Soil replacement for residential yards
Ecology is working neighborhood by neighborhood to replace soil in qualifying residential yards in the Tacoma smelter plume area. We will contact you to discuss options when we reach your neighborhood.
For news on the Yard Program’s accomplishments and upcoming work, visit the Yard Program updates page.
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Learn more by reading the Homeowners Guide to Soil Replacement for:
Planning for soil replacement
We start the planning process a year before soil replacement takes place. Planning for cleanup takes several months and soil replacement can take up to 12 weeks. We qualify yards by reviewing soil sampling results and evaluating the property during our first visit.
Some properties or portions of yards might not qualify for soil replacement due to steep slopes, retaining walls, and other areas that are excluded from cleanup. Ecology does not remove soil around trees or large plantings, rock walls, ponds, or under pavement. To learn more, read our excluded areas handout.
Once we identify properties that may qualify, we mail a letter to property owners inviting them to participate and attend a program orientation meeting.
Before, during, and after soil replacement.
Soil replacement sequence
In 2016, we designed a map to display how we are prioritizing neighborhoods for soil replacement over the next ten years. The soil replacement sequence is based on the percentage of properties that qualify with arsenic over 100 ppm, geographic proximity and total number of properties in a group.
Soil replacement progress inside the study area
We started work in the the darkest shade of green and over time, we will move to the lighter shades. We are currently working in area 1.
Soil replacement progress outside the study area
Outside of the study area, we will begin soil replacement work in area A. We will start with the darker shades of brown and move to the lighter shades over time.
Inside the study area
The study area is where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversaw Asarco’s soil sampling and replacement work in the early 1990s and 2000s. For more information on the sequence, please see the Program Design and Implementation Plan (March 2013).
Outside the study area
Outside of the study area, we will start with the darker shades of brown and move to the lighter shades. In the next couple of years, we hope to begin soil replacement work in area A (see map).