Salary: $61,632.00 – $82,896.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Lacey, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Job Number: 2023-WQ2705-06646
Department: Dept. of Ecology
Division: Water Quality
Opening Date: 06/02/2023
Closing Date: Continuous

The Water Quality program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Large-scale Project TMDL Lead (Environmental Specialist 5) position. 

This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.
Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

Washington State is at the forefront of finding creative ways to clean-up polluted waters. Ecology’s Water Quality Program is looking to fill the project manager lead position that will work on clean-up plans for two of our State’s iconic watersheds: the Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Project and the Columbia and Snake Rivers Temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plan. These projects need a creative leader that can find solutions to water quality challenges, connect with local communities and communicate the complex relationship between water quality and land use.  In addition the Project Manager lead will be assisting other arms of the Water Quality Program (NPDES permit staff and Hydropower 401 certification staff to have the facilities they regulate meet the pollution reductions needed to achieve water quality standards. This will involve working with our modeling and permitting staff to come up with allocations that work. If you enjoy working on challenging projects, distilling key science, policy and technical information to help make decisions, and solving complex environmental problems, apply today! The mission of the Water Quality Program is to protect and restore Washington’s waters to support healthy watersheds and communities. Our work ensures state waters can support beneficial uses including recreational and business activities, supplies for clean drinking water, and the protection of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and public health.      

Tele-work options for this position: This position will be eligible for up to a 90% tele-work schedule. 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 June 15, 2023. In order to be considered, please submit an application on or before June 14, 2023. 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. 

What makes this role unique? 
In this position you will lead the development of two large technically and politically complex water clean-up plans.
Our research and data have shown that humans are responsible for dissolved oxygen conditions in Puget Sound that are harmful to aquatic life. Problems will only get worse as our area’s population increases. The Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Project will use the latest science to find the right combination of solutions for reducing human sources of nutrients to the Sound. Implementation of this plan will improve water quality and support a health marine ecosystem that can withstand the stress of a warming climate and increasing population growth. As our lead for developing the plan this position will need to coordinate with a diverse group of subject matter experts (permit writers, scientific professionals, modelers, nonpoint practitioners) to identify solutions, communicate complex science to an arrange of stakeholders and navigate a politically charged project.
Water temperatures in the Columbia and Lower Snake Rivers are well above levels protective of salmon. Because the Columbia and Snake Rivers cross multiple state boundaries and span almost 900 miles, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a TMDL in 2020. It is Ecology’s responsibility to draft and execute an implementation plan for the TMDL in coordination with Oregon. The plan will detail our strategy for how we will reduce temperature pollution to the Columbia and Snake Rivers, including working with dam operators and our Water Quality 401 certification staff, working with permit staff for point sources, and prioritizing nonpoint pollution clean-up efforts. The lead for this plan will use strong project management skills to move a highly technical implementation plan through from start to finish, build strong working relationships with EPA, dam operators, and other project partners, and synthesize technical information to draft innovative solutions for reducing temperature in our state’s largest rivers.  
This position is an excellent opportunity to craft real-world solutions to water quality problems in our State’s most iconic waterbodies. You will work with a collaborative group of water quality professionals and scientists that work together in a team atmosphere.
What you will do: 

  • Draft the Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Plan, and the Columbia and Snake River TMDL implementation plan.
  • Build relationships and engage with federal and state agencies, city and county government, Public Utility districts, Federal dam operators, Tribes, conservation districts, environmental groups, POTWs, and other local stakeholders during plan development. Coordinates with Ecology modelers on Salish Sea modeling to support the Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Project. 
  • Coordinate with federal and state staff for the Columbia and Snake River dams to determine how hydropower facilities can meet their load allocations.
  • Organize community outreach activities, in coordination with our communication team, to support development and implementation of the Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction project and the Columbia and Snake Rivers Temperature TMDL Implementation Plan.
  • Provide internal technical support to regional staff working on other TMDLs, nonpoint projects, grants and 401 certifications in the Columbia and Snake River watershed. 
  • Regularly update and inform Ecology Leadership on the successful progress on these highly visible projects.

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 (10) years of experience and/or education as described below: 

  • Professional level Experience in: Environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning.
  • Education: Involving a major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.

See chart below for a list of ways to qualify for this position:                                                                            

Possible Combinations. College credit hours or degree – as described above.  Years of professional level experience – as described 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 4, at the Department of Ecology.  

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Experience developing TMDLs

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

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.

For more information and to apply:

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