Local recruitment: Surface Water Quality Standards Specialist

New Mexico Department of Environment

Santa Fe, NM, USA 🇺🇸

Agency: Department of Environment

Posting End Date: 23/02/2023

Job Posting Type: Continuous Job Opening

Job ID: 130574

Location: Santa Fe

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Sponsored Term


$27.09 – $43.35 Hourly

$56,357 – $90,171 Annually

This position is a Pay Band 75

Purpose of Position

Looking for a rewarding career and growth opportunity? The New Mexico Environment Department is seeking highly engaged talent to assist us in our mission to protect and restore the environment
and foster a healthy and prosperous New Mexico for present and future generations. Come be a part of our great team for change! Learn more at: https://www.env.nm.gov

As a valued new employee to the NM Environment Department, you will receive five (5) full days of leave in your leave balances right from your start date.

Why does the job exist?

The mission of the Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) is to preserve, protect, and improve New Mexico’s surface water quality for present and future generations. This position supports the mission of the Bureau by investigating, developing, and proposing surface water quality standards (WQS) proposals and revisions in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act and NM Water Quality Act. The WQS define water quality goals by designating uses for New Mexico’s streams, rivers, lakes, and other surface waters; setting criteria to protect those uses; and establishing provisions to preserve water quality. This position also assists with quality assurance and public outreach.

How does it get done?

This position is primarily responsible for evaluating proposed water quality standards amendments, preparing technical and scientifically defensible water quality standards demonstrations, and
testifying before the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) on regulatory changes to water quality standards in accordance with State and Federal acts and regulations. This position also
provides technical assistance to stakeholders and the public regarding WQS proposals.

To assess potential water quality standards amendments and develop technically-sound demonstrations, this position conducts independent reviews and evaluations of complex scientific studies and environmental data; performs statistical and other complex technical assessments; reviews federal and state laws, regulations, policies, guidelines and scientific information; and collaborates with the WQS team, other coworkers, and state, federal, tribal, and municipal agencies to develop WQS proposals. Key responsibilities include to:

1. Develop proposals to amend WQS regulations.
2. Develop and complete Use Attainability Analyses (UAAs) and site-specific criteria demonstrations.
3. Review, analyze, and prepare clear, concise and factual written comments on proposed new or amended federal and state agency policies and procedures, regulations, and technical  recommendations within prescribed time frames.
4. Manage the related the Administrative Record of proposed Water Quality Standards.

Ultimately, all WQS proposals are reviewed by management before WQCC and EPA approval, but this position makes many decisions that identify and influence WQS changes and is instrumental in developing proposals for those changes.

Who are the customers?

This job is done for all New Mexicans to protect and restore the environment. This position may have occasional contact with external Federal, State and Local regulatory bodies as well as contractors and environmental not for profit organizations. This position will have contact with internal staff as well.

Ideal Candidate

An ideal candidate will have: 1) a Master’s degree in a water quality-related discipline and eight (8) years of relevant work experience;  2) Experience collecting, reviewing, analyzing, and summarizing surface water quality data to determine water quality concerns; 3) Excellent communication, coordination, and technical writing skills, including rule development; 4) Experience writing and providing technical testimony for rulemaking proceedings; and, 5) Knowledge and experience specific to New Mexico’s rivers and streams (or other semi-arid rivers and streams) and the state and federal rules that describe their management and protection.

Minimum Qualification

Bachelor’s degree in Physical, Natural, or Environmental Science, Soil Science, or Engineering and five (5) years of experience in public/environmental health, environmental science, Air Quality Management, Biology, Engineering, Chemistry, Geology, Hazardous Waste Management, Wildlife Management, and/or Water Resources. Substitutions Apply. 

• Education and years of experience must be related to the purpose of the position.

• If Minimum Qualification requires a specific number of “semester hours” in a field (e.g. 6 semester hours in Accounting), applicants MUST have those semester hours in order to meet the minimum qualifications. No substitutions apply for semester hours.

Employment Requirements

Must possess and maintain a valid NM Drivers License, including the ability to drive larger field vehicles (e.g., Chevy Suburban, Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Toyota Tacoma, etc). Successful completion of the New Mexico Defensive Driving Certification Program.

Working Conditions

State of New Mexico employees may be impacted by the Public Health Order dated December 19, 2022, which requires facilities licensed or certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), including all hospital types, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, hospice facilities and rehabilitation facilities, as well as assisted living facilities and adult day care settings, to adhere to all COVID-related requirements prescribed by CMS, including, but not limited to masking and staff vaccination.

Working Conditions for individual positions in this classification will vary based on each agency’s utilization, essential functions, and the recruitment needs at the time a vacancy is posted. All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Supplemental Information


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Agency Contact Information: Jennifer Fullam, (505) 946-8954 Email: Jennifer.fullam@env.nm.gov

For information on Statutory Requirements for this position, click the Classification Description link on the job advertisement.

Bargaining Unit Position

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement and all terms/conditions of that agreement apply and must be adhered to.





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