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AGO News Releases with Topic: Environment

TACOMA — Stephen Mason, owner of the derelict vessel the Helena Star, entered guilty pleas today to charges of abandoning a derelict vessel and discharging pollution into state waters. He was sentenced to 20 days of confinement (which may be served on electronic home monitoring) and two years’ probation, and is ordered to repay the state $300,000 towards the total cost of $1.25 million to remove the sunken vessel from the Hylebos Waterway in Pierce County. As part of the agreement, Mason will cooperate with Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) efforts to secure the remaining restitution from other Helena Star investors.

 

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson are asking a federal judge to amend a 2010 agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy and establish new requirements for retrieving and treating Hanford’s tank waste and constructing new double-shelled tanks.
KENNEWICK — At the request of Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Benton County District Court today ordered defendant Brandon Traner to pay the state $144,000 for the cleanup of a fishing trawler that Traner was recently convicted of abandoning in the Columbia River. Ferguson’s office obtained the first derelict vessel conviction in Washington state last month after Traner’s trawler, the M/V Forus, sank and released 50 gallons of diesel fuel and 8 gallons of motor and hydraulic oils into the Columbia,
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the state will not extend today’s deadline for resolving the dispute with the U.S Department of Energy over cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. The state has extended the deadline twice already since negotiations began in March.
KENNEWICK—Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday secured the first derelict vessel conviction in Benton County. The defendant, Brandon Traner, will serve 20 days in jail and pay restitution for abandoning a derelict fishing trawler in the Columbia River.
OLYMPIA – The sunken 167-foot Helena Star has been raised, patched, and towed to Seattle, where it is being scrapped and recycled, announced the Washington State Departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Ecology.
OLYMPIA—Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the dispute resolution period by 70 days, ending on Sept. 5.
Negotiators from Washington state and the federal government have agreed to extend the 40-day dispute resolution period triggered under a 2010 court order to clean up high-level radioactive and chemically hazardous waste at Hanford.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson applauded new rules announced by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today setting strong emission limits on existing fossil-fuel power plants to reduce pollution in the U.S.
Today in King County Superior Court, a former Renton man pleaded not guilty to charges by the Attorney General’s Office that he illegally abandoned roughly 40 barrels of hazardous waste on property from which he was evicted in 2012.
Two Tacoma business owners entered guilty pleas today in Pierce County Superior Court after Attorney General Bob Ferguson leveled multiple charges against them for selling substandard asbestos worker training courses and certifications  through their business, Environmental Management Training Services LLC. (EMT).
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined a coalition of attorneys general from 13 states that sent a letter yesterday to the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. The letter objects to proposed changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) that would strip states of the power to protect their citizens from dangerous chemicals.

Issues proposed revision to 2010 Consent Decree
AGO joint release with the Governor's Office and Department of Ecology

OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson today issued new demands to the U.S. Department of Energy to ensure timely Hanford cleanup in the form of a proposed plan to revise the 2010 Consent Decree. The proposal aims to prevent the federal government from delaying cleanup of Hanford’s radioactive and hazardous tank waste.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the following statement regarding his meeting this morning with Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and Governor Jay Inslee regarding progress on Hanford cleanup.

Vessel sunk near Finley, discharged fuel and oil into Columbia, cleanup exceeds $100K

KENNEWICK—Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced criminal charges today in Benton County District Court against the owner of a former salmon fishing trawler who abandoned his sunken vessel in the Columbia River near Finley, Wash. in July 2013. This is the first state-initiated derelict vessel prosecution in Eastern Washington.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today announced two sets of criminal charges against the separate owners of two derelict vessels that recently sank in Pierce and Kitsap counties, dumping hundreds of gallons of fuel into Puget Sound.  The charges are the first environmental crimes involving derelict vessels to be filed by the state of Washington in recent history.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with 12 other attorneys general, submitted comments to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging reduction in dangerous pollution.

This special to the Bellingham Herald was published November 20, 2013.

By Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

You might reasonably assume that the federal government regulates and tests most of the chemicals found in our children’s toys, household products, and other consumer goods to make sure they are safe. They do not. In response, states like Washington stepped up with stronger chemical safety state laws to protect consumers and the environment from the impacts of toxic chemicals.

Evaluating response options

SEATTLE - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) informed the Washington State Attorney General’s Office that the federal government is at substantial risk of failing to meet three more milestones ordered by the court in the 2010 Hanford Cleanup Consent Decree.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced an important ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in the lengthy effort to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
State environmental laws would be preempted under proposed law

Today, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and eight other Attorneys General from around the country released a letter they sent to Congress strongly objecting to provisions in the proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act (S.1009) that would override state environmental laws.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has successfully prosecuted a Snohomish County environmental crime involving illegal dumping of over 6,000 gallons of sewage. This is the first environmental crime the AGO has prosecuted in 10 years.

The State of Washington was extremely disappointed to hear from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) on Thursday that two more milestones agreed to in the 2010 Hanford Cleanup Consent Decree with the State are at substantial risk of being missed. USDOE Secretary Ernest Moniz called Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday to inform him of this information
May 28, 2013 > State appeals culvert case
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the state filed a Notice of Appeal in the case of US v Washington— the “culverts” case.
Earlier today, Attorney General Bob Ferguson learned the U.S. Dept. of Energy has now increased the number of identified leaking single-shelled radioactive waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation from the one they reported last week to six—and they admit there may be more.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson learned the U.S. Dept. of Energy has identified a leak in one of the single-shelled radioactive waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, releasing between one-half to one full gallon of liquid per day..."I have met with my legal team and asked them to develop new legal options to enforce the U.S. Department of Energy's current obligations to clean up Hanford. We must ensure that Washington communities and our environment are protected."

This news release, regarding a case argued by the Washington State Attorney General's Office, was distributed by the Department of Ecology

OLYMPIA –Washington Department of Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant issued the following statement today on a state Supreme Court ruling upholding a voter-approved funding source for environmental protection and cleanups in Washington state.

SPOKANE – A week before trial was to begin in U.S. District Court in Yakima over Teck Metals, Inc.’s (Teck) liability for contamination from smelter discharges in Canada, the company has conceded its waste is leaching heavy metals in the upper Columbia River in Washington.  

 OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged Department of Energy (USDOE) Secretary Stephen Chu to take all reasonable steps to adhere to the court-ordered timeline to clean up nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

 OLYMPIA – Although stopping short of ordering action for the time being, the United States Court of Appeals today agreed with Washington state and seven other petitioners that the law requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to act on a license application to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. 

Washington State Senior Counsel Andy Fitz will appear tomorrow before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia as lead counsel for several jurisdictions urging the court to force a federal regulatory agency to move forward in the licensing process, issue a decision within 14 months and break the logjam preventing completion of a national repository for America’s high-level treated nuclear waste.

 OLYMPIA -- The Washington Supreme Court today upheld a challenge to state water law, affirming the states’ position that groundwater used for stock-watering purposes is exempt from the requirement to apply for a water permit. 

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington filed a new lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The suit is a major development in the state’s longstanding fight to ensure timely cleanup of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste stored in Hanford’s leaky underground tanks, and continuation of the process to license Yucca Mountain as a deep geologic disposal site.

OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement today regarding the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejecting a request to stop the federal Department of Energy (DOE) from unilaterally terminating the Yucca Mountain development process

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement responding to today’s federal court of appeals decision that the lawsuit concerning Yucca Mountain’s designation as a national nuclear waste disposal can move forward:

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle in Spokane has approved and entered a judicial consent decree that imposes a new, enforceable and achievable schedule for cleaning up waste from Hanford’s underground tanks.

 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) jointly filed a motion today in U.S. District Court asking the court to approve and enter a judicial consent decree that imposes a new, enforceable, and achievable schedule for cleaning up waste from Hanford’s underground tanks. 

Ecology Division Chief Mary Sue Wilson today represented Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna before the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Wash., asking the Commission to follow federal law and keep the Yucca Mountain facility under consideration as a potential repository for Washington's treated high-level nuclear waste.

 OLYMPIA — The state of Washington today won an important victory in its fight to prevent the federal government from permanently removing the nation’s only Congressionally approved, high-level nuclear waste repository from future consideration.

Attorney General Rob McKenna and expert assistant attorneys general in his office this week will continue to fight the federal government’s attempt to permanently remove the nation’s only Congressionally-approved high-level nuclear waste repository from future consideration. 

Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced Washington has filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to prevent the federal Department of Energy (DOE) from irrevocably terminating the Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository by withdrawing “with prejudice” its license application for the repository. DOE’s action would unilaterally and forever preclude any further consideration of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository

OLYMPIA – The state of Washington has received roughly $188 million to help repair environmental damage caused by mining giant ASARCO.

RICHLAND, Wash. – With the ongoing construction of the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) in the background at the Hanford Site, Attorney General Rob McKenna joined Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Cruden and other officials today to announce a proposed legal settlement that will impose a new, enforceable and achievable schedule for tank waste cleanup at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. 

OLYMPIA— State officials are celebrating a court victory that walls off millions of acres of public lands from new development. On Wednesday the 9th Circuit Court ruled in favor of a lower court’s decision to turn back a 2005 effort to open up some federal lands to new road construction and the harvest of timber.
OLYMPIA – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), yesterday elected Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna as its vice president. McKenna will serve in this role through next summer, when he will become president-elect of the organization. He’ll assume the role of NAAG president in 2011.
OLYMPIA – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), yesterday elected Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna as its vice president. McKenna will serve in this role through next summer, when he will become president-elect of the organization. He’ll assume the role of NAAG president in 2011.

OLYMPIA – Work to clean up and remake a major piece of the Anacortes waterfront starts Monday, June 15, 2009.

OLYMPIA –Washington state has cleared a major hurdle in its efforts to collect nearly $164 million to help repair environmental damage caused by bankrupt mining giant Asarco.

OLYMPIA – The state of Washington today joined a group of twelve states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York in a suit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency for failing to adopt regulations that control emissions of global warming pollution from oil refineries. The suit challenges the EPA’s refusal to require new or renovated oil refineries to install technologies that control global warming pollution, in violation of the Clean Air Act.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the state will appeal a recent King County Superior Court ruling that suggests three sections of the Municipal Water law are invalid.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today issued the following statements on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on two cases for which his office has submitted friend of the court briefs.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that Washington will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to respond to a landmark ruling that requires the agency to exercise its authority to protect the environment from greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that, as a result of outreach by Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler and himself, 32 other states have joined Washington and Maryland in signing an amicus brief in a significant case involving the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The brief, authored by General Gansler’s office, was filed this week in U.S. Supreme Court to support the commercial fishermen, seafood processors, Indian tribes, private landowners and businesses that depended on the pristine environment and fisheries of Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that Washington will sign on to an amicus brief to support the commercial fishermen, seafood processors, tribes and others whose lives were impacted by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Attorney General Rob McKenna this week joined state and local attorneys across the nation in a letter urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to exercise its authority to protect the environment from greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.
In an effort to defend Washington’s tough vehicle emissions standards law, Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced Washington state will join 14 other states in intervening in a California lawsuit filed earlier today.
OLYMPIA… Attorney General Rob McKenna today hailed the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow individuals and corporations who voluntarily clean up hazardous waste sites to recover costs from other liable parties as a victory for the state and the environment.
Attorney General Rob McKenna, Governor’s Chief of Staff Tom Fitzsimmons and representatives from the Washington State Department of General Administration and Sunset Air Incorporated will celebrate the designation of the AGO’s Tumwater Building as the first privately owned leased state facility to earn LEED Silver Certification on Thursday, May 3.
The United States Supreme Court today granted Washington divided argument in a case regarding the authority to recover costs in the voluntary clean-up of contaminated sites.  Washington wrote an amicus brief filed last week on behalf of nearly 40 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico in favor of the company seeking to recover costs.  The Supreme Court will hear argument in this case on Monday, April 23, 2007.  Deputy Solicitor General Jay Geck will have 10 minutes to present the states’ argument.
The state of Washington led 37 other states, the District of Columbia and Commonwealth of  Puerto Rico today in submitting a “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case regarding the authority to recover costs in the voluntary clean-up of contaminated sites.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with Clear Bay Fisheries, Inc., resolving allegations that the Canadian seafood supplier and its officers conspired with a convicted poacher to steal more than 65 tons of geoduck from South Puget Sound.
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the state will appeal the recent U.S. District Court ruling that Initiative 297, the Cleanup Priority Act, is unconstitutional.
Spokane – The state of Washington and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation received news of a significant victory today in federal court.
OLYMPIA - Senior U.S. District Judge Alan McDonald today ruled on summary judgment in United States. v. Manning that Initiative 297, the Cleanup Priority Act, is unconstitutional in its entirety.
OLYMPIA –The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington today granted summary judgment in the state’s favor on one claim in a lawsuit filed by the state in March 2003 to stop the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) from shipping transuranic mixed waste to Hanford from other DOE sites around the country.
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