Douglas Steding

Doug is the managing partner of Northwest Resource Law. His law practice thrives at the confluence of science and highly charged social opinion. As both an attorney and a scientist, with a Ph.D. focused on air and water pollution from human activities, Doug has a rare understanding of what it takes to sustainably and profitably conduct business in the natural environment.

Doug focuses his practice on industries he understands scientifically, politically, and professionally, and on clients with the utmost integrity and business acumen. He strongly believes that Washington businesses, including his clients, must use local natural resources to sustainably meet the needs of our community, but this view is often met with public and political opposition. Doug therefore frequently guides his clients though complicated business constraints that arise when environmental policies, societal pressures, and the law intersect. He challenges each obstruction or disapproval by understanding the science behind why it is responsible to move forward and then drawing on his expertise to gain the requisite approvals to do so.

Doug also provides strategic and holistic guidance amidst environmental crises that pose threats to a business. His advice is predicated on science, a thorough understanding of the client’s business, and his unique ability to create an effective plan under both time and political pressures. Doug takes a long-view in these challenging situations, and crafts multi-faceted approaches to resolving liability in a way that minimizes his clients’ risk so they can focus on running their business rather than resolving legal problems.

Doug’s practice is focused on several key areas including environmental litigation, industrial permitting, crisis and incident response, and remediation of contaminated lands and sediments. He has also developed experience in managing and litigating tribal treaty right issues and how those rights impact proposed or ongoing operations by businesses. His litigation practice includes appearances before Federal and state courts including the Washington State Supreme Court. He represents businesses that form the core of the Pacific Northwest economy, including aquaculture, marine transportation and ship building, oil and gas companies, and other businesses that depend on our abundant natural resources.

Admitted to practice in Washington.


University of Washington School of Law
Juris Doctorate

University of Santa Cruz
Ph.D, Earth Sciences/Geochemistry

University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Science, Geology

Representative Experience

Wild Fish Conservancy v. Jennifer Quan, Chris Oliver, National Marine Fisheries Service, Gina M. Raimondo, United States Department of Commerce, Alaska Trollers Association, and State of Alaska, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Case No. 23-35322, 2023

Represented the Alaska Trollers Association against the Wild Fish Conservancy.

SeaTac Marine Properties, LLC v. Estate of Peter F. Woeck Sr. and Estate of Peter F. Woeck II, Superior Court of Washington for King County, Case No. 17-2-13635-2 SEA, 2017

Represented the owner of a former shipyard in a cost recovery action against former operators of the shipyard. Obtained judgment finding parties liable, resulting in settlement and assignment of rights to applicable insurance, in addition to reimbursement of past costs and attorney fees.

Manson Construction Co. and 5055 Properties, LLC v. Estate of Peter F. Woeck Sr., Superior Court of Washington for King County, Case No. 17-2-13637-9 SEA, 2017

Represented the owner of a property where shipyard waste was dumped for more than a decade. Successfully reopened an estate closed for almost 20 years to assert claims against the deceased president of the shipyard who directed the disposal of the waste on the property. Successfully obtained a ruling that the estate was liable for cleanup costs of the property, and an assignment of insurance rights that included cashing out of many years of primary insurance coverage for the estate. The property is currently being remediated pursuant to an agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology.

Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association v. State of Washington Department of Ecology, Ad Hoc Coalition for Willapa Bay, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, and Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat, State of Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board, Case No. 18-073, 2018

Appeal of a denial of a controversial permit application to control a pest on shellfish grounds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Successfully settled the appeal through the development of a multi-agency working group and legislative funding that is identifying alternative methods of pest control to address the pest.

Wild Fish Conservancy, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, and Friends of the Earth v. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, LLC, Superior Court of Washington for King County, Case No. 20-2-03704-4 SEA, 2020

Represented intervening permit applicant in a challenge to a permit issued by WDFW to raise steelhead trout at existing fish farms in Puget Sound. Successfully defended the permit issuance, resulting in a complete affirmation of WDFW’s actions and dismissal of the appeal. Also represented the intervening party in an appeal of this affirmation of the permit to the Washington State Supreme Court.

Platypus Marine, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma, Case No. 3:19-cv-05231-BHS, 2019

Represented shipbuilder in action against former owner and operator of a bulk fuel facility for recovery cleanup costs. Successfully settled the matter, resulting in almost complete recovery of all of the shipbuilder’s cleanup costs, and enabling shipbuilder to convert the property to support its ongoing business operations.

Strickland Real Estate Holdings, LLC v. Texaco Inc., United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma, Case No. 2:16-cv-00653-JCC, 2016

Successfully asserted claims against Texaco for contamination caused at a gasoline service station. After initial discovery and limited motion practice, this case was settled, resulting in the funding of remediation of the site at issue and recovery of attorney fees for the client.

Contact Douglas

71 Columbia Street, Suite 325
Seattle, WA 98104

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