TMDL and Water Quality Improvement Lead

Washington Department of Ecology

Lacey, WA, United States 🇺🇸

Do you want to use your knowledge of water quality science to help local communities protect our natural resources? 
The Department of Ecology is looking for a TMDL and Water Quality Improvement Lead in our Water Quality Program. This position develops and implements water quality improvement plans with a focus on increasing community involvement, and is located at our Southwest Regional Office inLacey, WA.
We are looking for applicants who possess excellent people skills, have the ability to collaborate with multiple stakeholder groups with competing interests, and are passionate about protecting streams and rivers from non-point pollution. This role will rely heavily on your communication skills, and your ability to explain complex water quality issues to a variety of audiences.

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

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. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership who embrace the value of people.
Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, and fitness classes; an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.
Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions. Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive. Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work. Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement. 
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding building occupancy, mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing.  Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of August 20, 2021. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before August 19, 2021. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

What you’ll do:As a TMDL and Water Quality Improvement Lead, you will be a project manager and coordinator for multiple TMDLs at various stages throughout the region. You will:

  • Develop and implement Water Quality Improvement Plans (also knows and Total Maximum Daily Loads or TMDLs) within the Southwest Region, with a focus on Budd Inlet, Capitol Lake, and the Deschutes River.
  • Evaluate environmental protection actions that have cross-program impacts (such as with our Water Resources Program and our Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program).
  • Help stakeholders implement practices to meet water quality standards.
  • Build relationships with landowners, and help them comply with water quality laws.
  • Understand and share best management practices, and communicate the science behind these practices.
  • Facilitate and/or participate in a wide variety of meetings with key stakeholders with the objective of building consensus on the need to implement water cleanup activities.
  • Organize public meetings, prepare information for public review, and coordinate TMDL goals with local groups.
  • Help water quality grant and loan recipients meet their agreement obligations.

What makes this role unique?

  • This position is part of a watershed team that cares deeply about our mission to protect and improve water quality, and is tasked with exciting, complex work that makes a difference. The team members bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to their jobs.
  • Team members are committed to supporting each other and they desire to see the all members be successful.


Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational, volunteer and lived-experience. See below for how you may qualify.

Option 1:Nine (9) years of experience and/ or education: 

  • Experience: In environmental analysis or control or environmental planning. 
  • Education: Involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied science field.

Experience may include a combination of the following:

  • Synthesizing technical information in a way that can be understood by non-technical audiences, such as translating water quality findings into reports and presentations for the public and/or small groups of interested parties.
  • Building relationships with various key stakeholders and proposing solutions to environmental issues.
  • Developing or implementing water cleanup plans, including making recommendations for clean up measures.
  • Working with watershed planning approaches used to control water pollution sources.
  • Developing or implementing water clean up plans.
  • Training or experience with water quality standards and TMDLs.

Option 2:

  • Five (5) years of experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which may include the experience described in Option 1. 
  • A Bachelor’s degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.

Option 3: 

  • Three (3) years of experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which may include the experience described in Option 1. 
  • A Master’s degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.

Option 4:

  • Two (2) years of experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which may include the experience described in Option 1. 
  • A PhD degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field.

Option 5:

  • Two (2) years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3 at the Department of Ecology.

All experience and education combinations that meet the requirements for this position:

Possible CombinationsCollege credit hours or degreeYears of required experience
Combination 1No college credit hours or degree9 years of experience
Combination 230-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits8 years of experience
Combination 360-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree)7 years of experience
Combination 490-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits6 years of experience
Combination 5 A Bachelor’s Degree5 years of experience
Combination 6 A Master’s Degree3 years of experience
Combination 7A PhD2 years of experience

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 

  • Must have a valid Driver’s License

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Experience preparing and giving public presentations of technical information, or providing assistance, guidance, training, or outreach to federal, state, tribal, and local government, business, industry or the public.
  • Experience working with Phase II stormwater permits.

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool. Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: [email protected] and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail [email protected]. 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 are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply:   

Application Instructions:

It’s in the applicant’s best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.  

For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current 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.

Application Attestation: 

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. 

Other Information:

If  you have specific questions about the position, please email Lawrence Sullivan at: [email protected]. Please do not contact Lawrence to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email [email protected]

Why work for Ecology?

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.

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 your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work 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 Forgiveness, Tuition 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 *See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information 

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.
Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.   

Equal Opportunity Employer: 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, military spouses 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.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.

Apply By: ASAP