Accidental spills of dangerous materials, past business practices, old landfills, and illegal drug manufacturing all can contaminate land and water.
Polluted properties pose risks to public health and our environment. Snohomish Health District gets funding from the state Department of Ecology (DOE) to assess known or suspected contaminated sites in Snohomish County.
Typical sites in Snohomish County include some abandoned landfills, auto wrecking yards, leaking underground storage tank sites or former bulk fuel storage facilities.
Washington State Department of Ecology has a searchable database of all polluted sites currently being investigated, cleaned up, or that have already completed the cleanup process. The database lists almost 1,000 cleanup sites in Snohomish County.
Some local and regional cleanup efforts have dedicated web pages:
Illegal Drug Labs
Contamination by hazardous
chemicals used in illegal drug manufacturing can pose a risk to public health.
The Snohomish Health District works with the Snohomish Regional Drug & Gang Task Force (SRDGTF) to ensure that contaminated sites are
identified and cleaned up, as required by Washington State law (Chapter 64.44 RCW).
Please contact the Health
District’s Safe Environments Program directly for the most accurate
information about a site address you are researching, as there can be
inaccurate or incomplete information found on internet-based websites.
Everett Smelter Site
One of the largest contaminated sites in Snohomish County is the Everett smelter site. The former Asarco smelter operated in the early 1900s. It caused widespread arsenic and lead contamination in the topsoils of northeast Everett.
Snohomish Health District first gave residents a Health Advisory in March 1991, after the state Department of Ecology completed a Preliminary Site Hazard Assessment. The assessment identified arsenic, cadmium and lead as the chemicals of concern. In 2001 an updated Health Advisory (PDF) was published.
The metals came out of the smokestack and dropped from the air onto the ground nearly a hundred years ago. These metals don't break down or evaporate. They stick to soil particles and can stay in the soil for a long time.
The state Department of Ecology continues to manage cleanup efforts and site monitoring.