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Toxics Cleanup Program


Click on map for larger view. Ruston/North Tacoma Superfund Study Area: This map shows the sequence of future cleanup work. Area 1 has the highest percentage of yards still needing cleanup and the highest remaining contamination. The dark green area is the Asarco smelter property.

Asarco Info Center diagram


Click on diagram for larger view.
Arsenic cleanup and action levels: EPA already cleaned up soils with the highest levels of arsenic. Now, Ecology is cleaning up the next highest levels. Between 20 and 90 ppm, we recommend Healthy Actions.

Ruston and North Tacoma:

Next Steps after Asarco Superfund Cleanup

The Tacoma Smelter Plume includes part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund cleanup site. In the mid-1990s, EPA started cleaning up yards in the Ruston/North Tacoma Study Area, which covers Ruston and a small part of north Tacoma (see map).

EPA Accomplishments

Over 20 years, EPA sampled soils at 3,570 properties and cleaned up 2,436. Cleanup focused on the most highly-contaminated soils, with levels over 230 parts per million (ppm) arsenic.

Find your property in our Arsenic in Soils database

If you live in the Superfund Study Area (map to the right), visit the Arsenic in Soils database to find soil sampling results and cleanup information for your property.  For questions about your property data, health concerns, and next steps, contact the Asarco Information Center at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (right).  Send an e-mail to the info center.   

Yard Cleanups Continue

The new Yard Program will provide cleanup for around 700 more residential yards, based on past sampling results (see database above).  In general, yards with an overall average of 90 ppm arsenic or higher will qualify for the program.  We will sample any yards that do not already have results.

For more information about which yards will qualify for cleanup, see pages 4-5 of the Frequently Asked Questions handout.

We are cleaning up yards in small groups, moving neighborhood by neighborhood.  Once we reach your area, we will send you a letter letting you know if you qualify for cleanup or not. 

Update Fact Sheets for Ruston and North Tacoma