Finding a Way Forward in North Everett Cleanup Sites

L to R: Mary Fosse, Kari Quaas, Molly Deardorff from Delta and Northwest Neighborhoods at the Country Living Expo in January 2019.

L to R: Mary Fosse, Kari Quaas, Molly Deardorff from Delta and Northwest Neighborhoods at the Country Living Expo in January 2019.

The Delta Neighborhood in North Everett was awarded $5.5 million for cleanup efforts, as arsenic and heavy metals were left in the soil from decades of smelting plants.  According to the Everett Herald, by the summer of 2018, there were at least 130 houses on the waiting list to have their soil replaced by the Department of Ecology.

Mary Fosse, from the Delta Neighborhood Association, brought up that some houses in the contamination zone around the peninsula in Everett had fill from the original smelter site. This means that both lead and arsenic contaminated soil was used to fill yards in residential areas. Although there are trace amounts of contaminants in her yard above the recommended levels, her home/yard is located past the 14th street cutoff point to receive free soil testing and replacement. Because she is just outside of the contamination zone covered by the Department of Ecology, she has taken steps such as growing produce out of raised beds in her yard, and carefully washes the fruit or produce she grows on-site. 

Recommended in areas of concern: 

  • Use raised garden beds 

  • Donโ€™t wear shoes in the house

  • If gardening wear a mask (unless you have already replaced the soil) 

  • You want to avoid composting materials grown in that area

  • You will want to diligently wash fruit or vegetables grown in that area 

  • You canโ€™t move the soil anywhere (without the help of Department of ecology)