Permit Writer (Environmental Specialist 5)

$55,152.00 – $72,456.00 Annually
Thurston County – Lacey, 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 are 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, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.

The Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction (HWTR) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Permit Writer (Environmental Specialist 5) position. The position will be located in our Headquarters Building in Lacey, WA.

The Permit Writer position is responsible for evaluating, interpreting and developing dangerous waste management policy, guidance and regulation. This position assists in rule analysis and interpretation to Ecology staff, the regulated community, and the general public.

The successful candidate will have the following qualities:

  • Enjoys detailed work, but understands the larger picture
  • The ability to switch between tasks easily
  • Flexibility – this is a good job for you if you understand regulatory rules aren’t black and white but often gray all over
  • A team player (you enjoy working in teams but are proficient in completing your own portion of the work)
  • Good communication skills – listening, writing
  • Ability to lead and facilitate small groups to problem solve
  • Able to work with firm deadlines
  • Patience and the ability to manage projects that may take 2 – 3 years to finish
  • The ability to diffuse conflict.  The successful candidate isn’t afraid of conflict – we can have challenging problems and issues at times
  • Comfortable moving forward but might not have all the answers completely worked out (patience).

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, Facebook, Instagram 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 Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction (HWTR) Program is made up of people dedicated to fostering sustainability, preventing pollution, and promoting safe waste management. We do many different things in a coordinated approach to protect the people and environment of Washington from pollution from hazardous products and waste.

HWTR has one permit writer position for 6 active complex Treatment, Storage or Disposal (TSD) facilities. The facilities are required to obtain a Dangerous Waste permit that allows them to hold and treat dangerous waste to make it less toxic or easier to manage ensuring people or the environment are not negatively impacted by these wastes.

  • Some of the key work activities of the Permit Writer are:
  • Responsible for coordination with the Nuclear Waste Program and Waste 2 Resources Program and HWTR regions to develop implementable, consistent and enforceable permits for TSD facilities.
  • Serves as a project lead and writer of RCRA Permits for complex dangerous waste management facilities that are high priority for the Program.
  • Responsible for development of the permit and fact sheets for dangerous waste management facilities that accurately reflects details about the specific permit and why certain decisions were made (or not).
  • A dangerous waste permit is effective for 10 years; any changes to the permit require a formal permit modification. The permit writer is responsible for properly classifying the modification and subsequent processes working with the program public involvement specialist to ensure public involvement and technical review.
  • Responsible for the permitting record and interpretations of the permit requirements.

Some of the other key work activities of the Permit Writer are:

Support Compliance at Dangerous Waste Management Facilities

  • Provides statewide assistance to regional compliance personnel, including:
    • participates in compliance inspections at dangerous waste management facilities,
    • assists with writing and reviews of inspection reports;
    • provides technical review;
    • assists on compliance enforcement cases as an expert on permitting requirements; and
    • provides testimony on permitting requirements at legal or public hearings as needed.
  • Report permit tracking time lines for the Rules unit on a quarterly and annual basis
  • Provide data to EPA on permit modifications on a quarterly basis
  • Serve as a resource to other regions, other state agencies

Coordination of high priority projects

  • Manages and coordinates more complex, difficult, controversial, and high priority projects with the responsibility to work closely with industry representatives, environmental groups, and other Ecology programs in areas related to dangerous waste management and toxics reduction.
  • Provides technical direction and final review for technical reports, discussion papers, compliance letters, and conclusions reached by professional staff on permitting issues.
  • Facilitates and organizes the PITCREW quarterly meetings
  • Permits can be appealed so a civil proceeding is possible. This position may have to deal with challenging people who don’t agree with how the agency interprets a regulation or permit condition. The permit writer should be comfortable with some conflict.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be August 5, 2018.  In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before August 4, 2018. 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


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.  Three years of those six must be experience implementing the Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC and/or the Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations, 40 CFR Parts 260-280.  Experience may run concurrently with the above experience.

Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.

A Master’s degree in one of the above fields may substitute for two years of the professional-level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning as required above which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.

A Ph.D. in one of the above fields may substitute for three years of the professional-level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning as required above which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.


Three years of experience implementing the Dangerous Waste Regulations, , Chapter 173-303 WAC and/or the Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations, 40 CFR Parts 260-280. One (1) of the three years must be as an Environmental Specialist 4.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment

  • Must have or be able to obtain and maintain a Driver’s License.
  • Must have or be able to obtain 40 hour (OSHA HAZWOPER) safety training to conduct field work within 6 months of hire.

The experience as an Environmental Specialist 3 can include a combination of the following: 1) investigating and / or resolving complaints involving science or technology content, 2) performing inspections, 3) drafting technical evaluations and reports, 4) develops plans for researching information used for technical projects, regulatory or policy development, 5) plan and facilitate public meetings and hearings, 6) project work requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 7) providing technical assistance for complex scientific content and/ or support for implementing scientific content programs, 8) conducting tests, analyzing and evaluating data, 9) using environmental databases to support technical projects, 10) developing scientific studies and resource management plans, 11) providing environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.
Why work for Ecology?

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 the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life 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 ForgivenessTuition 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


Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.


*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

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.

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 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 Michelle Underwood at: Please do not contact Michelle 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.

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.

More than Just a Paycheck!
Employee benefits are not just about the kind of services you get, they are also about how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Washington State offers one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation.

We understand that your life revolves around more than just your career and that your priority is making sure that you and your family will maintain health and financial security. That’s why choice is a key component of our benefits package. We have a selection of health and retirement plans, paid leave, staff training and other compensation benefits that you can mix and match to meet your current and future needs.

Read about our benefits:
The following information describes typical benefits available for full-time employees who are expected to work more than six months. Actual benefits may vary by appointment type or be prorated for other than full-time work. Check with the agency human resource office for specific benefit information.
Insurance Benefits
Employees and families are covered by medical (including vision), dental and basic life insurance.  There are multiple medical plans with affordable monthly premiums that offer coverage throughout the state.  Staff are eligible to enroll each year in a medical flexible spending account which enables them to use tax-deferred dollars toward their health care expenses.  Employees are also covered by basic life and long term disability insurance, with the option to purchase additional coverage amounts.  To view premium rates, coverage choice in your area and how to enroll, please visit the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) website.
Retirement and Deferred Compensation
State Employees are members of the Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).  New employees have the option of two employer contributed retirement programs.  For additional information, check out the Department of Retirement Systems‘ web site.
Employees also have the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP).  This is a supplemental retirement savings program (similar to an IRA) that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.
Vacation (Annual Leave)
You begin accruing vacation starting your first month of employment. Since we value your loyalty, the amount of vacation you can accrue increases the longer you work with us. Washington State supports members of the armed forces with 21 days paid military leave per year. Vacation accrues for full-time employees per WAC 357-31-165.


Full-time employees are entitled to eleven* paid holidays:

New Year’s Day
January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday
Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day
Third Monday in February
Memorial Day
Last Monday in May
Independence Day
July 4
Labor Day
First Monday in September
Veterans’ Day
November 11
Thanksgiving Day
Fourth Thursday in November & Friday after
Christmas Day
December 25
Personal Holiday
Employee’s selection each calendar year

*Employees who are members of certain Unions are entitled to an additional personal leave day of their choice. Please refer to specific Collective Bargaining Agreements for more information.

Social Security
All state employees are covered by the federal Social Security and Medicare systems. The state and the employee pay an equal amount into the system.
Sick Leave
Full-time employees earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Paid sick leave may be used for reasons included in WAC 357-31-130.
Please visit the State HR Website for more detailed information.
How did you hear about this job posting?

  • Community Based Organization
  • Community / Technical College
  • Ecology Employee
  • Ecology Recruiter
  • Ecology Jobs Page
  • Facebook
  • Job Board
  • Job Fair
  • LinkedIn
  • Newspaper
  • Other State Agency
  • Other Website
  • Professional Association
  • Twitter
  • University Job Board
  • WorkSource
If you selected Community Based Organization, Community / Technical College, Job Board, Job Fair, LinkedIn Group, Newspaper, Other State Agency, Other Website, Professional Association, University Job Board or WorkSource location then please share which one.
Please select the statement that best describes your level of education in environmental, physical or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.

  • I have 30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits.
  • I have 60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree).
  • I have 90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits.
  • I have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • I have a Master’s degree.
  • I have a Ph.D.
  • None of the above statements apply.
Please indicate your degree and major.
Please select the statement that best describes your professional level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.

  • I have at least three (3) years of experience.
  • I have at least four (4) years of experience.
  • I have at least five (5) years of experience.
  • I have at least six (6) years of experience.
  • I have at least seven (7) years of experience.
  • I have at least eight (8) years of experience.
  • I have at least nine (9) years of experience.
  • I have at least ten (10) years of experience.
  • I have at least one (1) year of experience as an Environmental Specialist 4.
  • None of the above statements apply.
Of the required experience, do you have at least three (3) years of experience implementing Washington’s “Dangerous Waste Regulations”?

  • Yes
  • No
Please provide additional information to support your response to questions 5 and 6. The following information is needed: position title(s), specific duties, and periods of employment. Make sure your responses specifically address the qualifications above. An incomplete answer, including “please see resume” may remove you from further consideration.
Please describe your experience implementing the dangerous waste (DW) regulations or RCRA and any experience with DW or RCRA permits.
Please describe your experience working on a team and what role you often naturally fall into on a team.

Required Question

State of Washington
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