- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Department of Ecology says more Tacoma yards will get contaminated soil replaced this summer.

The multi-year project is aimed at dirt contaminated years ago by pollution from an old copper smelter in Ruston. The former Asarco Company smelter released air pollution for nearly 100 years, containing arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. Ecology officials say it settled on the land over 1,000 square miles in Pierce, King and Thurston counties.

Ecology officials expect about 80 yards in North Tacoma will be cleaned up this summer. About 3,000 yards have been sampled and more than 1,000 identified for soil replacement since the program began in 2013.

Three upcoming public meetings will focus on the cleanup work. Meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday in Tacoma and June 14 on Vashon-Maury Island.

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