Environmental Specialist

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact [email protected] with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Nuclear Waste Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Integrated Disposal Facility / Waste Treatment Plant Facility Permit Writer (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Richland Field Office (RFO) in Richland, WA.

In this role, you will work as a technical/regulatory senior permit specialist for multiple facilities, which make up the Dangerous Waste Permit (DWP) for the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) with a focus on Integrated Disposal Facility. You will manage and interact with numerous professionals and stakeholders working to protect the state's air, water, and land, gain experience with both state and federal environmental regulations, learn what it takes to manage mixed waste safely, and work on one of the largest and most complex cleanup sites in the nation at the Hanford Nuclear Facility. This position is located within the Tank Waste Treatment Sections of the Nuclear Waste Program.

The Nuclear Waste Program's mission is to lead the effective and efficient cleanup of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site; to ensure sound management of mixed hazardous wastes in Washington; and to protect the state's air, water, and land at and adjacent to the Hanford Site.

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.

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.
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

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.

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position is expected to work in the office up to 3 days a week. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. Looking ahead, Ecology has recently updated the agency policies on telework and flexible and compressed work schedules. Applicants with questions about position location options, telework, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.”

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of April 25, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before April 24, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


What makes this role unique?
Come be part of the exciting world of helping WA State regulate unique facilities that treat Hanford tank waste. It is an exciting time as treatment has begun and we need your help looking out for the people of Washington.

You will act as the technical regulatory lead and use in-depth knowledge of the program under general direction for the Waste Treatment Plant Unit permits and the Integrated Disposal Facility permit development and maintenance.

What you will do:

  • Review documents and provide field oversight activities to ascertain regulatory compliance.
  • Perform evaluation of regulations for container storage, miscellaneous units, tank systems, and hazardous waste requirements.
  • Evaluate documentation for technical implications and approaches needed to meet the requirements.
  • Develop alternative approaches and coordinate their scientific bases.
  • Negotiate permit conditions with the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) and its contractor staff and develops final decision documents for issuance.
  • Represent the Nuclear Waste Program in explaining scientific bases and technical approaches to permit conditions, regulatory requirements, and policies at meetings.
  • Lead technical staff to review operations, off-normal events or accidents, variance requests, etc., of treatment and disposal facilities.
  • Provide recommendations to management on emerging issues and issues of concern regarding the project assignments.
  • Provide guidance and leadership on specific issues to other technical staff. Help to define and resolve technical issues. This includes regulation of hazardous waste storage tanks, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permitting, and closure of mixed waste sites.

Required Qualifications:

Any combination of experience and/or education as described below, must total at least nine years:

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

Experience may include but not be limited to a combination of the following:

  • Reviewing documents and providing oversight activities to ascertain regulatory compliance.
  • Evaluating regulations for container storage, miscellaneous units, tank systems, and hazardous waste requirements.
  • Evaluating documentation for technical implications and approaches needed to meet requirements.
  • Developing alternative approaches and coordinating their scientific bases.
  • Negotiating permit conditions.
  • Experience explaining scientific bases and technical approaches to permit conditions, regulatory requirements, and policies.
  • Leading technical staff to review operations, off-normal events or accidents, variance requests, etc., of treatment and disposal facilities.
  • Providing recommendations to management on emerging issues and issues of concern.
  • Providing guidance and leadership to technical staff.
  • Defining and resolving technical issues regarding the regulation of hazardous waste storage tanks, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permitting, and closure of mixed waste sites.

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

Possible Combinations | College credit hours or degree | Years of professional level experience – as listed above

Combination 1 | No college credit hours or degree. | 9 years of experience

Combination 2 | 30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits. | 8 years of experience

Combination 3 | 60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree). | 7 years of experience

Combination 4 | 90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits. | 6 years of experience

Combination 5 | A Bachelor's Degree. | 5 years of experience

Combination 6 | A Master's Degree. | 3 years of experience

Combination 7 | A Ph.D. | 2 years of experience 


Two years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3, at the Department of Ecology.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • Must be able to acquire a U.S. Department of Energy badge for access to the Hanford site. Must take training and acquire a U.S. Department of Energy Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plan “brown badge” for access to the Waste Treatment Construction Site. Information about obtaining the Hanford Badge Real ID (Download PDF reader) Real ID information from the Department of Licensing.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • Must be able to complete HAZWOPER training and Radiation Worker 1 training within six (6) months of appointment.

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

  • Experience with permits submitted under WAC 173-303, Dangerous Waste Regulations.
  • Knowledge of principles, practices and methods of environmental remediation; the application of emerging technologies to existing methods and of techniques of environmental sampling, testing, data gathering, basic research and field investigations; applicable state, federal and local environmental regulations and policies; multimedia environmental principles and practices.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of principles and practices of environmental regulations and guidance related to the permitting and oversight of solid and liquid waste management facilities and cleanup sites, and laws and regulations governing environmental issues.
  • Ability to provide technical direction to professional staff for complex or controversial studies or projects; provide final review for technical reports, permit evaluations and conclusions reached by professional staff; work effectively with other government officials, the regulated community and stakeholders on complex or controversial environmental issues or problems

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

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: [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.
Application Instructions:
Please use the Apply Now link on this posting to apply. 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.
  • Three professional references.
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 Suzanne Dahl at: [email protected] Please do not contact Suzanne to inquire about the status of your application.

To request the full position description: email [email protected]

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.

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 Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth *See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service for more details.

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