Yard Program updates

Since 2013, we've found 1,191 properties (yards) that qualify for soil replacement. To date, we have replaced soil in 290 yards within the Yard Program service area (service area). In 2020 we plan on replacing soil in 58 yards in the service area.

In 2020 we plan on working on 58 yards in Tacoma (blue dots).

An Ecology banner hangs in front of a yard.

Current progress: 2020 construction groups

In 2020, we plan on working on 58 yards in the service area. All of these properties are in North Tacoma.

In January we started on a small group of six yards and three childcares. These yards are part of a small group that's funded by the EPA.

Work on the next construction group will start in the spring of 2020. This group is in Area A and consists of 29 yards. We are currently in our contracting process. This is the first year that we will be working on a large group outside of the EPA study area.

Work on the third construction group is planned for the fall of 2020. This group is in Area 1 and 2 of the EPA study area and consists of 23 yards.  

This is our planned work. The actual number of properties we complete in 2020 is subject to change. 

Soil Replacement Sequence update

Soil replacement prioritization was set in the Final Program Design and Implementation Plan. In 2016, we came out with a Soil Replacement Sequence for outside the study area. The sequence ranked our work and conveyed which areas we would address first.

In 2017, we finished our large soil sampling effort. We offered soil sampling to everyone within the Yard Program service area. We did not offer soil sampling to yards within the EPA study area, as soil sampling for these yards was done under the EPA’s superfund program.

Our large outreach efforts offering soil sampling are complete. We continue to offer soil sampling to new homeowners.

Since the sequence was updated in 2016 we sampled 1,500 more yards. We found an additional 120 yards that qualify for soil replacement. 

In 2020, we will be evaluating the data and updating our soil replacement sequence. This sequence is based on the number of yards that qualify, with soil contamination over 100 parts per million (ppm) for arsenic. In our evaluation of the data we look at different factors. These include the areas of the service area with the highest contamination levels. We also will look at how close groups of yards are to other yards, and the total number of yards in a group. We will consider other factors like access to community services, income inequities, and population demographics.

Soil sampling and soil replacement paperwork

Ecology’s Dirt Alert map puts information and data in one place. Where available, the map visually displays soil sampling data. It also provides useful links to Ecology and the Health Department’s websites and contact information.

If you would like to find out if your yard already has soil sampling or soil replacement information, enter your address in the address search. Click on "More information" in the pop-up box in the bottom, left-hand corner of the screen to find property-specific soil sampling and soil replacement information.    

Healthy Actions

Healthy Actions are for everyone. They're simple practices you can do to reduce your and your family’s exposure to contaminated soil.

Sign up for free soil sampling

See our Soil Sampling webpage for more information. 


If you have questions, please call the Tacoma Smelter Plume line at 360-407-7688, press 2 for the Tacoma Smelter Plume.