Nonpoint Source Water Quality Inspector (2 Positions)

Lacey, WA, United States 🇺🇸

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 will be a great fit. 

The Water Quality (WQ) program is currently looking to fill two (2) Nonpoint Source Water Quality Inspector (Environmental Specialist 3) positions. The positions will be located in our Southwest Regional Office (SWRO) in Lacey, WA.

The Nonpoint Source Water Quality Inspector positions support the Water Quality Program’s mission by independently inspecting, assessing, and documenting primarily agricultural and livestock-related practices that may affect water quality and provide technical assistance on rural and farm best management practices to landowners and the public in Puget Sound watersheds in Jefferson, Clallam, Pierce, Mason and Thurston counties. The focus of the positions is nutrient management and shellfish resource protection.

We are looking for applicants who possess excellent communication skills and who would be comfortable talking to farmers and livestock owners on their properties and would be willing to take enforcement actions when needed.

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


The mission of the Water Quality Program (WQ) is to protect and restore Washington’s waters to sustain healthy watersheds and communities. Our work ensures that state waters support beneficial uses including recreational and business activities, supplies for clean drinking water, and the protection of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and public health.

Some of the key work activities of the Nonpoint Water Quality Inspector positions are:
  • Independently performs General Nonpoint Source and Shellfish Inspector assignments and environmental reviews.
  • Prioritizes shellfish areas within the Southwest Regional Office for technical assistance, compliance and enforcement activities.
  • Meets with landowners, local governments, tribes, Conservation Districts, and others to resolve water quality issues impacting shellfish using tact, creativity, and the enforcement policies of the agency.
  • Works directly with local municipalities and the public to promote environmental improvements.
  • Represents the agency at public forums such as city or county council meetings, Conservation District meetings, business/industry meetings, fairs, and other events as possible.
  • Provides educational opportunities and technical assistance about benefits of water quality compliance.
  • Coordinates with local governments, federal agencies and other state agencies communicating with non-complying individuals and/or permittees to achieve compliance with water quality laws and regulations using informal compliance, where appropriate, or using formal enforcement.
  • Coordinates with higher level staff to negotiate agreements or settlements about managing water quality resources.
  • Recommends actions and procedures necessary to bring dischargers into compliance, including the use of formal and informal enforcement actions, as needed.
  • Conducts joint investigations and inspections with other regional staff, and other programs and agencies during investigations and/or multimedia inspections as needed.
  • Analyzes and interprets RCWs, WACs, internal policies, procedures and guidance documents appropriate to the Water Quality Program.
  • Explains laws, regulations, policies and guidance to the public, tribes, local government and others, and explains their responsibilities under these laws and regulations.
  • Communicates effectively, both verbally and in writing, with individuals, agencies, regulated facilities, local governments and the public.
  • Maintains effective working relationships with the above and participates in group- processes and on teams, as appropriate.
  • Communicates with and assists non-complying entities to achieve voluntary compliance if possible.
  • Performs follow-up inspections to ensure corrective action is implemented.
  • Responds to complaints or violations and coordinates complaint/compliance priorities for response; schedules and assists in negotiating agreements to resolve water quality complaints.
  • Complaints affecting shellfish resources have priority for resolution.
  • Uses agency standard computer and software to create, maintain and print documents, accesses information from the intra and internet, communicates through email and schedules time.
  • Composes routine correspondence, drafts documents, reports, etc. using proper grammar and diction and prepare documents for final formatting.
  • Attends staff meetings and program or agency meetings, as appropriate.
Please Note: The project positions are funded until June 30, 2018.
Required Qualifications:
A Bachelor’s degree involving a major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field AND two 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 year of the required experience. 

NOTE: One year of the required years of experience must include working on a natural resource regulatory program with the public and/or those affected by the regulatory process.
Preferred/Desired Qualifications:
  • Demonstrated ability to understand environmental legislation and regulations at the federal, state and local level.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly, through writing and speaking.
  • Demonstrated ability to review and understand complex technical documents.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Prior experience working with a pollution identification project (PIC) is desirable.
  • Prior experience or demonstrated familiarity with the agricultural sector is desirable.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
Must possess a valid driver’s license.
Please note the following Benefit that isn’t listed in the “Benefits Tab”:

Student Loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program:
Employees are 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.
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 [email protected]. 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 Chris Montague-Breakwell at: [email protected]. Please do not contact Chris Montague-Breakwell 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.