Asarco Smelter - Ruston | Region 10 | US EPA

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Asarco Smelter - Ruston

  • Kristine Koch (, Project Manager,
The Asarco Smelter site is located in portions of north Tacoma and Ruston, Washington. It is a part of the Commencement Bay/Nearshore Tideflats Superfund Site.

From 1993 to 2011  properties in the North Tacoma/Ruston area were tested by EPA for arsenic and lead contamination from the Asarco smelter. You can search for sampling results and cleanup records for properties in the EPA Ruston and North Tacoma Study Area on the Washington State Department of Ecology's website. It will take you to the Area-wide Remediation Environmental Information System (AREIS) Database, which is a joint project with Washington Department of Ecology and EPA, with help from the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. Information on additional cleanup by the Washington Department of Ecology will be added to this database as the work is completed.

EPA sampled 3,570 properties and cleaned up 2,436 with the worst contamination, within a one square mile area of Ruston and north Tacoma centered around the former smelter. Washington Department of Ecology will now offer voluntary yard cleanups within a larger study area. Learn more about the Department of Ecology and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s work to clean up properties:

Point Ruston LLC is cleaning up the former smelter property as part of a large housing and commercial development, under EPA’s continued oversight.

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Fact Sheets

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Key Technical Documents

Photos and Maps

(click on map for larger view)

Boundary of the Ruston/North Tacoma Study Area.

Construction of landfill liner:

Other Asarco photos:
Smelter parking lot

Historic photo

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