NOTICE: Ecology's web applications will be unavailable Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30pm, for scheduled maintenance.

image:filtered light in the forest

Toxics Cleanup Program

Real Estate in the Tacoma Smelter Plume

Information for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals

Photo showing home with a sold sticker over the "for sale" sign.

Map showing the extent of the Tacoma Smelter Plume from Seattle to Lacey, with areas highlighted according to contamination levels.
Inside the Tacoma Smelter Plume?
Search for an address
Most properties are in areas where arsenic and lead pose only a very small, long-term health risk.  Using healthy actions can lower your risk.  Some areas have higher levels of contamination and homes here may qualify for free soil sampling and other services.

Residential Property

Buying a Home

  • Search if the home is in the Tacoma Smelter Plume.  Enter the address in the Smelter Search interactive map.  Click on the red diamond for available programs and contacts.
  • Find out what’s in the soil.  Search the Arsenic in Soils database for homes sampled by Ecology.  If there are no results, ask the owner if they took their own samples, or are planning to sign up for free sampling.
  • Learn more.  Contact your local Dirt Alert program for brochures and health information.

Selling a Home

  • Find out what’s in the soil...  Search the Arsenic in Soils database to find out if your yard was sampled.  If you cannot find your property, you may qualify for free soil sampling.  Visit our soil sampling page for more details.
  • If you have high levels of contamination… Don’t worry, we are here to help.  The Yard Program will pay for soil removal and replacement of arsenic over a certain threshold.  If you sell your home before cleanup, the offer transfers to the new owner.
  • For lower levels… We can advise on how to lower your family’s exposure using healthy actions and covering bare patches of soil in your yard.

State Disclosure Law

Chapter 64.06 RCW, or “Form 17,” asks if the seller knows of any soil contamination. You can get this form from your real estate broker.  If you have questions about filling it out, you should seek legal advice. A buyer cannot waive the right to Form 17 if the answer to any of the questions in the “Environment” section would be “yes.”