Shorelands/Wetland Permit Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4)

$49,020.00 – $64,296.00 Annually
King County – Bellevue, WA
Job Type
Full Time – Permanent
Dept. of Ecology
Job Number

          An image without description   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 Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) program is looking to hire a Shorelands/Wetland Permit Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4). The position will be located in our Northwest Regional Office (NWRO) in Bellevue, Washington.

The Shorelands/Wetland Permit Specialist position serves as a senior section environmental specialist with responsibility for implementation of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA of 1971 (Chapter 90.58 RCW)) and its rules and state adopted Shoreline Master Programs. Responsibilities include negotiating technical and legal details on major shoreline and wetland proposals with local, state, and federal entities on project actions that may have inter-related environmental impacts. The position also serves as a senior environmental specialist on matters pertaining to wetlands, federal and state wetland guidance, and antidegradation policies contained within (Chapter RCW 90.48) and coordinates the state level permitting response to federal permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, issuing permits under Section 401 of the Act.

We are looking for applicants who possess excellent people skills and has the ability to thoroughly analyze development proposals. Someone with technical or regulatory expertise, that is capable of assessing environmental impacts within a permitting role focused on shoreline and wetland management. The successful candidate must be able to make regulatory decisions, and the ability to communicate complex technical or permitting information to highly diverse audiences.

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 TwitterFacebookInstagram 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 mission of the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) Program is to support community conservation efforts for our shorelands, wetlands, and floodplains. 
Some of the key work activities for the Shorelands/Wetland Permit Specialist include: 

Shoreline Master Program, Critical Areas and SEPA permitting:

  • Operates independently, with general direction from Section Manager, implementing matters pertaining to development permit reviews under the authority of the Shoreline Management Act (SMA) and Growth Management Act (GMA), to ensure consistency with applicable policies, rules, regulation and procedures. Coordinates state level permitting response to individual shoreline permits including conditional use and variance requests, or local CAO actions.
  • Operates independently, with general direction from Section Manager, implementing matters pertaining to wetland protection, consistent with federal and state wetland guidance, and anti-degradation policies contained in Chapter RCW 90.48; coordinates the state level permitting response to federal permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, issuing permits under Section 401 of the Act.
  • Independently resolves issues related to shoreline appeals to the state Shoreline Hearings Board and wetlands or Section 401 appeals to the Pollution Control Hearings Board.  Works directly with Assistant Attorneys General and other parties (including local planners, attorneys, and citizens) towards detailed settlements that reflect the current policies of the program and ensures consistency with current wetland regulations and the SMA, using the ability to apply negotiation and conflict resolution skills.  Independently represents the Department of Ecology as a wetlands and shoreline expert in enforcement actions, hearings and legal proceedings using the understanding of environmental legislation and regulations at the federal, state, and local level and applying the knowledge of wetlands and shoreline ecology.  Testimony may also form the basis for precedent-setting interpretations of agency jurisdiction and regulatory authority.
  • Independently analyzes SEPA or NEPA documents concerning proposals with potential shoreline and wetlands impacts.  Provides comments on the consistency of such proposals with statutory requirements, department regulations and policies, including local SMP’s or CAO’s.  Presents development, regulatory and environmental mitigation options which could prevent or minimize adverse shoreline impacts.  Coordinates with local governments, permit applicants, state, federal and tribal agencies in modifying proposals to bring them into regulatory compliance before permit issuance.

Technical Expertise, Compliance and Enforcement

  • Independently provides scientific and technical expertise in wetlands and shorelands identification, delineation, functional assessments, development of mitigation plans, and evaluation of project impacts through applying understanding of wetland and shoreline ecology.
  • Independently identifies, analyzes, and makes recommendations to local government officials on the field identification and delineation of the Ordinary High Water Mark to determine the regulatory boundaries of Chapter 90.58 RCW, Shoreline Management Act.
  • Performs field reconnaissance to identify and delineate wetlands utilizing standardized protocols in the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual and the Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual.  Prepares technical review and evaluation of project impacts, shoreline and wetland mitigation plans according to state guidance.  Makes recommendations to department management and other local, state, and federal authorities involved in complex wetland and shoreline regulation and management actions.
  • Independently provides education and training through the development and presentation of lectures, workshops, field training, conferences on scientific, technical, and political issues related to wetlands ecology and management.

Planning Support

  • Supports program staff in providing expertise or technical guidance related to review and/or development of local shoreline master program amendments.
  • Supports program staff by conducting research or preparing analyses that may include consideration of legal implications, related to shoreline or wetland issues pertaining to shoreline master program or critical areas policies or regulation.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be December 22, 2017.  In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before December 21, 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, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other closely allied scientific field andfive years of professional-level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above.

OR  a Bachelor’s degree in another discipline, provided that at least 45 quarter hours or 30 semester hours of course work is in the environmental, physical or one of the natural sciences including ecology, biology, hydrology, soil science, or plant sciences and five years of professional-level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above.

OR A Master’s degree in one of the above fields and three years of professional-level experience as required above which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above;
OR A Ph.D. in one of the above fields and two years of professional-level experience as required above which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above;
OR Two years of professional level-experience as required above as an Environmental Specialist 3 provided a Bachelor’s degree involving major study as listed above has been attained. 

Desired Qualifications:

Education: Completion of a 40 hour Wetland Delineation Course, and course completion for the Washington State Wetlands Rating System for Western Washington 2014.
Professional Certification: Willingness and ability to obtain certification from the Society of Wetland Scientists as a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS).
Wetland, Critical Areas, or Shoreline Management Experience: Professional experience independently performing wetland delineation, evaluation of hydrology, soil science or plant identification, or regulatory experience administering critical areas ordinance or shoreline master program permits.                                   
Consulting:  Makes decisions and develops options to issues having broad impact; facilitates organizational response to an issue; demonstrates understanding of global perspective and organizational development and behavior; consistently applies principles of fairness, conflict resolution, proactive intervention and negotiation, and group facilitation skills.
Teamwork: Develops, participates with and facilitates interdisciplinary teams having region-wide, agency wide or statewide impact; demonstrates broad knowledge of the organization’s authorizing environment and the team’s role within that structure; advocates for positive outcomes.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
  • Willingness and ability to occasionally work in excess of 40 hours per week and travel throughout the Northwest Region and less frequently across the state.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license when operating state vehicles.

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 Joe Burcar at: Please do not contact Joe 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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