Local recruitment: Onsite Program Specialist (Natural Resource Specialist 3 – Environmental Health Specialist)

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Coos Bay, OR, USA 🇺🇸

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality strives to build and sustain an inclusive environment that embraces and values diversity. Employees at all levels of the agency work together to foster fairness, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, veteran, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or physical or mental disability. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed preferred qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualification. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply. If you are unsure as to whether or not you meet the qualifications of this position, please contact us to discuss your application.

Are you passionate about preserving, enhancing, and protecting Oregon’s environment? If so, please consider a career with the State of Oregon at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). At DEQ, employees have the opportunity to work with a dynamic and supportive team of mission-focused individuals tasked with maintaining, restoring, and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land, and water. Here is a video about DEQ: https://youtu.be/E-Cs6M9AAlU

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) currently has a full-time opportunity for an Onsite Program Specialist (Natural Resource Specialist 3 – Environmental Health Specialist) in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Please consider joining an innovative team, and work to advance our agency’s mission to protect and improve Oregon’s environmental quality. DEQ has a centralized policy and planning component and regional offices to accomplish its mission. There are 3 regions (Northwest, Western, and Eastern). The Regions provide the following services: compliance inspection of regulated entities; enforcement of permit requirements and administrative rules; issuance of air, water, and solid waste permits; investigation of complaints; issuance of subsurface permits in counties; response to spills or other incidents with environmental impacts; direct contact and liaison with other governmental entities, industries, and the public; and technical assistance to regulated entities and the public.

Over 30% of Oregonians dispose of wastewater from their homes and businesses through the use of septic systems. The siting, design, installation, and ongoing operation and maintenance of septic systems is regulated through the Onsite Wastewater Management Program. Without this oversight, septic systems can fail or malfunction, pollute Oregon’s land and waterways with raw sewage and create public health hazards.

DEQ directly manages the onsite septic system program in 5 counties, referred to as “direct service” counties. 31 counties manage the program under contracts with DEQ, referred to as “contract counties”. DEQ and the contract counties are responsible for ensuring that septic tank pumpers have the necessary equipment to safely pump, transport, and dispose of the waste from septic systems, known as septage. In addition, DEQ certifies and licenses installers and pumpers, and reviews and approves products such as septic tanks, alternative treatment technologies, and alternative drainfield products.

The Coos Bay office administers some of these programs in Western Region and directly administers the onsite wastewater permitting program in Coos County and the large onsite water pollution control facilities in Coos and Curry Counties.

Click here to view a map of all of the DEQ offices.

What you will do!

You will serve as the Coos Bay Onsite Program Specialist with a primary focus on the evaluation, inspection, and permitting of onsite residential and small septic systems in Coos County. In addition, you will assist with large onsite water pollution control facility permitting, inspections, and site evaluations; respond to complaints regarding potential septic system violations, some of which can lead to enforcement actions; and provide technical assistance related to septic systems and DEQ’s onsite septic program to permittees and a variety of interested parties. This position works as part of a team of DEQ’s onsite staff and works under the guidance of senior wastewater specialists.

What’s in it for you!

The opportunity to work in a productive and creative environment where no two days are ever the same! We offer a competitive benefits package that offers comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plans for the employee and their qualified family members, as well as paid sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave, and 11 paid holidays a year. In addition, we offer membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and you have the opportunity to potentially receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). If you are passionate about Oregon’s environment, apply today!

This is a full-time, AFSCME represented position.

This recruitment may be used to fill future vacancies.

What are we looking for?

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in physical science, environmental science, natural resources, or a closely related field, AND 3 years of experience in a natural resource or environmental field (an equivalent combination of education and experience is acceptable).
  • At least 1 year of experience at a technical or professional level performing activities in a natural resource program such as researching and analyzing data, conducting investigations, applying pertinent laws and regulations, or coordinating and monitoring project activities.
  • Registration by the Oregon Health Licensing Office as an Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Health Specialist Trainee, Waste Water Specialist, or Waste Water Specialist Trainee. See https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HLO/Pages/Board-Environmental-Health-Registration.aspx (Applicants do not need to have current registration at the time of hire, but must demonstrate that they meet the requirements to obtain the full registration or at a minimum a trainee registration within 30 days of employment. The full registration must occur within two years of employment. Continued employment in this position will be contingent upon the successful applicant maintaining the required registration).
  • 10 hours of soil science courses in Introductory Soil Science, Soil Morphology, Physical Geology, and Geomorphology, or the ability to complete within 2 years of hire. DEQ will pay for the courses if you need to take them.

Candidates who are most competitive will also reflect the following:

  • Demonstrated understanding of environmental justice and the historical impacts for marginalized and underrepresented communities; ability to take personal responsibility for increasing their knowledge of environmental justice and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Knowledge and skill in the classification, characteristics, and behavior of soils and the transport of water and wastewater through soils is required.
  • Knowledge of onsite wastewater treatment system technology and requirements for permitting; experience inspecting and evaluating onsite septic systems.
  • Experience investigating environmental complaints.
  • Experience reviewing design plans for new construction, alterations, and repairs of wastewater treatment systems.
  • Experience regulating sewage treatment systems including issuing permits and authorizations for new construction, alterations, or repairs of onsite septic systems.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to provide clear, concise, and compelling communication of policy and technical information tailored to the needs of diverse audiences; skill in writing and presenting clear and concise reports that include qualitative and quantitative analyses, recommendations, and conclusions to diverse audiences.

Working Conditions:

DEQ believes in a diverse and inclusive work environment. All employees are expected to contribute to a work environment that collectively values and benefits from respecting its diversity and promotes a culture of inclusiveness.

This position will be based out of the Coos Bay office, however, the successful candidate may be eligible for some hybrid work. The logistics of hybrid work will need to be worked out with the Hiring Manager prior to your hire and may be changed at any time given specific job duties and business needs. DEQ will provide necessary hardware (laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and cell phone) for an employee to successfully work from home. At DEQ sites, you will have access to a workspace, however, it may be shared with other employees.

There will be frequent statewide travel by car for meetings, trainings, conferences, public hearings and meetings, workshops, and field visits (such as wastewater treatment facilities, land application sites, and spill or complaint sites). During field visits, there may be exposure to pollutants, pathogens or hazardous materials, chemicals, contaminated soil and water, fumes, airborne contaminants, challenging field conditions (steep slopes, heavy vegetation, and uneven terrain), and inclement weather. Evening and weekend work, as well as occasional overnight stays, may occur.

How to Apply: (complete the application in full)

  • External Applicants Click on the “Apply” button and submit your application. Click this link for the External Candidate job aid, and view this video for additional information.
  • Internal Applicants (current State of Oregon employees): Apply through your employee Workday account.  View this knowledge article for assistance.

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Please Note: In addition to your related work experience and education, DEQ will use the desired attributes and minimum qualifications above, under the “What are we looking for?” section to determine whom to interview. Please make sure your attributes and minimum qualifications are clearly demonstrated in your application material.

Veterans Information:

DEQ provides veterans’ preference points to all eligible veterans. For more information on veterans’ preference, please visit Veterans Resources, or call the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs at: 1-800-692-9666. For privacy reasons, please do not attach veterans’ preference documents when initially applying. You will be asked to submit those at a later time.

Pay Equity:

As an employer, the State of Oregon complies with HB 2005, the Pay Equity Bill. We do not discriminate on the basis of protected class in the payment of wages, and we do not screen applicants on the basis of their current or past compensation. Please visit http://www.oregon.gov/das/hr/pages/equity.aspx for more information. Please note: the salary listed is the non-PERS qualifying salary range. If the successful candidate is PERS qualifying, the salary range will reflect an additional 6.95% (6% goes to PERS and .95% covers payroll taxes). Please review the Classification and Compensation page for more details.

Work Authorization:

DEQ does not offer visa sponsorships. On the first day of employment, all hires will be required to complete the US Department of Homeland Security’s Form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States. In addition, hires will have three business days from their first day of employment to present documents that establish employment authorization and identity. DEQ is an E-Verify employer and will use E-Verify to confirm that hires are authorized to work in the United States.

Questions/Need Help?

If you have questions about the recruitment or need assistance to participate in the application process, please contact DEQ’s Recruitment Team at jobs@deq.oregon.gov or 503-229-5107. TTY users: please use the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development