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State of Washington Class Specification

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AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SPECIALIST
569M
Category: Agricultural Operations

Definition

Designated specialist in writing by the Program Manager and Assistant Director performing complex, highly technical duties for one or more of the following areas: Compliance and enforcement; endangered species protection; farm-worker education; groundwater and/or surface water protection; technical assistance and other outreach activities; licensing and re-certification; program development; waste pesticide collection and disposal or pesticide, fertilizer and feed registration activities. May lead assigned staff.

Typical Work

Assists and/or may develop and revise laws, rules, policies and procedures;

As a technical specialist may: give testimony and provide technical support at committee meetings or public hearings; develop training materials and conduct in-service training for division personnel; act as a resource person for the agency, regulated community and the public; plan, develop and conduct special projects; write technical reports for development of division policy; develop educational materials and provide technical assistance to the regulated community; develop and implement outreach programs for the regulated community and the public; plan, facilitate and/or represent the division and/or agency in public meetings and/or workshops;

Conducts complex, highly technical or large-scale investigations and inspections to determine compliance with state and federal laws and rules; identifies problem areas and implements on-site corrective action as appropriate; performs follow-up inspections to ensure that corrective action has been implemented; and/or acts as an expert witness for the department at civil and administrative proceedings;

Revises pesticide licensing examinations; processes requests for accreditation of pesticide recertification courses; informs course sponsors of recertification requirements; monitors and evaluates pesticide recertification course content to determine if credit granted was appropriate; develops improved technical systems to process and make licensing and recertification information more accessible to the regulated public;

Screens, assesses and samples pesticides and unknown substances to determine eligibility for disposal in the waste pesticide collection program; packages waste pesticides for safe transportation to collection sites; schedules waste pesticide collections and coordinates activities of agency staff with the hazardous waste contractor; assists pesticide users in determining which products no longer have legal uses and which can still be used; participates in annual safety training;

Reviews and evaluates proposed pesticide, feed and fertilizer product registrations for compliance with state and federal requirements; reviews and evaluates requests for special local needs registrations of pesticides, pesticide emergency exemptions from registration, and pesticide experimental use permits; provides official interpretation of product labels for registrants, industry and other staff; works directly with the industry and Washington State University to coordinate minor crop and minor use planning and registrations;

May lead or supervise staff as assigned;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: pesticide use practices in agricultural and non-agricultural environments; hazards of pesticides on human, animals, plants and the environment; federal and state laws and rules relating to the production, distribution, use and disposal of pesticides, fertilizers and feeds; investigative and sampling techniques; Pesticide Management Division procedures and protocols relating to pesticides, fertilizers and feeds; safety procedures for the handling of pesticides, fertilizers and feeds; the more technical aspects of their specialty.

Ability to: use unbiased, independent judgment in making decisions and completing tasks; develop procedures for unusual complex problems; apply and enforce laws and rules consistently and impartially; understand and interpret written and oral directions; deal tactfully with hostile members of regulated industry, government officials and the general public; conduct effective oral presentations; consult and advise the regulate industry on appropriate laws and rules; work independently with a minimum of direction; work efficiently and accurately in a timely manner; seek out and participate in continuing education opportunities in designated specialty; lead and oversee the work of other staff members; travel frequently.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree which must include at least 25 semester or 40 quarter hours in a natural or physical science and three years of professional experience in a natural resource, environmental or health regulatory agency, in the pest management field, or in the feed or fertilizer industry.

A Master’s degree in a natural or physical science will substitute for one year of required experience.

A Ph.D. degree in a natural or physical science will substitute for two years of required experienced.

Class Specification History

New class: 10-15-82
Revised definition: 7-12-85
Revised definition and minimum qualifications, title change (formerly Agricultural Chemical Investigator 3): 9-18-89
Revised definition: 2-15-91
Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 7-1-96
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, salary adjustment, and title changed (formerly Agricultural Chemical Specialist 3): 9-19-03
New class code: (formerly 44820) effective July 1, 2007.

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