State AG Database – Washington

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The following is a list of major actions taken by the Washington State Attorney General to ensure that environmental laws are fully implemented and enforced:

Lawsuits v. Federal Government

In re Aiken Cty. (D.C. Cir. 2013): Mandamus action to force the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to proceed with the licensing process of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository.

New York v. Jackson (D.D.C. 2012): Multi-state lawsuit to force EPA to comply with Clean Air Act requirement to update and revise National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) every five years.

Hanford Site Nuclear Waste Clean-Up (2010): Lawsuit and related actions concerning the cleanup and processing of nuclear waste stored in Hanford, Washington.

Massachusetts v. EPA (2007): Challenge to EPA denial of petition to regulate GHGs from motor vehicles under CAA.

Lawsuits v. Private Actors

Settlement with Volkswagen for Emissions Defeat Devices (2016): Settlement of consumer protection claims raised by a multi-state coalition of state attorneys general against Volkswagen for selling vehicles equipped with “defeat device” software intended to circumvent emissions standards and concealing this software from regulators and the public.

Settlement, Connecticut v. Hyundai Motor Co. (Conn. Super. Ct. 2016): Multi-state settlement of consumer-protection claims against car manufacturers that overstated their vehicles’ fuel efficiency.

Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. (2006): Washington State intervened and multiple states submitted Amicus Briefs in lawsuit filed by Native American tribe against Canadian smelting company for polluting the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt.

Defense of Federal Standards

West Virginia v. EPA (D.C. Cir. Oct 23, 2015): Intervention to join EPA’s defense of Clean Power Plan against challenge mounted by other states and industry petitioners.

North Dakota v. EPA (D.C. Cir. 2015): 18 states filed amicus brief in support of EPA in litigation challenging New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) regulating carbon dioxide emission from new and modified power plants.

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA (2014): Multiple states intervened in lawsuit to defend EPA rules concerning regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary and mobile sources.

Defense of State Standards

Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Goldstene (2007): State AGs intervened in lawsuit to defend California’s greenhouse gas emission standards for motor vehicles against challenge alleging that the standards are preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).

Administrative Proceedings

Agreement for DOE to Update Energy Efficiency Standards (2013): Multi-state coalition reached agreement with U.S Department of Energy establishing timetable for updating federal efficiency standards for energy-intensive consumer products.

Legislative Inputs

Congressional Testimony on Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Amendments, Pub. L. 114-182 (2016)Letters and testimony providing recommendations on federal legislation amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to revise the process and requirements for evaluating and determining whether regulatory control of a chemical is warranted.

Other Interventions

Green 20 State AG Coalition (2016): Group of 17 State AGs and Former Vice President Al Gore announced a coalition of states committed to taking creative steps to combat climate change, including investigations into fossil fuel companies and climate-related disclosures.