Environmental Science Spc – (18142667)- MT DOJ

Job Type(s): Administrative, Communications, Programs / Services
Salary: $35.66
Deadline: December 23, 2018 12:00 am
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The position is primarily responsible for the development of conceptual and final restoration plans and related reports. In addition, this position is responsible for scientific and technical oversight and evaluation and implementation of restoration projects throughout Montana. Duties include evaluating, developing, and managing restoration projects; performing advanced research, monitoring, and special studies; conducting public outreach; and agency coordination. Another important responsibility of the position is to provide technical support and expert consultation regarding Natural Resource Damages (NRD) litigation issues and other litigation-related work, including ongoing and future consent decree (CD) negotiations, and supporting the enforcement of existing consent degrees. The position reports to the Program’s Restoration Program Chief but may also be assigned work by the Program Manager/Supervising Assistant Attorney General. The position is also responsible for oversight of certain Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) contracts with third parties, and with consultants and other contractors performing work for the Program.

Development of Restoration Plans and Restoration Project Evaluation, Development and Management:
This position leads the development of initial draft conceptual restoration plans and subsequent drafts for natural resource damage sites in Montana. This position also leads the implementation of portions of the approved restoration plans. This involves evaluation, development, and management of restoration projects and plans to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured resources and ensure that projects are completed in compliance with state restoration policies, state and federal environmental laws, and fiscal requirements. The position shall be responsible for working with partners, landowners, stakeholders, contractors, and other state and federal agencies to develop, design, and implement restoration actions. This involves designing project evaluation systems to assess proposals; determining the scientific, environmental, economic, social, and legal characteristics and dynamics of proposed restoration projects; assessing new technology and approaches in the restoration field; and predicting and evaluating the consequences of restoration alternatives. This work, among other things, is for the purposes of ensuring that projects meet stated goals and that there is proper accounting for all expenditures. The position will be required to attend meetings, be responsible for contracts with partners and contractors, develop scopes of work and budgets, and review a variety of designs associated with aquatic and terrestrial system restoration actions.

This work requires knowledge of natural resource damage injury assessments and evaluations, as well as the proposed application of proven or innovative technologies and approaches in the restoration field, and the prediction and evaluation of the consequences of restoration actions. It also necessitates NRD criteria evaluations including technical feasibility, cost effectiveness, cost/benefit relationship, health and environmental impacts, and ecosystem considerations. In addition to assessing the merits of individual projects, this position assesses the overall effect of multiple projects in meeting the goals set forth in the NRD restoration plans to determine the best mix of projects to fund. The position will consider input from groups such as Tribes, citizen advisory councils, U.S. Department of Interior, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This work also includes restoration project oversight to ensure that projects meet stated goals and that there is proper accounting for all expenditures from the NRD restoration funds that may be applicable. This involves conducting project meetings, disseminating data, establishing and monitoring environmental standards, reviewing and approving contractual scopes of work and budgets, reviewing progress reports, monitoring the environmental review and permitting processes for adequacy in meeting applicable requirements, and evaluating adherence to the approved scope of work. This position is to ensure that projects are implemented in the most cost effective, efficient, and fair manner possible and that the money is spent as designated; in addition, the funding should be tracked through review of contractor progress reports.

This position should assess the effectiveness of restoration projects and their impact on overall restoration efforts to develop recommendations for the Restoration Program Chief on ways to improve program efficiency and enhance restoration efforts. This involves reviewing information from the parties implementing the projects, contractors, affected parties, and the public; determining program modifications necessary to improve services; identifying outstanding opportunities for restoring injured natural resources; assessing current policies and their effect on project success; identifying areas affected by new policies; and recommending new policies.

NRD Assessment, Litigation Support, and Enforcement of NRD Restoration Consent
Provide technical support to the litigation program. This involves coordinating restoration work with the litigation program; evaluating technical information and reports prepared for litigation; assisting with the technical aspects of trial preparation and proceedings; and helping with the technical issues involved with the enforcement of consent decrees which involve NRD restoration or remediation that may affect how much restoration may be necessary. In addition to the other knowledge, skills, and abilities in this job description, this position should possess a basic understanding of the economic and legal requirements of natural resource damage assessments and litigation and the technical aspects of related enforcement of the related resulting CDs.

Coordinate restoration project and research work with the litigation and enforcement component of the NRDP. This involves incorporating new research or scientific findings into litigation and enforcement strategies, evaluating restoration projects for their potential to conflict with litigation or CD enforcement, and ensuring there are no significant conflicts between the two components of the NRDP.

Assist with the preparation of technical documents produced for the litigation program. Provide technical advice on the need for and scope of supporting technical studies for litigation and consent decree enforcement. Also assist in the defense of the State’s litigation and enforcement positions.

If litigation claims are not settled and go to trial, or if the NRDP becomes involved in an informal or formal proceeding to enforce its rights under a consent decree, this position may need to assist program attorneys and other technical staff in preparing discovery requests and responses, reviewing and summarizing depositions of technical experts, advising attorneys on the deposition of scientists and other experts, preparing exhibits and his or her own expert testimony, and providing scientific advice on the negotiation of settlements.

This work requires knowledge of natural resource damage injury assessments, environmental toxicology, identifying and evaluating proven or innovative technologies and approaches in the restoration field and the prediction and evaluation of the consequences of restoration actions, and disseminating data and information.

Monitoring, Restoration Effectiveness and Scientific Research and Analysis:
Perform advanced research, monitoring, and special studies to evaluate project and overall program effectiveness and evaluate and develop new information, data, methods, approaches, and policies in the natural resource damage restoration field. This involves designing and conducting or directing advanced research, monitoring and modeling to assess the efficacy of projects, evaluate the condition of resources, devise future restoration strategies, and predict consequences of alternative restoration methods. This position develops concise and understandable reports on these research and special studies for a range of audiences involved in NRD restoration, advisory and Trustee Restoration councils, the Governor, and the general public.

Research and evaluate new restoration technologies to determine their feasibility and effectiveness. This involves reviewing scientific data and proposals, consulting with experts at the state and national level to discuss restoration theory and the scientific aspects of new approaches, conducting literature reviews, and researching the costs/benefits of new technologies and approaches to determine their short and long term impacts on the environment.

Develop and implement special studies and research projects to develop new restoration plans, guidelines, and criteria. Determine the expertise needed to create a multi-disciplinary project team for conducting special studies in the resource areas. This includes assessing resources for expertise in other state and federal agencies, determining which studies must be done by contract, writing scopes of work for contracts, and participating in the selection of contractors. Review consultant’s special studies and technical papers for content, discuss and resolve questionable items with the writer, and develop understandable summaries of research project findings for a variety of audiences ranging from scientific experts to the general public.