Gerry Pollet

Instructor · he/him


Gerry is a Washington State legislator who has represented the 46th District in the House of Representatives since December, 2011. He was the founder and continues to direct and serve as legal counsel for the region's leading environmental group working for the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Heart of America Northwest. Gerry has taught Public Health Policy and Environmental Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health for many years and has been an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University School of Law. Gerry also offers the only hands-on Tribal Environmental Law "externship" program for law students in the Northwest every summer. 

Prior to serving in the Legislature, Gerry was one of the co-authors of the Growth Management Act and Model Toxics Control Act. While serving as Chair of the House Local Government Committee, Gerry worked closely with all federally recognized Tribes with Treaty rights in Washington do develop and pass the legislation providing Tribal governments with the right to fully participate in the comprehensive plan process under the Growth Management Act. Gerry has developed and passed numerous pieces of first-in-the-nation legislation including: 

  • Protecting families from lead in cookware (2024), following passage of the strongest legislation in the US to protect children from lead in school water
  • Providing cost and barrier-free emergency contraception for college students in wake of overturning of Roe v Wade
  • Providing opioid / fentanyl overdose reversal nasal spray (Narcan) to high school and college students
  • Protecting our youth from e-cigarettes and vaping (first in US legislation to regulate sales and marketing to youth and vaping product tax)
  • Regulation of for-profit college and vocational schools’ marketing and pushing students deep into student loan debt with no hope of jobs that would repay the debts
  • Ending planned use of isolation and restraint of children (especially special ed students)
  • Putting an end to "Passing the Harasser" practices that protect faculty and administrators from being held accountable for sexual harassment on college and university campuses by being able to just move to another college or university
  • Helped develop and pass the Washington College Grant, the most generous student aid program in the US; and wrote and passed first teacher student loan forgiveness state legislation to address our teacher shortage. 

Gerry has extensive background reviewing, commenting and litigating in regard to environmental impact statements under NEPA and SEPA. He has served on numerous state and federal advisory boards on environmental regulations, including drafting the requirements to utilize reasonable maximum exposure scenarios to guide cleanup of hazardous waste sites in Washington. 

Gerry and spouse Janet Miller have two children who are both WWU alum!

Gerry enjoys racewalking for relaxation. 



JD, University of Washington School of Law (1983); BA Clark University (1980)

Research Interests

  • Public, Tribal and overburdened communities' participation in environmental and planning decisions
  • Exposure scenarios and exposure routes 
  • Setting of standards for environmental exposures, particularly for children
  • Tribal sovereignty
  • Integrating planning and environmental processes to address social determinants of health

Teaching Schedule

Spring 2024 UEPP 493/593