Everett Smelter cleanup

We are cleaning up lead and arsenic contamination left behind by the Everett Smelter, in residential and industrial areas of Northeast Everett. We are also encouraging property owners and residents near the former smelter to enroll in our free soil sampling program to see if they qualify for soil replacement.

The Everett Smelter was operated by Asarco from 1894–1912, but the contamination wasn't discovered until 1990. Smelter operations left high levels of arsenic and lead on the former smelter property. Contaminated particles from the smokestacks settled over a 1.1 square mile area.

We're more than halfway done

We've completed cleanup work on more than half of the approximately 700 homes in the uplands area and at American Legion Memorial Park. We have sampled for contamination at all the properties that requested it. For details, see our cleanup progress page.

The cleanup site is divided into Uplands (residential) and Lowlands cleanup areas. The two areas are on different cleanup schedules.

From 1999–2007, we managed cleanup of the most highly contaminated areas, including the former smelter property.

In 2009, we received funding through a bankruptcy settlement with Asarco to continue cleanup work.

From 2009 to 2019, we spent most of the settlement funds on residential cleanups in the uplands area and development of a cleanup plan for the lowlands area.

In 2019, we received funds from the Legislature to continue cleanup.

What’s new?

March 2020: Soil sampling begins again. Cleanup moves forward for the 2019 cleanup group.

  • In late February, we sent mailers to the less than 90 properties still needing soil sampling. Please fill out the 2020 Consent for Access forms by May 31, 2020.
    • Questions? Call the project hotline at 425-446-1024. 
  • Throughout March, we are finalizing cleanup plans for the 2019 cleanup group. Construction will begin in the fall/winter of 2020.

June 2019: Active park cleanup is complete!

Cleanup at Wiggums Hollow Park and Viola Oursler Overlook is complete.

  • Active construction at the parks is done.
  • Fences were removed in July 2019 at Wiggums Hollow Park. 
  • Fences were removed at Viola Oursler Overlook in September 2019.

In July 2019, another round of soil sampling occurred in the Delta and Northwest neighborhoods.