What is the Tacoma Smelter Plume (TSP) Project?
The plume is a 1,000 square mile area of arsenic and lead soil contamination from the former Asarco smelter in Tacoma.
Levels of lead and arsenic soil contamination can be different from place to place. It is based on:
- Distance from the smelter
- Wind currents
- Geographic features (such as hills)
- If soil has been disturbed during construction, gardening, or other activities
With funding from the Department of Ecology's settlement with Asarco, we are:
- Collecting soil samples from residential yards, within a defined service area
- Providing soil sample results to homeowners, along with an explanation of what that means
- Providing outreach and education to residents
- Partnering with community and gardening groups to increase education
- Providing outreach to schools and child care facilities
The Department of Ecology is also:
- Testing soil and cleaning up the most contaminated residential yards in Southern Vashon-Maury Island and Ruston/North Tacoma
- Cleaning up the most contaminated play areas in schools, childcare, parks, camps, and multi-family public housing in the Soil Safety Area
- Providing technical assistance for cleaning up properties during development
More information can be found on the Washington State Department of Ecology TSP website.