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Michael Dunning


Senior Counsel

Michael Dunning, senior counsel to the firm's Environment, Energy & Resources practice, counsels and litigates for clients on environmental, energy and project development, policy matters, legislative advocacy and strategic communications. Mike's environmental counseling and litigation experience includes the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Shoreline Management Act, CERCLA, the Washington state superfund law, MTCA, RCRA (and Washington's authorized program, the Hazardous Waste Management Act (HWMA)), TSCA, Washington's solid waste management laws, SEPA/NEPA and Natural Resource Damages.  Mike also was "Counsel for the Environment" before EFSEC for three proposed energy projects.  On cleanup sites and brownfield redevelopment projects, Mike has assisted clients negotiate complex settlements under the Model Toxics Control Act and CERCLA.  He has also represented clients in litigation before administrative boards, state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, and advised his government clients in all aspects of rulemaking and compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

For more than 10 years, Mike was an assistant attorney general in the Washington State Attorney General's office, representing the state's Department of Ecology on a broad range of environmental issues.  From 2006 - 2011 he was the attorney general's section chief for the Hazardous Waste Cleanup and Management Section and managed all legal services for Ecology's waste cleanup and management programs. From 2004 - 2005 Mike was assistant director for Policy and Legislation at Washington's Department of Health, overseeing and managing the agency's legislative agenda and managing relationships with its stakeholders.

Professional Recognition

  • "Rising Star," Washington Law & Politics, 2007; 2009
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2015: Environmental Law

Professional Leadership

  • Washington State Bar Association, Environmental & Land Use Law Section, 2012 Annual Midyear Meeting & CLE Program, Co-Chair, 2012
  • Washington Real Property Deskbook, Volume 7: Environmental Regulation, Editor-in-Chief
  • Washington State Attorney General Office 2007 Outstanding Employee
  • Washington State Attorney General Office 2010 Outstanding Litigation Team Award

Community Involvement

  • One Less Mountain, Board Member

Related Employment

  • Attorney General Of Washington, Olympia, WA, Assistant Attorney General, 1999 - 2004; Chief, Hazardous Waste Cleanup & Management Section, 2005 - 2011
  • Department of Health, Olympia, WA, Assistant Director for Policy and Legislation, 2004 - 2005
  • United States Army Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Veteran, 1986 - 1991


  • The University of Iowa, J.D., cum laude, 1999
  • University of Texas, San Antonio, B.A., Political Science, German, 1995

Bar Admissions

  • Washington

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit