You are here

Home » State Human Resources » Compensation & job classes » Classified Job Listing » » State of Washington Class Specification

State of Washington Classified Job Specification


<< Classified Job Listing

Class Code: 523F
Category: Science & Engineering


Performs entry level professional assignments in environmental analysis, control or enforcement activities under direct or close supervision. Positions perform assignments 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) Technical assistance for grants, contracts, and loans; 5) Interpretation of policy and environmental technical assistance.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions at this level are distinguished from the Environmental Specialist 1 in that assignments focus on a broader review or study rather than a specific portion of the assignment or conducting a scientific study focusing on inter-related impacts rather than on specific applications of the data. Positions are distinguished from the Environmental Specialist 3 class in that assignments are typically routine in nature and positions follow clearly defined work procedures, formats, and priorities. Work is reviewed for accuracy, completion, and adherence to instructions and established standards.

Positions are characterized by assignments in one or more of the following areas:
1) Environmental permit development and review: Reviews routine environmental permit applications in areas such as water rights, hazardous waste, and public water supply, projects. Identifies issues and potential mitigation strategies. Reviews environmental documents from local governments, State and Federal agencies, and private individuals. Makes initial determination and/or recommends conditions of permit to higher level environmental staff.

2) Environmental inspections and enforcement activities: Conducts field reviews and routine inspections to monitor and/or investigate environmental permit compliance. Inspects facilities, equipment, business operations, land and water usage, and other activities to assess potential environmental impacts. Identifies deficiencies and recommends corrective action plans or the imposition of sanctions to higher level environmental staff. Works with land owners, businesses, and others to develop and implement mitigation plans. Acts on tips of improper activity such as illegal discharge of pollutants or adverse impacts on water, air, soil and other resources.

3) Scientific studies, surveys or scientific analyses: Conducts professional scientific studies and provides analysis and assessment of the impacts of hazardous waste, land and water usages, pollutants, and other factors on the environment. Gathers and/or analyzes samples to study the effects of particular pollutants or mitigation strategies. Summarizes and assesses data using standard statistical procedures and scientific analysis. Develops initial reports of findings and provides recommendations to higher level environmental staff.

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. Projects involve routine, commonly addressed issues. Answers general questions from recipients and ensures project compliance with requirements.

5) Environmental technical assistance: Under general supervision, responds to routine inquiries or requests for technical assistance regarding the scientific background and technical implementation of agency programs.

Typical Work

Installs, operates and maintains environmental monitoring/sampling equipment; performs independently or as a part of a team to complete field and office surveys, studies and other special activities; prepares draft reports of assigned independent or team activities;

Performs general equipment repair and calibration in accordance with specifications and standard operating procedures; performs review of monitored data for precision and accuracy;

Investigates complaints; performs inspections/surveillance; performs draft permit evaluations/reports; assists in issuing notices of violation or noncompliance;

Researches and compiles information for use in regulation or policy development;
Reviews databases or inventories for completeness and accuracy;

Assists in routine public meetings, hearings and workshops;

Performs routine inspections or investigations of facilities or project sites which require specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources, or natural processes;

Responds to inquiries or requests for technical assistance regarding the scientific background and technical implementation of agency's programs;

Reviews plans for technical accuracy and makes recommendations on the scientific merit of the proposal;

Conducts tests, analyzes, evaluates and interprets data, writes reports, and assists higher level staff;

Develops, maintains and analyzes geospatial databases using technology in support of technical projects;

Reviews permit applications for technical accuracy and makes recommendations regarding the scientific merit of the proposal;

Develops scientific studies and resource management plans, and conducts research for routine technical projects;

Provides environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/contract/ loan recipients in the planning, design, construction and/or implementation of environmental protection projects;

Provides technical support to users of GIS products;

Performs the duties of the lower levels in the series;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: methods and techniques of field sampling, testing, data gathering, basic research and field investigations; characteristics and health effects of pollutants; principles, practices, and methods of environmental science, natural resource management, pollution prevention and pollution control; applicable state, federal, and local environmental regulations.

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; understand and communicate environmental regulations and statutes; communicate effectively with agency staff, other agencies, industry and the general public.

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 involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field and one year of professional level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning.

Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.


One year of experience as an Environmental Specialist 1.


A Master's degree in one of the above fields.

Class Specification History

New class: 5-5-72.
General revision: 11-10-78.
Revised minimum qualifications: 2-15-80.
Revised definition and minimum qualifications; deleted distinguishing characteristics: 4-11-86.
Revised definition, minimum qualifications, general revision, and title change (formerly Environmentalist 2): 3-11-94.
New class code: (formerly 62960) effective July 1, 2007.
Revise definition and add distinguishing characteristics; adopted November 8, 2012, effective November 9, 2012.
Revised typical work, adopted 06/13/2019, effective 07/01/19.
Revised typical work, knowledge and abilities, adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.