Commencement Bay-Nearshore Tideflats | Region 10 | US EPA

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Commencement Bay-Nearshore Tideflats

The Commencement Bay Nearshore-Tideflats (CB-NT) Superfund site is located in the City of Tacoma and the Town of Ruston at the southern end of Puget Sound in Washington. It encompasses an active commercial seaport and includes 12 square miles of shallow water, shoreline, and adjacent land, most of which is highly developed and industrialized. EPA placed the site on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1983 due to widespread contamination of the water, sediments, and upland areas. The site is divided into a number of separate Project Areas being managed as distinct sites.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed the fourth five-year review of the environmental cleanups at the Commencement Bay Nearshore-Tideflats Superfund Site. Cleanup efforts have focused on addressing contamination of the water, sediments, and upland areas.  For areas where the cleanup is complete, the current review confirmed that the cleanup measures continue to be protective of people and the environment. In other areas, cleanup is ongoing or additional actions have been undertaken.  The 2014 Fourth Five-Year Review Report explains the results for all areas.

Site History

Aerial photo of Commencement Bay waterways.
Decision Documents and Five-Year Reviews


Project Managers

    Asarco Smelter:
    • Smelter Complex, Residential Cleanup, Sediments - Kevin Rochlin (, 206-553-2106
    • Tacoma Tar Pits - Tamara Langton (, 206-553-2709

    • Hylebos Waterway - Jonathan Williams (, 206-553-1369
    • Thea Foss Waterway - Osgood Waterways - Bill Ryan (, 206-553-8561
    • Middle Waterway - Bill Ryan (, 206-553-8561
    • Sitcum Waterway - Karen Keeley (, 206-553-2141
    • St. Paul Waterway - Karen Keeley (, 206-553-2141
    Other Projects:
    • Occidental Chemical Removal - Jonathan Williams (, 206-553-1369
    • Olympic View Resource Area - Karen Keeley (, 206-553-2141

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