Crews are digging up contaminated soil at 90 yards in Pierce and King counties as part of the continuing Tacoma Smelter Plume cleanup.
Five different contractors are removing dirt from 75 yards in Tacoma and 15 yards on south Vashon-Maury Island, and expect to finish work by late December. The soil is taken to approved landfills for disposal.
The yards are contaminated with arsenic and lead spread by air emissions from the former Asarco smelter in north Tacoma. The Tacoma Smelter Plume encompasses a 1,000-square-mile area in Pierce, King and Thurston counties.