Kroger ousts Foster

The attorney general’s experiment with hiring an aggressive environmental enforcer has ended with the resignation of Brent Foster.

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Attorney General John Kroger hired Brent Foster shortly after taking office to strengthen the state’s pursuit of chronic polluters. But Foster resigned abruptly as details began emerging about his controversial role in an ongoing case against David B. Ryan, the owner of Hood River Juice.

Foster, who formerly ran the environmental group Columbia Riverkeeper, apparently collaborated with his former colleagues in collecting water samples to be used against Ryan and his company, Scott Learn reported in today’s Oregonian.

The sample that Foster helped collect in a puddle across the street from the plant showed an extraordinarily high pH level in the water, a sign that it might contain chlorine cleaning solution.

An Oregon State Police investigator singled out that result in a search warrant affidavit filed later in October that helped establish the second case against Ryan, the juice company owner. Ryan is accused of allowing the waste to run through a pipe in violation of his Department of Environmental Quality permit.

Read Learn’s full report at Oregon Live.

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