Permit Writer for Sitewide Permit and Tank Waste Treatment Facilities (Environmental Specialist 3)

$42,264.00 – $55,476.00 Annually
Benton County – Richland, WA
Job Type
Full Time – Permanent
Dept. of Ecology
Job Number
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Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen
Protecting Washington State’s environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, Ecology is a good fit.

The Nuclear Waste Program (NWP) is looking to fill a Permit Writer for Sitewide Permit and Tank Waste Treatment Facilities (Environmental Specialist 3) position. The position will be located in our Richland Field Office (RFO) in Richland, WA.

The Permit Writer for Sitewide Permit and Tank Waste Treatment Facilities position is a permit writer for the Hanford Facility Dangerous Waste Permit (DWP) for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP).  The WTP is the largest and most complex treatment group of facilities in the nation. It is needed to treat 56 million gallons of highly radioactive and dangerous waste over the next 50 years. The treatment techniques and storage units within the facilities are large, complex, remote handled, and one of a kind. The purpose of the DWP is to ensure that the facility is designed, built, and operated in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.

This position is responsible for the development, administration, and oversight of a portion of the DWP pertaining to a specific facility. Works closely with the facility engineers to ensure the facility is designed and constructed in compliance with applicable laws, requirements, and the DWP.  Provides compliance inspections of the WTP. In that capacity, the position shall plan and conduct inspections of WTP in relationship to the DWP requirements. 

We are looking for applicants who have good communication skills, prefer someone with a permitting or a regulatory background and someone who can work with people of diverse technical backgrounds. 

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. Maybe you’ve seen some of our recent stories on Twitter,FacebookInstagram or our blog

To learn more about our agency, please visit our website at
Local efforts… Diverse people… Statewide impacts
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The Nuclear Waste Program’s (NWP) mission is to lead the effective and efficient cleanup of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, ensure sound management of mixed hazardous wastes in Washington, and protect the state’s air, water, and land at and adjacent to the Hanford site.

Some of the key work activities of the Permit Writer for Sitewide Permit and Tank Waste Treatment Facilities position include:
Independently administers and maintains the files related to Rev 8c Dangerous Waste Sitewide Permit, Rev 9 Dangerous Waste Sitewide Permit, Areva Dangerous Waste Permit, Permafix Dangerous Waste Permit and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Dangerous Waste Permit according to the NWP Permit Modification Guidance, and Permit Configuration Control Guidance.

  • Serves as lead and as one a few members of the NWP staff who have access to the controlled versions of the permit files, as such knowledge of the regulations and internal permitting processes that promote completeness, consistency, enforceability and accuracy is essential.
  • Provides mentoring and training to other Sitewide Permit Writers as to the dangerous waste modification process, document control and file management, and administrative recordkeeping established in the NWP Guidance.
  • Serves as the interface between the Permitting staff and Administrative Services to ensure Hanford Site-wide Permit Files for Rev. 8c are secure and to share files with internal Permit Staff or Permittees for permit modification when needed.
  • Serves as the interface between the Permitting staff and Administrative Services to ensure 3 Non-Hanford (Areva, Permafix and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard) Permit Files are secure and to share files with internal Permit Staff or Permittees for permit modifications and permit renewals when needed.
  • Serves as interface between the Permittees and locked down controlled permit files by establishing appropriate permit files for permittees access for subsequent permit modification.
  • Serves as the interface between the Permitting staff and Administrative Services to ensure Hanford Site-wide Permit Files for Rev. 9 are secure and to share files with internal Permit Staff or Permittees to prepare for transmittal of the modified renewal to the public review and then final permit issuance.
  • Provides modifications in secured files when changes are approved by Ecology.  Ensure newly modified files are placed on the external Ecology website.
  • Conducts independent quality assurance and control of all changes made to secured permit files
  • Reviews and evaluates and implements changes on permit documents while entering permit changes to the controlled version of the permit files.
  • Works with internal Permit staff or the Permittees to ensure that all appropriate and correct permit files are ready for the Quarterly Class 1 and 11 permit modification through permit production.
  • Works with internal Permit staff or the Permittees to ensure that all appropriate and correct permit files are ready for the Class 2, 3 and Agency Initiated permit modifications through permit production.
  • Understands all the steps in NWP permit modification process, configuration control, and permit production.

Independently, administers a facility portion of the WTP Permit according to the NWP DWP Modification Guidance.

  • Reviews and Evaluates permit documents (Permit Change Notices, modification packages, applications and Permit Equivalency Notices) according to the NWP Permit Modification Guidance.  Provide comments to the permittees on permit modifications based on specific engineering design and regulatory knowledge in the timeframe required.
  • Develops and negotiates permit conditions as necessary to include additional information or require permittee actions for compliance and for the protection of human health and the environment.  These actions would be based on the technical complexities of this one of a kind treatment facility and technical interpretations of regulatory approaches.
  • Actively participates in the WTP Team meetings and utilize this opportunity to keep other team members abreast of issues and for growth and development.
  • Participates in site visits with co-workers, keeping good records of all the facilities visited.
  • Maintains the facility portions of the WTP Permit according to the WTP permitting protocol and the regulations in the timeframe required by the regulations.  Permit copies which must be maintained include:
    • Hard copies located in the library, at the WTP Facility, and in section files.
    • Electronic copy on the shared drive and CD ROM.

Independently, apply regulatory interpretations and provide regulatory assistance to the permittee.

  • Represents the NWP in meetings with the Permittee (USDOE and Contractors).  Provide technical explanations based on scientific, engineering, regulatory, and policy interpretations.
  • Researches documents related to environmental law and compiles information to assist in developing recommendations and decision-making to lead workers and management.
  • Uses logic and reasoning to identify and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to environmental and permitting problems.
  • Develops recommendations based on technical complexities of the treatment or storage issues of the facility and the regulations and permit conditions.
  • Participates in the process of negotiating agreements based on the regulatory drivers, technical complexities of the facility and workable solutions.
  • Involves all appropriate individuals in the decision making process (other permit writers, engineers, chemist, management, etc).
  • Develops and document facility permitting decisions according to the WTP Permitting Decision Making Process.
  • Ability to read and understand Engineering General Arrangement and Process and Instrumentation Drawings.
  • Understands the Federal and State regulations pertaining to the management of mixed and hazardous waste and various engineering codes.  Additionally become familiar with the highly technical thermal treatment regulations and the associated human health and ecological risk assessment and their implementation to the WTP.

Conduct field inspections/site visits.

  • With the facility engineer, follows the NWP, WTP Construction Oversight Program procedures to conduct weekly field assessments of the facility, against the detailed engineering and drawings specifications, and requirements in the permit.  With the facility engineer write the field assessments reports.
  • As assigned by the Section Manager, plans, conducts, and documents compliance inspections according to the NWP Tank Waste Treatment Section Compliance Oversight Plan and required compliance inspection training.  These extensive compliance inspections require and in depth knowledge of the permit and associated tank waste system, thermal treatment, container storage, dangerous waste regulations, independent interactions with the Permittee, reviewing and evaluating as built technical documents, engineering specifications/drawings, and evaluating and documenting results in an extensive, defensible and reference able report which could be the basis of a compliance or legal actions.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be September 15, 2017.  In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before September 14, 2017. 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, one of the natural sciences, or environmental planning AND two (2) years of professional level experience in environmental analysis or control or environmental planning.

A Master’s degree in one of the above fields will substitute for one (1) year of the required experience.


A Ph.D. in one of the above fields.


One year of experience as an Environmental Specialist 2, provided that a Bachelor’s degree in one of the above fields has been attained.
The 1 year of experience as an Environmental Specialist 2 can include assisting in any of the following areas: 1) performing field surveys or studies, 2) responding to complaints involving scientific or technical content, 3) preparing public meetings and hearings, 4) assistance with routine inspections or investigations requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 5) responding to routine inquires or requests for technical assistance involving scientific content, 6) special projects that are scientific in nature, 7) conducting routine sampling and testing analyses, interprets data, writing reports 8) performing basic sampling data review, 9) maintaining an environmental data base to support technical projects, 10) providing routine environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.

Preferred/Desired Qualifications:
Previous experience with permitting hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposals or large construction projects.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
This position requires being able to acquire a USDOE badge for access to the Hanford Site.  As well as taking training and acquiring a USDOE WTP “brown badge” for access to the WTP Construction Site.


Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

In order to be considered, applicants MUST include the following documents as an attachment to their application:
  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in 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 e-mail Please do not 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 Suzanne Dahl at:  Please do not contact Suzanne to inquire about the status of your application.

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.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology. All employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the WFSE will, as a condition of employment, either become members of the WFSE and pay membership dues or, as non-members, pay a representation fee as described in the CBA, no later than the 30th day following the effective date of this CBA or the beginning of their employment.

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.
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