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Statewide CAFO Permit Expert (Environmental Specialist 5)

Biotech/R&D/Science Jobs
Washington State Department of Ecology

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
January 08, 2019
Washington State Department of Ecology
Lacey, Washington
Years of Experiences
1 - 3
3 - 5
5 - 10
Career Level
Experienced (Non-Manager)
Education Level
Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctorate
$56,256.00 - $73,908.00 Annually

About Washington State Department of Ecology

The Department of Ecology is Washington's environmental protection agency. Our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's land, air and water for current and future generations. We support environmental work throughout Washington. Nearly 70 percent of our budget is passed through to local communities to pay for projects that benefit the environment. We were founded in 1970 as the first agency in the nation dedicated to environmental protection.

Contact name

Job description

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

Our Water Quality Program is looking to hire a Statewide CAFO Permit Expert at our Headquarters building in Lacey, WA

This position is responsible for developing effective statewide general permits, policies, procedures, guidance, and regulations pertaining to wastewater discharges and their effects on the receiving environment, particularly for the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Permit. 

We are looking for candidates with the technical expertise to develop and implement water quality regulations appropriate for CAFO's, the people skills to engage a wide variety of stakeholders, including farmers, environmental groups, the public, and other regulatory agencies, the ability to explain technically complex concepts to a broad audience with varying levels of technical expertise, and the ability to impartially implement NPDES permits and water quality regulations.

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 performance driven leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability. 

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and check us out on TwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.


Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts


The mission of the Water Quality Program is to protect and restore Washington's waters to sustain healthy watersheds and communities. Our work ensures that state waters support beneficial uses including recreational and business activities, supplies for clean drinking water, and the protection of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and public health.

The Water Quality Program is responsible for regulating discharges of pollutants to surface and ground waters by writing and managing wastewater and stormwater discharge permits, enforcing water quality laws, developing water quality standards and identifying water bodies that fail to meet those standards, and providing technical and financial assistance to appropriate entities to help them protect and restore Washington's waters.


What does the Statewide CAFO Permit Expert do?

  • Serves as the expert on the CAFO permit, which regulates lagoons and manure application to prevent discharge of nutrients and pathogens to surface and ground water. Without these regulations and the technical expertise applied by this position to develop and implement this permit, there is potential for human illness from exposure to untreated manure, impacts to surface and groundwater that could lead to various environmental and human health problems, and downstream impacts to aquaculture and marine life.

  • Provide technical assistance and conduct farm visits in order to explain these regulations and the science behind them, which is particularly important for this permit as the industry is new to this type of regulation.

  • Negotiate with both industry and environmental stakeholders to reissue this permit with conditions that are feasible to implement while still addressing the environmental concerns CAFOs produce. This requires coming up with new and effective ways to explain these issues to farmers and getting their buy-in so that the permit can be implemented successfully.

  • Interprets laws and regulations including the Clean Water Act and applicable laws to lead the development and implementation of the CAFO permit by leading permit negotiations, responding to permit appeals, developing technical guidance documents, and representing the agency at conferences and stakeholder meetings.

Culture of the Team

  • This position is part of the general permit writers unit. As such, there are a number of general permit writers and a General Permit Writer's Workgroup to provide assistance, and ask questions. In addition the unit is supported by the General Permit Coordinator who is available to assist with the public process and scheduling requirements around permit development and reissuance.

  • This is an opportunity to be the statewide expert on NPDES permitting for CAFO's. This position will be the lead on how the CAFO permits are implemented, identifying needed guidance, and developing relationships with stakeholders to strengthen and effectively implement the NPDES permits.  

  • This is a regulatory position. Candidates should be comfortable with the fact that we are regulating the discharge of pollutants from CAFO's which could lead to enforcement actions. Ecology's permitting decisions are appealable and this position would be involved in defending any appeal to the CAFO or Mosquito Control permits.


This position is open until filled, with an initial screening on January 22, 2019. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before January 21, 2019. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.



Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field AND six years of professional level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.
Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.
A Master's degree in one of the above fields AND four years of professional- level experience as required above which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.
A Ph.D. in one of the above fields AND three years of professional-level experience as required above which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.


Desired Qualifications:

  • Nutrient management experience (e.g. planning field nutrient budgets).

  • Conversationally fluent in Spanish.

  • One or more years of professional level experience in environmental permitting.

  • One or more years of professional level experience as a regulator.

Special Requirements / Conditions of Employment

Must maintain a valid driver's license

Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

Please include the following documents as an attachment to your application:

  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required qualifications of this position.

  • A resume outlining your professional experience.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or, you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume" may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of 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 at (360) 407-6186.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please call Human Resources at (360) 407-6186 or e-mail Please do not call this number or send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Nathan Lubliner at: Please do not contact Nathan to inquire about the status of your application.

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

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.

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 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.


Please apply through the following link: