Jay rejoined Cascadia Law Group after more than six years as Director of the Department of Ecology and Governor Gregoire’s Chief of Staff. His practice focuses on environmental and energy issues. Jay provides consulting and legal services to clients involved in significant issues of public policy, major projects seeking government approval and/or funding and on difficult management challenges.
Jay has significant experience in all areas of environmental law and policy, including state, federal and local regulatory programs. He has worked extensively in administrative, judicial and legislative and congressional settings. His practice focuses on making clients successful in avoiding litigation and achieving positive outcomes on projects, policy improvements and important transactions.
- From 2009 to July of 2011, Jay was Governor Gregoire’s Chief of Staff, providing day to day management of an organization with over 100,000 employees and a biennial budget of over $30 B. In that role, Jay worked closely with the Governor on all aspects of state government, including budget development, achieving the Governor’s policy and legislative agenda, all management issues, appointments and other personnel decisions, and political issues.
- As Chief of Staff, Jay headed the Governor’s Cabinet and Senior Staff and the Job Creation, Natural Resources, Health Care and Energy and Climate Sub-Cabinets.
- Since 2011, Jay has provided foundational, launch, and ongoing critical support to the Pacific Coast Collaborative, a joint effort of the Governors of Washington, Oregon, and California, and the Premier of British Columbia. The PCC has emerged as a strong advocate for our "mega-region and global economic powerhouse, driven by innovation, energy, geographic location and sustainable resource management, attracting new jobs and investment while enhancing an already unparalleled quality of life."
- In December 2015, on behalf of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, Jay attended the COP-21 UN Climate Talks, the international conference that resulted in the globally historic signing of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
- In 2013, Jay led the legislative team that achieved a conservation goal sought for twenty years: to secure authorization and funding for the acquisition of a beautiful 50,000 acre parcel of land in the Teanaway Valley. The Teanaway includes critically important terrestrial and riparian habitat, free flowing streams, and incredible recreational opportunities.
- From 2005 to 2009, Jay was Director of the Department of Ecology, Washington’s primary environmental agency. Leading a staff of 1500 and managing a biennial budget of almost $1.0 B, Jay focused on successfully managing water resources across Washington, leading the effort to restore and protect Puget Sound, and jump-starting Washington’s efforts to limit emissions of greenhouse gases and prepare for those impacts of climate change that are unavoidable. Jay also spent significant time on water pollution, air pollution, waste management (with a special focus on reducing toxics in the environment) and environmental cleanup. Jay also continued his long history of holding the federal government accountable for cleaning up the Hanford site.
- From 1998 to 2005, Jay was a partner with Brown Reavis & Manning PLLC, the predecessor to Cascadia Law Group. Major clients included Fortune 500 companies, local businesses, municipalities, and nonprofit groups. In 2004, Jay was the managing partner of Brown Reavis & Manning.
- From 2000 to 2004, Jay was President of the Washington Environmental Council, serving as a leading representative of the environmental community on a number of significant legislative and policy issues.
- From 1983 to 1998, Jay was an assistant attorney general, representing the Department of Ecology in all areas of environmental law. From 1993-1998, Jay headed the 30-person Ecology Division, leading the 18 attorneys and 12 staff members who provide legal services to the Department of Ecology.
- In 1994, Jay worked closely with the then Attorney General Chris Gregoire to win a landmark Clean Water Act case in the United States Supreme Court. In PUD No. 1 of Jefferson County and City of Tacoma v. State of Washington, the Court ruled that states have legal authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate hydroelectric projects, breaking 60 years of unbroken precedent holding that State authority is preempted by the Federal Power Act.
- In 1989, after four years of negotiations, Jay helped finalize the Hanford Tri-Party Agreement, a landmark agreement between the State of Washington, EPA and the federal Department of Energy, requiring a 30-year cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Eastern Washington. Jay has continued to work on Hanford issues, and during his time as Director of Ecology, a major new agreement was completed, accelerating key aspects of the cleanup that had been lagging behind schedule.
Civic Activities and Recognition:
- Jay is a Trustee of his alma mater Eastern Washington University, appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to a six-year term in November 2015.
- Jay chaired the Columbia River Water Committee that in 2006 developed and help pass legislation that revolutionized water management in the Columbia Basin.
- In 2016, Governor Inslee appointed Jay to Chair the Puget Sound Partnership. In 2007 and 2008, Jay co-chaired the Partnership with Bill Ruckelshaus; together they helped develop and legislation that created this new state agency responsible for ensuring that Puget Sound is restored to a healthy condition by 2020.
- Jay led the Governor’s Climate Action Team, charged with developing recommendations for how the state should address the looming challenge of global warming. The Team developed and helped enact legislation establishing greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for Washington, and a number of other emission reduction, energy efficiency and climate change adaptation policies that are in place today.
- Jay is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Who's Who Legal: Environment, and Thomson Reuters SuperLawyers.