Roger loves the mountains and the Sound and all that surrounds Seattle making it the best place to live. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Resource Management and Wildlife Science from the U.W. School of Forestry Perhaps his best job was studying elk on Mount Rainier and mountain goats in the Olympics. When the Reagan administration cut federal and state funding for wildlife management by 80% Roger felt compelled to go to law school to protect our resources in a new way. In the early 80’s he left Seattle to study environmental law at Vermont Law School (rated the top environmental law school in the U.S.) He would be lucky to work for some of the very best environmental lawyers in the country.
During his time as a student he clerked with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office on water quality and toxics issues. He worked a summer for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment (then run by Fred Krupp who would soon become the executive director for the Environmental Defense Fund). There he worked the organization’s largest and most complex water pollution case, which later settled for the largest water pollution settlement in the state’s history. He finished with a 6 month internship with a premier New York City environmental law firm, working for David Sive and Daniel Reisel, two of the earliest leaders in environmental law.
In 1986 Roger came home to Seattle and went to work at the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, then tasked to develop a long range cleanup plan for the Sound. In addition to writing significant portions of the plan, he contributed to major issue papers on point source pollution and pretreatment.
In 1988 he represented the Mountaineers serving on the board and the drafting committee for Initiative 97 the states, Model Toxics Cleanup Act, which would become the state’s hazardous waste clean up law.
Later he filed an Amicus brief for the Washington Environmental Council to the Wash. Supreme Court protecting the Shorelines Management Act.
For the Washington Toxics Coalition he served as co-chair of Seattle City Light’s Toxics Advisory Group, helping the utility develop a toxics management plan and advising on the PCB cleanups at Gasworks Park and the Eastlake Steam Plant.
Roger left Seattle for five years in the late 80’s to be the hazardous waste regulatory attorney for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There he worked federal and state legislative policy and regulatory policy issues. He drafted numerous bills and rewrote most of the states hazardous waste regulations to bring them into compliance with new legislative changes. He was in almost daily discussions with legislators and legislative staff. Pennsylvania at that time was in the forefront of battling the Reagan and Bush efforts to roll back environmental protection and was called on by Congressional allies to supply support for federal efforts. Roger was involved in brief writing for some of the legal challenges to the rollback as well. While there he also wrote position papers for the state for the National Governors Association and the National Association of Attorneys General. He was the attorney for some of the most challenging issues the state faced at that time, including the complex siting and permit review of several hazardous waste recycling and disposal facilities.
In 1995 Roger was the office manager and web master for the environmental coalition that launched Referendum 48 to successfully repeal a “takings” law passed that year in the legislature.
He was involved in countless other actions around the state raising environmental concerns in the Seatac airport third runway construction, the Brightwater sewage treatment plant, protecting rails to trails projects in Pierce County, salmon streams for the Washington Trout Association, improving the smelter cleanups in Tacoma and Everett, overseeing a Bremerton Naval yard cleanup for the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, and much more. He was of counsel to several firms to work Superfund cases, large land use cases, transportation issues, and representing local nonprofits.
His environmental career highlight though came when he was asked twice to represent the Seattle based NGO, Basel Action Network in Geneva and Basel Switzerland in UN sponsored treaty negotiations concerning the international safe transport and liability for hazardous wastes.