Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

The Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division investigates and prosecutes serious violations of state environmental law. We work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Ecology, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, and other state and federal agencies. In addition, we work closely with county Prosecuting Attorneys and the United States Attorneys for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington. Attorney General Ferguson created the environmental crimes program in 2013. Since that time, our office has brought environmental crimes prosecutions leading to over 30 criminal convictions and nearly $5 million in fines, penalties and restitution orders.
Representative Cases
Electron Hydro LLC & Thom Fischer Washington obtained guilty pleas from a company and its executive who illegally placed field turf, containing rubber crumb, in the Puyallup River during implementation of a hydraulic project. The defendants have agreed on a sentencing recommendation requiring them pay $1,000,000 in fines and restitution. For more information on this case, please click here.
Pacific Foundation/Columbia Pacific Construction/Nicholas Ackerill/Sierra Santa Fe In separate cases, Washington obtained guilty pleas from companies and an individual who illegally removed diesel emissions control equipment from trucks in violation of the Washington Clean Air Act.
State v. Cayo (Mason County District Court) Washington obtained a conviction against a man who filled and altered the course of the Tahuya River in Mason County. Mr. Cayo’s actions caused significant damage to habitat and wildlife, including endangered runs of salmon and steelhead, in violation of the water pollution control act and the shoreline management act. Mr. Cayo received jail time, suspended jail time, and was ordered to pay restitution to make up for the harm he caused the river.
State v. George Campbell and Broadband Environmental Service, Inc. (King County Superior Court) Washington obtained a guilty plea to misdemeanor and felony charges over falsified water quality data. From 2012-2014, George Campbell and his company, Broadband Environmental Service, Inc., faked water quality data in reports related to reclaimed water used in fire-training exercises. Because of the falsification, contaminated water that did not meet state standards, including for fecal coliform, was allowed to come into contact with firefighters. Mr. Campbell received a suspended jail sentence, two years of probation, and was ordered to pay restitution and fines.
State v. Ryan Lewis and Cleaner Pressure Washing, LLC (Pierce County Superior Court) Washington obtained a guilty plea from an individual and company charged with defrauding a public utility, unlawful discharge of hazardous substances, and reckless endangerment. The charges stemmed from operation of a truck washing service, Cleaner Pressure Washing, LLC, by its owner, Ryan Lewis. Mr. Lewis’ business discharged highly acidic and zinc-laden waste water both from the property and into an illegal connection to the sanitary sewer line. A worker also fell into an open catch basis filled with hydrofluoric acid. Mr. Lewis and his company pled guilty to violations of the water pollution control act and the hazardous waste management act and received suspended jail time, fines, and restitution.
State v. Rooney (Snohomish County Superior Court) In the first case concluded under the Washington Animal Trafficking Act, which was adopted by initiative in 2015, Washington obtained a conviction by guilty plea to a felony charge, under which the defendant sold items made from endangered elephant ivory. The defendant was sentenced to 15 days in jail, 30 days of electronic home monitoring, a $10,000 fine, and a $4,000 criminal wildlife penalty paid to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife to help fund future enforcement. In addition to the items the defendant sold to Fish & Wildlife detectives that genetic testing confirmed contained ivory, the defendant also forfeited over 1,500 similar items found in his home.

For more information on this case, please click here.
State v. Pillon (King County Superior Court) Washington obtained a guilty verdict at trial to one felony count of Violation of the Hazardous Waste Management Act, one felony count of Wrecking Vehicles Without a License and one gross misdemeanor count of Unlawful Dumping of Solid Waste. The defendant had illegally disposed of household, industrial and construction waste over a large portion of a 10-acre property, in some places five stories high. The waste includes dozens of wrecked vehicles — including fire trucks, buses and boats — hundreds of tires, and unmarked chemical containers as large as 55 gallons each. The defendant was sentenced to 30 days in jail, $15,000 in fines, and was assessed a $3.8 million solid waste cleanup fee.

For more information on this case, please click here.