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Everett smelter cleanup

Ecology is cleaning up lead and arsenic contamination left behind by the Everett smelter, in residential and industrial areas of Northeast Everett.

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 surrounding area.

We're more than halfway done

We have now 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.

We have now spent most of the settlement funds on residential cleanups in the uplands area and development of a cleanup plan for the lowlands area. We are seeking additional state funds to continue cleanup.

With the remaining settlement funds, we will:

  • Complete cleanup of 11 more homes in spring 2018.
  • Complete prioritized phases of lowlands area cleanup.

What’s new?

February 2018

  • Construction is wrapping up on 11 properties in the Delta neighborhood! After the 60-day contractor maintenance period, residents will need to start caring for their new landscaping. We'll offer a free landscape care workshop in the spring.

October 2017 

  • Construction began October 2 for cleanup of 11 properties in the Delta neighborhood. 
  • We finished sampling soil on all the properties that requested it. If you still wish to have your property sampled, call our hotline at 425-446-1024.   
  • The lowlands construction project to remove highly-contaminated soil under SR-529 ramps will be postponed until 2018.

August 2017

  • We selected a contractor for cleanup of 10 homes in the Delta neighborhood. Construction started October 2. 
  • Cleanup of area A1 in the lowlands is postponed. Excavation of contaminated soil will likely take place in summer 2018.

March 2017

  • A new groundwater study is in progress to aid in the design of cleanup in area B2 in the lowlands.

December 2016

  • We began the cleanup process for 11 properties in the Delta neighborhood.
  • We completed soil sampling on 45 properties in the fall, as well as Pine Street Mobile Home Park and Everett Housing Authority’s 12 Pines neighborhood. Great news — we found that 12 Pines will not need cleanup.

November 2016

  • After public review and comment, Ecology finalized the Lowlands Cleanup Action Plan and related documents. Technical reports and public involvement materials are available in our online document repository.

August 2016

  • We completed soil sampling at Everett Housing Authority’s Baker Heights neighborhood. Great news — we found that most of Baker Heights will not need cleanup!

March 2016

  • We completed soil removal on 22 properties north of Broadway.

2015

  • American Legion Memorial Park is now open. Ecology completed the soil removal and landscape restoration project.
  • After public review and comment, Ecology finalized the Supplemental Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study reports for the lowlands area. Technical reports and public involvement materials are available in our online Document Repository.