Asarco Tacoma Smelter Site

Former Asarco copper smelter in Ruston and north Tacoma
Please click on the photo for a larger view


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

Tacoma Smelter Plume map
Please click on the photo for a larger view


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


Map showing site location as Pierce County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 89267963

Cleanup Site ID: 3657

update, Pierce County

Status: Cleanup Started   Get definitions of Status terminology

Document Repositories:

Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr SE
Lacey, 98503-1274