EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at Center for Urban Waters

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy visited Tacoma to meet with Puget Sound environmental leaders at the Center for Urban Waters.

U.S. EPA Senior Policy Advisor visits Urban Waters

Dr. Ellen Gilinksy - Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Water, U.S. EPA, Washington D.C. - visited the Center for Urban Waters on June 5, 2014.

With Data and Resolve, Tacoma Fights Pollution

Last year, environmental engineers working for this city had an unnerving worry. After a decade and tens of millions of dollars devoted to a fastidious cleanup of its corner of Puget Sound, Tacoma’s shore front was in danger of being contaminated with a highly toxic chemical. Working their way upstream, the engineers discovered the source of the problem: a storm drain in a residential neighborhood. Black goo stuck to its sides was old grout that contained large concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. Used in local road building in 1975, PCBs, odorless and carcinogenic, were outlawed soon thereafter. Yet they were swept up and sent mostly through drain pipes on their way to Puget Sound.

Tacoma Rain Gardens Cleaning Contaminants in Thea Foss Waterway

Deemed a Superfund site in 1983, the City of Tacoma is now making headway to clean up the contaminated Thea Foss Waterway. The city has been monitoring high levels of chemicals like arsenic and pesticides for 12 years, and recent tests show a decrease in 90 percent of contaminants. Better known for its lights and sounds inside, Dorky's Arcade in Tacoma is now getting attention for its efforts outside. Owner Les Vorosbond sponsors one of the city's rain gardens. The City of Tacoma has 14 rain gardens, but sponsors only four. Coordinators hope businesses and organizations will chip in and help.

Cleaning Urban Waters Using Collaboration and Science

Coordinating government agencies, universities, community leaders, and local businesses has led to successful and real-world clean water methods for Tacoma, Washington.

Source Control Investigation Leads to Identification of a PCB Source

Sediment trap monitoring in the OF237B drainage basin showed intermittent relatively elevated levels of PCBs in two upstream sediment traps. These sediment traps are located in a primarily residential area of East Tacoma.

Additional Improvement Found in Stormwater Quality in the Thea Foss Drainage Basin

Annual comprehensive stormwater monitoring by the City of Tacoma shows additional improvement in stormwater quality in the Thea Foss drainage basin.

Results from Year 7 Thea Foss Waterway Monitoring Appear Promising

The City completed Year 7 post-remediation monitoring of the sediments in the Thea Foss and Wheeler-Osgood Waterways, and submitted an annual report summarizing the results to EPA for review in November. Monitoring included sediment chemistry, hydrographic survey, low tide visual monitoring, sediment profile imaging, groundwater monitoring and habitat evaluation.

U.S. EPA Water Cluster Meeting

Tacoma-Pierce County Urban Clean Water Innovative Partnership Zone (IPZ) representatives attend EPA meeting in Cincinnati, OH

Cover Article in 'Pollution Engineering' Magazine

Dr. Joel Baker's article, "Collaborating for Sustainable Results", was the cover article in the January 2013 issue of 'Pollution Engineering' magazine.