Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Who is the Counsel for the Environment?
Contact the CFE:
Bill Sherman
Division Chief, Environmental Protection Division
(206) 442-4485

The Attorney General's Counsel for the Environment (CFE) represents the public and its interest in protecting the environment on the proposed development of large, non-hydro energy facilities in Washington state. The projects at issue are under review by the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC).

Under state law, the Attorney General appoints an Assistant Attorney General as Counsel for the Environment (CFE) when EFSEC has received a site application for review. CFE is independent of:

  • EFSEC;
  • Other state agencies; and
  • Parties involved in the site-application proposal.

What does the Counsel for the Environment do?

The Counsel for the Environment plays an important role in the overall project review. His or her responsibilities include soliciting public input, providing general information concerning the EFSEC process, helping citizens inform the EFSEC of their concerns, and participating in the review process.

CFE actively assesses the environmental impacts a project may have on the local community and the state's natural resources. When a project likely will result in significant environmental impacts, CFE advocates for measures that will avoid and/or mitigate those impacts. Environmental impacts often associated with the siting of a major energy facility include:

Air Quality
Water Quality
Water availability
Fish & Wildlife Habitat
Sedimentation & Erosion Control
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Aesthetic Impacts
Representative Reviewed Projects
Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal LLC. On August 29, 2013, Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal LLC submitted an Application for Site Certification to construct and operate the Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Distribution Terminal (Project). The Project primarily consists of the receipt and temporary storage of up to an average of 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Midwest North America at the Port of Vancouver in Clark County. The crude oil will be received by rail, unloaded and stored temporarily on site, and then loaded onto marine vessels, primarily for delivery to West Coast refineries.

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) has stated that public release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) will occur in July of 2015. The public is notified by EFSEC when the draft EIS is released. The public will have, at a minimum, 30 days to review and comment on the draft EIS. EFSEC’s certification process also requires EFSEC to hold adjudicative hearings on the proposed project. Scheduled hearing dates and filed pleadings can be found at: http://www.efsec.wa.gov/Tesoro-Savage.html.