Natural Resource Specialist 3 (Water Quality Certification Specialist

Eugene, OR, United States 🇺🇸


DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water. As a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon’s environment, DEQ works with Oregonians for a healthy, sustainable environment.

DEQ’s Western Region encompasses 12 counties (Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill) and has regional offices in Coos Bay, Eugene, Medford and Salem. Western Region staff issue permits regulating water discharges, air emissions and hazardous and solid waste disposal. They also conduct a range of activities to clean up and protect Oregon’s environment and support community involvement in environmental protection.

The Regional Environmental Solutions section of DEQ’s Western Region Division is recruiting to fill a full-time, limited duration Natural Resource Specialist 3 position to serve as a 401 Water Quality Certification Specialist in Eugene, Oregon.  This will be a limited duration appointment through June 30, 2017 with the possibility of becoming permanent pending budget approval.

The purpose of this position is to review and evaluate applications for dredge and fill permits, under the US Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Division of State Lands coordinated permitting programs, for compliance with Oregon’s water quality standards, including water quality criteria, antidegradation policy, and protection of designated beneficial uses.  This position also evaluates applications from Federal agencies prior to a license or permit being issued for compliance with the state’s water quality standards.  In cases where wetland impacts are expected, the position determines appropriate mitigation measures and stormwater Best Management Plan (BMP) implementation.  This position establishes on-site conditions to protect water quality and beneficial uses.  This position also inspects both industrial/construction stormwater facilities with NPDES 1200Z/1200C general permits and 401 Water Quality Certification projects for compliance and initiates enforcement when violations are discovered.

Duties & Responsibilities

The primary duties of this position will be to serve as the 401 Water Quality Certification Specialist to review and evaluate applications for dredge and fill permits, under the US Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Division of State Lands coordinated permitting programs, for compliance with water quality standards and criteria. Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Determines compliance or provides technical assistance to ensure compliance with state water quality standards.
  • Gathers data regarding site-specific information for review of water quality impacts.
  • Analyzes and reviews technical information and engineering reports to determine water quality impacts.
  • Authors formal findings and draft certifications and develops conditions for projects
  • Uses GIS, Excel/Access databases, external agency databases and Microsoft Office software to generate data relevant to a specific site to be used for evaluation
  • Determines potential contamination sources and determines appropriate mitigation conditions to meet water quality standards.
  • Applies appropriate certification conditions that implement best management practices (BMPs) to ensure that proposed activities do not impact water quality standards.
  • Develops monitoring conditions and reviews monitoring plans to ensure that activities are not contributing to violations.
  • Writes final summary and analysis of findings to make certification determination and to address applicable public comments.
  • Provide technical assistance to applicants.
  • Coordinates projects, requests data, mitigation and conditions with other agencies.
  • Conducts field inspections for compliance with 401 water quality certification conditions.
  • Conducts field inspections of industrial and construction stormwater facilities for compliance with NPDES 1200Z and 1200C general permits.
  • Conducts complaint investigations.
  • Completes enforcement activities following discovery of violations.

Working Conditions
  • Daily work in an office environment requiring extensive use of a computer.
  • Field work which requires climbing, bending, walking near streams in all types of weather.
  • Occasional use of personal safety equipment may be required.
  • Occasional use of a boat and on water equipment may be required.
  • Driving of state owned vehicles is required. (Applicant must possess a current, valid driver’s license).
  • Occasional overnight travel within the state may be required.
Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills
Minimum Qualifications – To be considered a qualified applicant you must meet the following criteria:

Three years of experience performing work that included or closely related to 401 water quality certification issuance or implementation; 404  dredge and fill permit issuance or implementation; stormwater permitting, inspections or plan development; regulatory inspections; or dredge plan development..  
At least one year of the experience must be at a technical or professional level performing activities such as drafting permits or certifications, researching and analyzing data, conducting investigations, applying pertinent laws and regulations, or coordinating and implementing project activities;


A Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources or Environmental or Earth Science or a closely-related field; OR three additional years of experience drafting permits or certifications, conducting regulatory inspections or implementing 401 water quality certification, 404 dredge and fill permit or stormwater plans.
  • A Master’s degree in Natural Resources, Environmental Science or a closely-related field will substitute for up to one year of the required experience.
  • A Doctorate degree in Natural Resources, Environmental Science or a closely-related field will substitute for up to two years of the required experience.
  • NOTE: To receive credit for all required/related coursework, a photocopy of transcripts is required.
Requested Skills – Preference may be given to applicants who possess the following:
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Attention to both detail and big picture
  • Good decision-making skills
  • Ability to explain technical issues to non-technical audiences in plain language.
  • Experience in 404 permitting or 401 water quality certification programs.
  • Experience with Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products
  • Experience in stormwater inspections and use of BMPs.
Additional Information
Application Screening: In order to evaluate your experience as it relates to this position, we need detailed responses to the supplemental questions. Please respond completely in the space provided. Responses to the supplemental questions will be considered when determining which applicants, among those who meet the minimum qualifications, will be invited to interview. Failure to respond to each question in the space provided for that question may result in disqualification of your application.

Your application and application materials must be consistent and thorough in order to be considered. If the information contained in your answers to each of the supplemental questions is not reflected in your work history, your application may be removed from consideration. A cover letter and/or resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the work history section or answers to the supplemental questions.

Please note that your responses may also be evaluated for grammar, spelling and punctuation.

To apply for this position, follow the “Apply” link above to complete the Oregon Employment Application online. All application materials must be received by the closing date/time posted.

Only complete applications will be considered. Be sure to answer all supplemental questions and attach any required documents.

Information in your application, as well as responses to the supplemental questions, will be reviewed to determine candidates who qualify and whose experience best matches the requested skills.

To receive credit for higher education coursework, transcripts (official or unofficial) must be submitted at the time of application. Note: To protect your confidential information, please redact (black out) your social security number on all transcripts before attaching to your application.

Salary: The Department of Environmental Quality’s practice is to begin employees at the first pay step. However, a higher starting pay rate may be considered, budget permitting, depending upon the applicant’s work history and current total compensation (salary/benefits/retirement).

Union: This position is represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 3336.

The State of Oregon requires all applicants provide an email address. If you do not currently have an e-mail address, please refer to our applicant Frequently Asked Questions page for more info. The State of Oregon does not endorse any particular provider. For your convenience, here is a link to the page.

The Department of Environmental Quality is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. DEQ welcomes applications from women, veterans, people of color, and individuals with disabilities.

If you have a disability or otherwise require assistance, you may contact us at:

Department of Environmental Quality
Human Resources Office
811 SW Sixth Ave
Portland OR 97204
(503) 229-5382