State of Washington Classified Job Specification
AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SPECIALIST IN-TRAINING
In a training capacity and under close supervision, within the Department of Agriculture, performs routine inspections for one of the following: Compliance and enforcement, endangered species protection, farm-worker education, groundwater and/or surface water protection, licensing and re-certification, pesticide, fertilizer and/or feed registration, technical assistance and other outreach activities, or waste pesticide collection and disposal. After serving one year, and successful completion of a qualifying examination, may advance to Agricultural Chemical Specialist.
With limited supervision, conducts duties involving pesticide, feed and fertilizer products;
Conducts investigations of possible violations of state and federal pesticide laws and rules; obtains evidence and maintains chain of custody; writes case investigation reports; acts as an expert witness at civil or administrative proceedings;
Conducts inspections of pesticide producers, distributors and applicators for compliance with state and federal laws and rules; conducts inspections of fertilizer and feed producers and distributors for compliance with state laws and rules; identifies problem areas and deficiencies to regulated individuals and firms; writes inspection reports;
Reviews and evaluates requests for permits to apply pesticides in regulated areas; evaluates potential hazards associated with proposed pesticide applications; issues or denies permits based on legal requirements and/or site evaluation; may observe and inspect permitted applications;
Conducts technical assistance and outreach activities for the regulated community and the public on issues relating to pesticides; develops and conducts public educational programs and materials; as directed, represents the agency at public meetings; answers questions and reports the concerns of the regulated community and the public to the immediate supervisor;
Conducts pesticide licensing examinations; assists examines in determining license type(s) and category(ies) required by the types of work they perform; provides assistance regarding pesticide licensing procedures and forms; assists in developing questions to revise pesticide licensing examinations;
Monitors and evaluates pesticide recertification course content of meetings to determine if credit granted was appropriate; recommends modification to assigned course credit with when warranted; provides information to sponsors on criteria for course accreditation; assists sponsors with course documentation;
After successfully completing the required safety training: 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; participates in waste pesticide collections at field sites following specific safety procedures for screening and handling hazardous materials;
Reviews proposed product registrations to determine compliance with legal requirements; answers questions from industry and the public regarding product registration; provides technical interpretation of labels;
Conducts special projects dealing with issues such as groundwater contamination, endangered species and farmworker safety; prepares technical reports and issues papers for use in setting policy and developing programs; assists in development of laws, rules and procedures relating to pesticides, fertilizers, and feeds; provides technical support at public hearings;
Assists in the training of Agricultural Chemical Specialists 2;
Performs other work as required.
Knowledge and Abilities
Knowledge of: pesticide use practices in agricultural and non-agricultural environments; hazards of pesticides on humans, 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 policies relating to pesticides, fertilizers and feeds; safety procedures for the handling of pesticide, fertilizer and feed products.
Ability to: apply and enforce appropriate laws and rules objectively and without bias; understand and interpret written and oral directions; deal tactfully with hostile members of the regulated industry, government officials and the general public; conduct effective investigative interviews and obtain statements from witnesses and interested parties for enforcement cases; write clear and concise reports and make effective oral presentations; consult and advise the regulated industry on the appropriate laws and rules; work efficiently, accurately and in a timely manner; travel frequently.
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.
A Bachelors degree which includes at least 25 semester or 40 quarter hours in a natural or physical science.
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.
Class Specification History
New class: 10-15-82
Revised definition: 7-12-85
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, and title changed (formerly Agricultural Chemical Investigator 2): 9-18-89
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, and add distinguishing characteristics: 7-1-96
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, and title changed (formerly Agricultural Chemical Specialist 2): 9-19-03
New class code: (formerly 44810) effective July 1, 2007