Environmental Science Specialist – MT DoJJob Type(s): Programs / Services
Salary: $32.50 – $36.51
Deadline: January 23, 2020 12:00 am
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Every day at the Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. At the Department of Justice we do the right thing for the right reason. If you’re looking for an opportunity to be part of a team that builds a culture of character and excellence, demonstrates collaboration and selfless public service, and upholds the law and pursues public safety, the Department of Justice may just be the career for you.
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The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) of the Legal Services Division of the Montana Department of Justice is responsible for preparing natural resource damage assessments and lawsuits pursuant to the federal and state laws in order to recover damages for injuries to natural resources caused by releases of hazardous substances and developing and implementing natural resource restoration plans that guide the expenditures of the recovered damages in compliance with these laws.
The NRDP has 12 full-time employees (three attorneys, seven scientists, and two administrative/fiscal/contract staff) and was originally created in 1990 to prepare and litigate the State’s natural resource damage lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) for injury to natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). In addition to the ARCO natural resource damage lawsuit and settlements, the State has also initiated and settled other lawsuits that have resulted in the State receiving additional settlement funds for restoration activities at other sites, including the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex, East Helena Smelter site, and the Billings Yellowstone Pipeline Spill.
The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) is responsible for: 1) preparing natural resource damage (NRD) assessments and lawsuits pursuant to the federal and state superfund and hazardous waste laws in order to recover damages for injuries to natural resources caused by releases of hazardous substances; 2) enforcing the provisions of any settlements, consent decrees and judgments coming out of or resulting from the NRD activities described above; and 3) developing and implementing natural resource restoration plans, in accordance with the NRD laws and regulations, which are to guide the expenditure of the natural resource damages recovered in such lawsuits or settlements.
This position is an Environmental Scientist Specialist for the NRDP with its primary office assignment as the NRDP’s office in Butte. The position is to be primarily assigned to work on restoration activities in the Butte area conducted pursuant to the 2008 settlement agreement primarily associated with the Butte Area One Restoration Plan for the Butte Area One site. The position may also be assigned, as needed, throughout Montana to work on 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.
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 NRD litigation issues and other litigation-related work, including ongoing and future consent decree (CD) negotiations, and work to support 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’s Supervising Assistant Attorney General. The position is also responsible for oversight of certain NRDP contracts with third parties and with consultants and other contractors performing work for the Program. The position will be required to travel to the NRDP Helena office a minimum of two days per week during the probationary period for training with NRDP, DOJ, and State personnel. Upon completion of probationary period and training, travel to NRDP Helena office will be a minimum of two days per month.
The minimum qualifications for this position are typically acquired by a combination of education and experience as follows:
Master’s degree in physical, biological, earth, or environmental toxicology, or environmental sciences or environmental or civil engineering and at least five years of progressively responsible experience, including experience relating to environmental project management, natural resource injury assessment and restoration, Superfund response actions, environmental regulation, and contract administration.
Preferably this position should have experience with a concentration in environmental engineering, hydrogeology, geochemistry, or environmental toxicology.
Other combinations of education and experience than those listed above will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
A training assignment may also be considered.
• Considerable knowledge of the concepts and theories of the principles and practices of environmental sciences related to natural resource restoration, including environmental toxicology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, geomorphology, pollutant fate and transport in streams, soils, and groundwater, biology (fish and wildlife), plant and soil science, and mine site reclamation/remediation.
• Considerable knowledge of both the natural resource damage provisions in federal and State Superfund and other laws and regulations and state nature resource damage litigation and restoration guidance.
• Working knowledge of other state and federal environmental laws and regulations related to the remediation and restoration of natural resources, including those pertaining to Superfund response actions, water quality protection, solid and hazardous waste management, and environmental review.
• Working knowledge of public administration, public relations and communications, contracts management, administrative and procurement processes, computer software applications.
• Working knowledge of hazardous substance releases and the impact of these releases on the natural resources specific to the State of Montana.
• Working knowledge of environmental and civil engineering, public works, and construction practices, cost estimating, financing, and management.
• Excellent and effective oral and written communication, including relaying technical information to a wide variety of people.
• Assessing the social, economic, legal, and environmental aspects of restoration projects.
• Planning, managing, evaluating, and overseeing restoration projects.
• Evaluating and judging of technical reports and scientific data.
• Directing and coordinating the work of an interdisciplinary team.
• Working cooperatively with the public and state and local officials to solve problems.
The position requires the ability to work independently and remotely away from NRDP’s main office; write clearly and in an organized and concise manner; develop and organize procedures; communicate effectively with NRDP staff remotely and with public; evaluate complex issues, including such technical, legal, and administrative issues, and determine their effects; independently establish goals and objectives; develop work plans, contracts, and time tables; evaluate and implement restoration projects; organize and present written and verbal information clearly; analyze legal, environmental, and administrative documents; and deal effectively with confidential or sensitive materials.
The selection procedures to be used in evaluating the applicant’s qualification may include, but are not limited to an evaluation of the résumé and cover letter, a structured interview, performance test, academic transcripts, reference/background checks and fingerprint checks.
Additional materials, references or information submitted by the applicant, but not requested, will not be considered.
Successful applicant(s) will be subject to:
Criminal History Fingerprint Check
In order to be considered for this position, you must attach a cover letter and résumé at the time of application.
Your Cover Letter: Cover letter to be a two to three-page writing sample (single space/12 font) describing how your experience and education will benefit the NRDP in meeting its responsibilities.
Your Résumé: Please include all work experience as well as job duties that demonstrate your qualifications for this position. Include dates of employment (month & year- start & end) and the reason you left each job.
A complete online state application is not required, however you will need to initiate the application and attach the cover letter and résumé in order to be considered for this position. Failure to attach a cover letter and résumé will result in an incomplete application that will not be considered further.
Only electronic applications will be accepted. Materials submitted but not requested will not be considered in the selection process.
All documents for Veteran or Disability preference must be received or date stamped by the closing date. You will receive an email with instructions on how to submit such documents.
If you need an accommodation with the application process, please contact the HR office.
Your service is rewarded with competitive compensation and generous State of Montana Benefits.
Medical, dental and vision coverage
Generous paid vacation, sick and holidays
Pre-tax Flexibility Spending Accounts
Employee Assistance Program