State of Washington Classified Job Specification
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST 3
Under general direction, independently performs professional level assignments and environmental reviews in one or more of the following areas: 1) Environmental permit development and review; 2) Environmental inspections and/or enforcement activities; 3) Scientific studies, surveys and/or scientific analyses; 4) Grants, contracts, and loans; 5) Interpretation of policy and environmental technical assistance.
This is the fully qualified professional Environmental Specialist. Positions complete the full range of assignments under general direction. Completed work is reviewed for effectiveness in producing expected results.
Positions at this level are characterized by assignments in one or more of the following areas:
1) Environmental permit development and review: Reviews environmental permit applications for technical accuracy, compliance, consistency and equitably with regulatory requirements; negotiates permit conditions; convenes permit meetings with internal and external stakeholders; develops or reviews technical plans and makes decisions regarding the scientific merit of the proposal; conducts conflict resolution; and prepares final permit evaluation/report for approval.
2) Environmental inspections and enforcement activities: Completes complex compliance and enforcement activities involving multiple entities; conducts inspections or field investigations in order to respond to complaints/violations relating to environmental regulations; makes recommendations to higher level environmental staff when negotiating agreements/settlements; imposes on-site enforcement action as necessary; performs follow-up inspections to ensure corrective action is implemented; oversees contractor or consultant services for compliance and certifies performance; participates in clean-up activities and mitigation efforts at large oil spills or other hazardous waste spills; represents the agency in public meetings, hearings, and workshops; interprets and explains environmental regulations and requirements; and works directly with local municipalities and the public to promote environmental improvements; assess compliance with permit requirements utilizing complex environmental laws, regulations, guidance documents and available resources and makes informed decisions and recommendations to higher level environmental staff regarding actions.
3) Scientific studies, surveys and/or scientific analyses: Plans, develops, researches, and oversees or conducts data collection; conducts advanced scientific analyses of collected data and compiles findings in technical reports; utilizes computer modeling or other scientific analyses to determine effective methods and practices relating to toxic waste cleanup, resource management, policy or regulation development; reviews technical plans for accuracy and makes scientific recommendations regarding the development, coordination, and implementation of environmental technical assistance programs involving pollution prevention or control or natural resource management. Makes recommendations to senior staff regarding new or modified sampling and analytical testing methods, best management practices, and technical operating procedures.
4) Grants, contracts, and/or loans: Provides technical environmental assistance and administrative guidance to grant/contract/loan recipients in the planning, design, construction and/or implementation of environmental protection projects. Recommends course of action to resolve issues or meet contract requirements.
5) Interpretation of policy and technical assistance: Under general direction, responds to complex inquiries or requests for technical assistance requiring a high degree of technical scientific background and understanding.
Implements and enforces legislative regulations, laws and policy statements; coordinates with higher level staff to develop, implement, evaluate, monitor and amend complex initiatives mandated by legislation;
Provides guidance on interpretation and implementation of environmental laws and rules;
Performs budget estimates and cost tracking during environmental incidents for reimbursement from the federal government;
Makes decisions regarding personal safety, public health and safety and environment; categorizes hazards and disposes of toxic materials;
Independently performs the installation, operation and maintenance of environmental monitoring/sampling equipment; on an area or site list basis performs and/or provides guidance for surveys, field studies or other special data gathering activities;
Performs complex equipment repair and calibrations; reviews monitored data for evaluation of equipment performance;
Responds to and investigates complex or highly technical complaints/violations; performs complex inspections or field investigations; coordinates complaint/ enforcement priorities, schedules and assists in negotiating agreements/ settlements; prepares final permit evaluation/report for approval; may impose on-site enforcement action; performs follow-up inspections to ensure corrective action is implemented; provides technical assistance to stakeholders to reduce and eliminate the use of toxic materials;
Plans, develops, researches, and conducts or oversees technical data collection and analyzes, evaluates, and interprets data; analyzes and/or interprets information requirements and coordinates information gathering for a team or other assignment outside of a team; writes reports and/or reviews draft reports;
Provides technical support to database administrators as an environmental technical expert;
Ensures the accuracy and integrity of data collected;
Determines database/inventory requirements; works with agency and non-agency sources on data submittals; evaluates databases/inventories for analysis, reporting or compliance purposes; may design and/or develop databases/inventories to be utilized in support of technical projects;
Reviews permit applications for technical accuracy, negotiates permit conditions, conducts conflict resolution, and makes decisions regarding the scientific merit of the proposal; serves as a senior permit writer or historical/institutional memory for geographic area or complex site;
Develops and/or implements project plans, consent decrees, orders or scientific studies for cleanups, resource management or policy or regulation development and conducts research for technical projects; reviews project plans for technical accuracy and makes decisions on the scientific merit of proposals;
Oversees contractor or consultant services for compliance and certifies performance; provides assistance to other staff, agencies and the public;
Makes recommendations to senior staff regarding new or modified sampling and analytical testing methods, best management practices, and technical operating procedures;
Makes technical and scientific recommendations regarding the development, coordination, and implementation of environmental technical assistance programs involving pollution prevention, pollution control, or natural resource management;
Evaluates data to determine technical compliance with regulatory requirements;
Plans, facilitates and/or represents the program/agency in public meetings, hearings and workshops;
Independently provides environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/contract/loan recipients in the planning, design, construction and/or implementation of environmental protection projects; makes recommendation on administration of grants and financial accounts; creates financial incentives for industry/sector compliance;
Lead responsibility in the development of policies, procedures, statutes and/or regulations of a high degree of complexity;
Directs or coordinates non-agency employees at large spills or complex sites;
Leads lower level staff;
Performs the duties of the lower levels in the series;
Performs other work as required.
Knowledge and Abilities
Knowledge and Abilities
Knowledge of: principles, practices and methods of environmental or resource management and environmental pollution prevention and pollution control; methods and techniques of field sampling, testing, data gathering, basic research and field investigations; applicable state, federal and local environmental regulations and policies; technical report writing methods; characteristics and health effects of pollutants.
Ability to: use sound, independent judgment in making decisions on environmental problems and completing assigned tasks; understand and interpret plans, maps and equipment specifications; prepare clear and concise written reports and make oral presentations; analyze and prepare plans and reports; understand and communicate complex environmental regulations and statutes; communicate effectively with agency staff, other agencies, industry and the general public; work effectively with diverse groups and individuals representing competing interests on complex and controversial environmental issues.
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 Bachelor's degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field and two years of professional level experience in environmental analysis or control or environmental planning.
Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.
A Master's degree in one of the above fields will substitute for one year of the required experience.
A Ph.D. in one of the above fields.
One year of experience as an Environmental Specialist 2.
Class Specification History
New class: 5-5-72.
Revised minimum qualifications: 9-15-72.
General revision: 11-10-78.
Revised definition: 4-12-79.
Revised minimum qualifications: 2-15-80.
Revised definition: 10-10-80.
Revised definition: 5-15-81.
Revised definition: 11-15-85.
Revised definition and minimum qualifications: 4-11-86.
Revised definition: 8-15-86.
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, general revision, and title change (formerly Environmentalist 3): 3-11-94.
Revised new class code: (formerly 62970) effective July 1, 2007.
Revise definition, add distinguishing characteristics; adopted November 8, 2012, effective November 9, 2012.
Revised typical work, adopted 06/13/2019, effective 07/01/19.
Revised distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities, salary range adjustment, adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.