Please click on the photo for a larger view


Ecology and the B & L Custodial Trust are cleaning up more contamination at the B&L Woodwaste site this summer. We are removing arsenic contaminated soil from drainage ditches around the site. We will:

  • Clear trees so that machinery can access the ditches. Tree clearing will likely begin in early August.
  • Excavate contaminated soil along the south and west ditch of the site (see diagram to the left). We will sample to confirm that all contaminated soil is removed.
  • Treat contaminated water that we find during this work.
  • Re-plant trees and fill excavated areas with clean soil. Trees will be replanted in the fall after cleanup work is done.

Please click on the photo for a larger view


The B&L Woodwaste Landfill received woodwaste from the mid-1970s until the early 1980s. The waste, which came from log sort yards in Commencement Bay, was contaminated with Asarco slag.

The Asarco slag (a byproduct of ore smelting operations) leaked arsenic into soil and groundwater at the site. Arsenic has also been found in ditches surrounding the landfill and in wetland area. This posed a threat to human health and the environment, especially nearby wetlands and Hylebos Waterway.

Ecology finished the site cleanup plan in 2007. During bankruptcy proceedings, Asarco agreed to fund the majority of site cleanup. Murray Pacific and Louisiana Pacific also agreed to contribute funding. In 2008 Ecology entered into a Consent Decree (legal agreement) with Murray Pacific to implement the Cleanup Action Plan. Ecology is managing cleanup activities at the site with funding from the B&L Custodial Trust


Since 1992, Murray Pacific and the trust finished most of the needed cleanup work. This included: 

  • Combining the landfill into a single pile and capping it.
  • Building a sub-surface wall around the landfill.
  • Pumping and treating wetland groundwater. 
  • Removing contaminated sediment from the drainage ditches around the site.
  • Other remedial measures.
There no longer appears to be a human health hazard from arsenic at the site. Because of cleanup work Murray Pacific and the trust have done, there is no longer arsenic in the ditches along Interurban Tail. The contaminated water in the wetlands is at least 15 feet deep.

You can review more documents about the cleanup by using the "View Electronic Documents" link in the bar on the right. 

In fall 2013, Ecology and Murray Pacific amended the site consent decree.

Cleanup actions included:
  • Using a groundwater treatment system to pump groundwater from areas in and around the landfill, and remove arsenic from it.
  • Continuing to pump groundwater so contaminated water stays in the landfill once there is no more contaminated water outside of it. The system will likely have to pump and treat water from the landfill indefinitely or until conditions improve. 
  • Testing a process to treat the arsenic that is in the water in the wetlands. The trust will use a chemical that binds arsenic to soil. Arsenic in this soil will be below state cleanup levels.


Ecology wants to keep you informed! As construction progresses, Ecology will mail out fact sheets to the surrounding community. We will post more frequent updates to the site's email list and Ecology's blog. Contact Audrey Kuklok at the contact information in the bar on the right to be added to the email list.

Ecology has developed a Public Participation Plan that outlines how you will be kept informed and involved as this cleanup process moves forward.



Map showing site location as Pierce County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Site Summary Report

Facility Site ID: # 1203

Cleanup Site ID: 2297

Tacoma, Pierce County

Status: Construction Complete-Performance Monitoring   Get definitions of Status terminology

Mohsen Kourehdar
Site Manager
(360) 407-6256

Audrey Kuklok
Public Involvement Coordinator
(360) 407-0067

Document Repositories:

Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr SE
Lacey, 98503-1274

Citizens for a Healthy Bay
535 Dock St., Suite 213
Tacoma, 98402

Tacoma Public Library
1102 Tacoma Avenue S
Tacoma, 98402

Pierce County Library Milton
900 Meridian E., Suite 29
Milton, 98354