copper smelter in Tacoma. The 90 acre facility sat on the border of north Tacoma and Ruston, along the waterfront. Air emissions and other smelter contaminants polluted the property, the surrounding neighborhoods, and a 1,000 square mile area called the Tacoma Smelter Plume.

In the early 1980s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began a Superfund cleanup of the site. To manage this large and complex cleanup, EPA divided the cleanup into four "operable units." The Asarco Smelter is one of these units.  It consists of the cleanup of the smelter property, excluding building and structure demolition--a separate unit. 
Legal 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
EC Point Ruston Onsite Containment Facility 8/27/2021 Environmental Covenant; Alternative Mechanism
Superfund State Contract - Asarco OU2 - Slag Peninsula 9/10/2020 Interlocal/Interagency Agreement; Memorandum of Agreement or Understanding
Technical Reports 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Ecology's Acceptance of Change in Proposed ESD 9/13/2018 Site Specific Administrative Document - other (Administrative correspondence)
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 11

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Other Contaminant - Base/Neutral/Acid Organics C C C
Halogenated Organics - Halogenated Organics C C C
Metals - Metals Priority Pollutants C C C C C
Metals - Metals - Other C C C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Petroleum Products-Unspecified C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Phenolic Compounds C C C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Non-Halogenated Solvents C
Non-Halogenated Organics - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons C C C
Other Contaminant - Conventional Contaminants, Organic C
Other Contaminant - Conventional Contaminants, Inorganic C C C
Other Contaminant - Asbestos C C
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
Below Cleanup Levels
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.