The Asarco smelter operated in Everett 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 the surrounding area. From 1999-2007, Department of Ecology managed cleanup of the most highly contaminated areas, including the former smelter property.
The contamination was discovered in 1990. A local company notified us that they found elevated concentrations of arsenic and lead in the soil and groundwater during an environmental assessment of their property. We conducted additional investigations of the surrounding area. The soil at the Everett smelter site was found to be contaminated with arsenic, lead, cadmium, and other metals. In some areas, arsenic and lead were present above state cleanup standards.
Department of Ecology - Learn more about the history of the smelter, testing your soil for contamination and updates regarding the clean-up.