File an Appeal

Filing an appeal is a three-step process.

  1. Prepare a written document that identifies the decision being appealed and the reasons for the appeal including a copy of the document being appealed.
  2. File the document with the Pollution Control Hearings Board.
  3. Serve the agency that issued the decision being appealed.


There is no fee to file an appeal.


These steps must be done by the required deadline or the board will not be able to consider the case.

Generally, the appeal must be filed with the board thirty days after the "date of receipt" of the order or decision being appealed. "Date of receipt" has a special meaning defined in the board's rules.

Derelict Vessels

If the appeal pertains to a decision or action by an authorized public entity about a derelict vessel, the appeal must be filed and served within thirty days of when the state agency acquired custody of the vessel or within thirty days of the date of redemption if the vessel is redeemed before the agency acquires custody. See Revised Code of Washington 79.100.120.

Forest Practices Appeals

A copy of the appeal must be filed with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the state Attorney General at the same time as filing with the board.

Different deadlines apply to decisions made by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Note some deadlines are as short as fifteen days. Refer to the Forest Practices Act for specific information about the type of decision being appealed. The decision document itself also generally includes information about the timeline for appeal.

Step 1: Prepare the Appeal

The appeal should contain the following information:

  • The name, mailing address, daytime telephone number, and e-mail address (if available) of the person making the appeal, and the name, address, and telephone number of that person’s lawyer if one is being used.
  • A copy of the order or decision being appealed. The decision may be an agency order, a civil penalty, or a permit. Include this official document from the agency with the appeal. (NOTE: If the order or decision followed an application, include a copy of the application.)
  • Identification of the other parties in the case. On the first page of the appeal document, name the parties to the case by listing the following:
    • Agency or local government whose decision is being appealed.

    • Person the decision is directed to (for example, if a permit issued to someone else is being appealed, identify the person or company that applied for the permit).

  • A brief statement about why the decision is being appealed.
  • A brief statement of what is being requested of the board (the "relief" or "remedy" being sought).
  • The signature of the person appealing or the signature of the lawyer. The signature certifies that the content of the appeal is true.
  • A document showing that all other parties to the appeal have been served with a copy of the appeal.

The rule that applies to the content of the appeal may be found online.

Document Format

Make sure documents are written clearly in ink or typed, legible, signed, and dated. Documents do not have to have numbered lines. Numbers on the side are used for convenient reference only.

Step 2: File the Appeal

The appeal must be filed electronically through the board’s online Case Management System (CMS). A person who does not have the technological capacity to file electronically through the CMS may file the appeal by personal delivery, commercial delivery, fax, e-mail, or mail.

File Using CMS

  1. Start at the CMS portal. DO NOT start at the SecureAccess Washington web page.
  2. Click “Create a User Account or Log in.”
  3. You will be routed to a page that looks just like the usual SecureAccess Washington login, but has this web address: If you do not see this web address, you may have started from the wrong place and will need to go to the CMS portal.
  4. From this page you can create a new account or log in with your existing SecureAccess Washington credentials. Note: If you have an existing SecureAccess Washington account, log out of it the first time you file something with the board.
  5. You will be redirected back to the page where you started, but will no longer see the “Create a User Account or Log in” button. If you continue to get an error, please e-mail ELUHO and include the web address (URL) of the error page in your e-mail.
  6. Once in the CMS, select “File a New Appeal/Petition for Review.” Fill in the fields, upload appeal documents, and answer the questions on the electronic form. Enter an electronic signature and select “Submit Case & Documents” to file the appeal.

NOTE: If a person files through the CMS, the board will serve its orders on that person through the CMS.

The board will e-mail a confirmation that it received the appeal via the CMS. The CMS e-mail will have an address of Be sure to check junk and spam e-mail folders and make ELUHO a safe sender.

File by Mailing or Delivering in Person

Deliver a copy of the appeal and other documents related to the appeal to ELUHO.

Mailing Address
PO Box 40903
Olympia, WA 98504-0903

Street Address
1111 Israel Road Southwest, Suite 301
Tumwater, Washington 98501

File by E-mail

E-mail the appeal and other documents to

After the initial appeal, all e-mail filings should be e-mailed to

File by Fax

The appeal and other documents may be faxed to 360-586-2253.

IMPORTANT: The appeal will be considered filed on the date it is received by the board not the date it was sent or uploaded. The filing must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on a board business day to be considered filed on that day.


Telephone: 360-664-9160

Relay Service for the Hearing Impaired, call 711

Step 3: Serve the Appeal

To serve the appeal, provide a copy of the appeal documents to the person being served by either delivering them in person, mailing, faxing, or submitting electronically if the recipient agrees to electronic service. Electronic service may be done by e-mail or by uploading the documents to the recipient’s designated electronic system. See Washington Administrative Code 371-08-305(11).

If mailing the appeal—to the proper address and with adequate postage—it is considered served on the date it is mailed.

Service by e-mail is complete when the e-mail is sent successfully and electronic service is complete when the document is uploaded successfully. (NOTE: This is different from filing, which only is considered complete when received.)

A copy of the appeal must be served on the following:

  • The agency or local government that issued the decision or order being appealed (for example, the Department of Ecology, local air agency). Check the decision or order for the exact name and address where the copy of the appeal should be sent.
  • All other people named as parties to the appeal.
  • If appealing a permit that was issued to someone else, serve the permit holder (the person or business to whom the permit was issued).
  • Sometimes, for forest practices, a copy of the appeal also must be filed with the attorney general. Refer to the Forest Practices Act for specific information pertaining to the type of decision being appealed.

Initial Scheduling Letter

After the appeal is filed, the board will send all parties to the case an initial scheduling letter that does the following:

  • Sets a prehearing
  • Sets important dates for the hearing
  • Provides information about how the case will move forward and other services available, such as mediation
  • Provides a telephone number and pin code or video link to use when calling in for the prehearing
  • Asks the parties to submit a list of proposed legal issues and preliminary witnesses and exhibits to discuss at the prehearing

Rescheduling the Prehearing

To reschedule the prehearing, contact the other parties to see if they will agree to reschedule. If they agree, pick another date and time that the parties are available and e-mail board staff to request the presiding officer change the prehearing date. Usually, the presiding officer will agree, and a new date for the conference will be established. The parties then will receive a letter confirming the new date.

If the other side doesn't agree to reschedule, request a conference with the presiding officer for all parties to discuss scheduling options.