Environmental Investigations Lead (Environmental Specialist 5) description image

Environmental Investigations Lead (Environmental Specialist 5)

Salary: $70,800.00 – $95,184.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Lacey, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Job Number: 2024-TCP5163-03710
Department: Dept. of Ecology
Division: Toxics Cleanup
Opening Date: 04/16/2024
Closing Date: Continuous
Category: Engineering / Environmental Services / Public Health / Investigative / Natural Resources / Geology/Hydrology / Sciences / Green-Collar/Environmental
                          Environmental Investigations Lead (Environmental Specialist 5) description image


The Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) within the Department of Ecology (Ecology) is looking to fill an Environmental Investigations Lead (Environmental Specialist 5) position. This position is located in our Southwest Region Office in Lacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.
As the Environmental Investigations Lead, you’ll lead inquiries of Environmental Report Tracking System (ERTS) complaints, initial investigations (IIs), and perform site hazard assessments (SHAs) on significant and complex environmental issues, coordinating work assignments for technical staff on your team. You’ll have a senior role in workgroups across the Toxics Cleanup Program and will contribute to guidance and implementation of new initial investigations and site hazard assessment policies and procedures. You’ll attend site visits to evaluate whether contamination is present, complete sample analysis, review statements from the public regarding complaints, examine submitted data, and make determinations on findings and communicate out to the public.
Secondary responsibilities of this position include site management in support of cleanup projects, and providing technical assistance, ensuring requirements of the Model Toxics Control Act are being met.
The mission of the Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) is to protect Washington’s human health and the environment by preventing and cleaning up pollution and supporting sustainable communities and natural resources for the benefit of future and current generations.
Tele-work options for this position: This position will be eligible for up to a 90% tele-work schedule, as well as fieldwork. Approximately three days per week will be in the office during the onboarding period. Applicants with questions about position location options, tele-work, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” Schedules are dependent upon position needs and are subject to change.
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled; we will review applications on April 30, 2024. In order to be considered, please submit an application on or before April 29, 2024. If your application isn’t received by this date, it may not be considered. The agency reserves the right to make a Hire any time after the initial screening date. 

Please Note: We will review all applications received before the date above. Additional reviews after this date typically only occur if we have a small applicant pool, or if a successful Hire was not made.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth *Click here for more information 

About the Department of Ecology

Protecting Washington State’s environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people. To learn more, check out our Strategic Plan

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) 
are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.

Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 




Environmental Investigations Lead (Environmental Specialist 5) description image

The Environmental Investigations Lead is a new position that has been created in the Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) to coordinate and lead initial Environmental Report Tracking System (ERTS) complaint investigations and site hazard assessments (SHAs). This new role has been designed to support the work of ERTS investigators throughout the state and collaborate with other Agency environmental programs. As a statewide expert and technical lead for the Toxics Cleanup Program, you’ll contribute on workgroups focused on developing and implementing new and emerging policies and practices around IIs and SHAs.

In this role, you’ll engage with internal staff and the public – including property owners, attorneys, consultants, local governments, state agencies and Tribes – to resolve ERTS reports submitted to the program, determining if additional information needs to be obtained, or whether these reports are accepted for further evaluation by TCP.
Additional duties of the Environmental Investigations Lead include:
  • Plan and direct professional analysis on cleanup projects.
  • Review reports generated by other initial investigators. Revise and correct reports, and determine final recommendation to section manager. 
  • Perform site hazard assessments (SHAs) of sites: using applicable site data and information, evaluate the potential risk to human health and the environment, recommend a hazard ranking score, and coordinate adding the site to Ecology Contaminated Sites List or No Further Action List. 
  • Develop expert-level knowledge of cleanup site ranking tools, such as the Site Hazard Assessment Ranking Process (SHARP) tool. Use Toxics Cleanup Program-designated tools to rank listed cleanup sites.
  • Update, interpret, review, and evaluate site information in all applicable agency environmental databases. 
  • Conduct field studies to gather environmental data to determine a release or evaluate risks at contaminated sites.
  • Train other Ecology staff on field and sampling procedures needed for site visits. 



Required Qualifications:
Years of required experience indicated below are full-time equivalent years. Full-time equivalent experience means that any experience where working hours were less than 40 hours per week will be prorated in order to meet the equivalency of full-time. We would calculate this by looking at the total hours worked per week, divide this by 40, and then multiply by the total number of months worked. Examples of the proration calculations are:

  • 30 hours worked per week for 20 months: (30/40) x 20 months = 15 months full-time equivalent
  • 20 hours worked per week for 12 months: (20/40) x 12 months = 6 months full-time equivalent
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, education, and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.A total of ten years of experience and/or education as described below:
  • Experience: involving environmental analysis, cleanup, site investigation, policy, control, or environmental planning. 
  • Education: with a major study in engineering, environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.
 All experience and education combinations that meet the requirements for this position:
Possible Combinations College credit hours or degree – as listed above Years of professional level experience – as listed above
Combination 1 No college credit hours or degree 10 years of experience
Combination 2 I have 30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits. 9 years of experience
Combination 3 I have 60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree). 8 years of experience
Combination 4 I have 90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits. 7 years of experience
Combination 5  A Bachelor’s Degree 6 years of experience
Combination 6 A Master’s Degree 4 years of experience
Combination 7 A Ph.D. 3 years of experience
One year of experience as an Environmental Specialist, at the Department of Ecology.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 

  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.
  • Experience in cleanup site management.
  • Working knowledge of the MTCA cleanup regulation.
  • Current OSHA 40-hr HAZWOPER certification with current 8-hr refresher.
Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.


Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: careers@ecy.wa.gov and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail careers@ecy.wa.gov. Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile’s main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply: https://ecology.wa.gov/About-us/Get-to-know-us/Jobs-at-Ecology.   

Application Instructions:
It’s in the applicant’s best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • A list of three professional references.
Note: References will only be contacted during the final steps of the recruitment process for candidates selected as finalists. References will not be contacted without the candidate’s formal authorization.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.  
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees:

Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation: 
The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed. 

Other Information:

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Tim Mullin at: Tim.Mullin@ecy.wa.gov. Please do not contact Tim to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email careers@ecy.wa.gov

Why work for Ecology?
As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State’s environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at www.ecology.wa.gov and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.   

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days. 


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