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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 1974
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington

Richard W. Elliott

elliot ElliottRichard elliot
Of Counsel
Rich Elliott counsels clients in the environmental and natural resources, manufacturing, and food and agriculture industries. His experience includes pipeline litigation, salmon aquaculture appeals, environmental enforcement actions, Superfund sites, and federal facility cleanup projects. Rich has represented clients at the federal and state levels and has played a major role in creative resolution through litigation or settlements.

Practice Highlights
  • Currently represents association of nine major cruise ship lines on environmental matters involving State of Alaska, including the Alaska large passenger vessel wastewater discharge general permit. Assisted clients in development of legislation that provided relief to cruise lines.
  • Counsels multiple clients in the petroleum, land development, food and agriculture, and aquaculture industries on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and state wastewater discharge permits, including administrative appeals and litigation in state and federal court.
  • Provides broad variety of legal services to major corporations in the petroleum industry, including environmental cleanup of legacy sites; resolution of complex water quality, air quality and hazardous waste regulatory issues; and related litigation in state and federal courts.
  • Counsels aquaculture clients on siting and permitting issues and represents them in appeals before quasi-judicial bodies and state courts. Successfully defended clients in five-week adversary hearing involving challenge to clients’ NPDES waste discharge permits. Has also represented other agribusiness clients, including defense of Clean Water Act citizen's suits.
  • Has represented clients in numerous agency enforcement actions, including an enforcement action against aerospace company that raised complex regulatory issues involving hazardous waste, wastewater discharge and air quality laws. The matter was resolved in manner beneficial to client’s continuing operations.  
  • Serves as environmental counsel to major natural resources company in the environmental cleanup and redevelopment of a former sawmill site and historic company town in Washington State. The state awarded an Environmental Excellence Award to the client for the successful cleanup of this complicated site. Currently assisting same client with issues involving Puget Sound sediments.
  • Has represented clients at numerous federal Superfund sites and state cleanup sites. Currently represents two companies in relation to the Pasco Landfill, a major state and federal Superfund site in Eastern Washington. As member of PRP steering committee and chair of technical committee, played key role in negotiating innovative technical and financial solutions.
  • Has represented government contractors with respect to numerous cleanup projects and enforcement actions at contaminated federal facilities, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Instrumental in formulation of creative cleanup arrangements, including recovery of cleanup costs from federal government.

Representative Experience

Air emissions issues for various companies

Advises clients in the seafood processing and cruise line industries on environmental permitting, including air emissions. (Ongoing)

Aquaculture permits for Pacific Seafood

Represents major seafood company in permitting of salmon aquaculture sites. Previously represented other seafood companies on permitting of sites and related litigation, including citizen's suit and defense of permit appeals. (Ongoing)

Cruise ship wastewater for Alaska Cruise Association

Represents association of nine major Cruise Lines in matters involving the Alaska Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Wastewater General Permit. Representation has included litigation and development of legislation favorable to the cruise line industry. (Ongoing)

Environmental counsel at major Superfund site

Served as Technical Committee Chair to a group of 15 potentially responsible parties at a major Superfund site in eastern Washington state. Site is ranked by Washington Department of Ecology as second-highest priority cleanup site in state. Continues to represent two clients at the site. (Ongoing)

Port Gamble cleanup for Pope Resources

Assisting client in remediation of marine sediments and restoration of shoreline area adjacent to historic company town and mill site on Puget Sound. (Ongoing)

State Superfund for Union Oil Company of California

Advises client on cleanup of former petroleum terminal site on Puget Sound. (Ongoing)

Shoreline development issues for Washington Fish Growers Association

Represent aquaculture trade association in challenge to County Shoreline Master Program. (2012)

Environmental enforcement for Fortune 100 company

Assisted Fortune 100 company in responding to alleged violations and resolution of claims involving hazardous waste and air emissions, and water quality regulations. (2008)

Complex civil and criminal litigation for major oil company

Represented major oil company in resolving significant civil penalties and other environmental and natural resources claims arising from the 1999 Olympic pipeline rupture in Bellingham, Wash. (2005) Read more

Environmental counsel for oil company

Represents a major oil company in negotiations and potential arbitration over the site of a major petroleum spill in Seattle. Played key role in negotiating complex agreements leading to settlement of related litigation involving the city, landowner, and another major oil company.

Environmental counsel for research laboratory

Represented a national research laboratory in an action against the federal government for contamination of former AEC site located at the Hanford nuclear site in Richland, Wash. Achieved settlement with U.S. Department of Energy despite complex issues involving sovereign immunity and CERCLA contribution actions.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Past Chair, PRISM Group (Diversity Committee), Davis Wright Tremaine, 2002-2008
  • Pro bono representation of Holocaust survivors seeking reparations from German government
  • Past Board Member and Secretary, Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra, 1985-2002
  • Served as naval officer on nuclear submarine

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Environment (Washington) by Chambers USA, 2005-2015; Received "Band 1" ranking, 2012-2014  
  • Awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation by the U.S. Navy, 2012 
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Environmental Law by Best Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2015
  • Recipient of 2010 Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation from Washington State Bar Association
DWT recognized by chambers USA, read release