Thurston CountyOlympia 98506
Full Time
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Environmental Health Specialist, Senior

Thurston County
Full Time 412 Lilly Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506, United States


**This employment opportunity has been reopened and will remain open until filled.  Thurston County Public Health and Social Services reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time. If you previously applied for this position, your application is being considered and there is no need to reapply.**Are you an effective leader who wants to make an environmental impact in Thurston County?  If so, we would like to talk with you! 
Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) is recruiting for a Senior Environmental Health Specialist to work in our Land Use Program to ensure compliance with government standards and regulations.In this role, you assist in hiring staff, including coordinating and performing training, establishing performance expectations, monitoring progress, and evaluating employee performance. You also plan, organize, assign projects and tasks, and supervise the work of assigned section staff. During times of absences, vacations, and heavy/high volume workloads you provide coverage and assistance.

This position reports directly to an Environmental Health Program Manager.
Essential functions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Review and approve land use projects, commercial building permits, and city land use applications
  • Oversee or conduct the inspection, evaluation, and project review of land parcels and subdivisions to determine feasibility of on-site sewage disposal systems or the condition of existing systems
  • Review and process permits according to local and state regulations and department guidelines and policies 
  • Coordinate appeal hearing actions and present expert testimony while representing the department at public hearings and weekly pre-submission conferences 
  • Research requests or complaints to personally provide assistance to clients for unusual, complex, or difficult issues
  • Develop and maintain records management systems and procedures, including computer-related records systems, to ensure an accurate and complete billing process for the program area
  • Evaluate work practices and processes and implement changes to improve program quality and efficiency
  • Prepare budgets and ensure contract objectives are met, acting as a liaison to the State Department of Health
  • Review land use applications for compliance with the Sanitary Code while coordinating reviews with Planning and Public Works. Examples: subdivisions (short, large lot, plats), boundary-line adjustments, special-use applications (home-based business, commercial projects, cell towers, gravel mines, etc.), administrative site plans, reasonable-use exceptions, etc. 
  • Review data and recommendations to determine modifications needed for compliance; record conclusions and issue, withhold, or withdraw license and permits according to health code and established standards
  • Participate in team compliance activities with other county agencies on land use violations
  • Review and approve requests for refunds regarding water and wastewater program applications and communicate results to Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) accountant and the applicant
  • Perform other work as required or assigned including but not limited to a 24/7 response during public health emergency situations and disease outbreak investigations. 

Working Conditions:
Work may be performed in an office and outdoors. Employees in this classification can be exposed to a variety of weather conditions or walking in rough terrain. Physical hazard may result from working in proximity of heavy equipment and inspecting deep excavations subject to cave-in.  May be exposed to pathogenic bacteria.  Heavy lifting in excess of 50 lbs. may be required.

What we offer our employees:
  • Work-Life Balance: We are committed to ensuring that our staff experience the reward of public service, while also sustaining a routine that suits each individual’s lifestyle.
  • Plan for Your Future: As a member of our team, you enjoy great employee benefits, including a retirement plan, pre-tax savings accounts, as well as comprehensive health care and dental/vision care for you and your family. Please visit our website for more information. 
  • Paid Leave: Full-time regular employees earn a minimum of 12 paid vacation days per year in addition to 11 paid . 
  • Robust Training Program: Employees are encouraged to attend County-paid training to help them further their career, learn new skill sets, and stay on top of emerging trends in our industry. We also encourage staff to participate in professional organizations and attend conferences.  
  • Flexible Work Schedules:  Options some employees may take advantage of include alternative or compressed schedules and/or remote working.
  • See under Benefitslater in this job description for detailed information about the many other benefits the County offers.
Why you’ll love it here:
Thurston County is located between Seattle and Portland in Western Washington’s South Puget Sound Region. Perched between the mountains and the ocean, the area boasts the perfect blend of year-round outdoor activities including boating, hiking, skiing, and more. The region is also home to the state capital city of Olympia, known for its many restaurants, microbreweries, coffee shops, farmers markets, kids’ activities, history, and art events. Discover more about life in Thurston County at .
  • Bachelor of Science degree in environmental health, biology, bacteriology, or a related field.  
  • Three (3) years of professional environmental health experience requiring extensive public contact, including one (1) year at the Environmental Health Specialist II level or equivalent, and specialization in one or more environmental health disciplines. Additional experience may be substituted for education on a year for year basis.
  • Current Washington State Driver's License or have requested and obtained an appropriate accommodation.
  • May be required to posses a professional certification applicable to area of assignment (eg, Hydrogeologist, Waste Water Treatment System Inspection Certificate of Competency, Qualified Sanitary Surveyor, etc.).
  • Must be recognized by the Washington State Sanitarian Registration Board as Registered Sanitarian within eighteen months of the date of hire.
  • Ability to utilize a personal computer and related software packages to perform word processing, analysis, information retrieval and tracking.
Desired Skills

Respect and Organizational Culture:

  • Create an environment where employees and partners can safely express needs or concerns and where employees can make and correct mistakes
  • Effectively interact with sensitivity while working with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic, and professional backgrounds, and persons of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, and lifestyles
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, robust organization maintaining a positive work environment
  • Serve the public in a timely, complete, accurate, and professional manner while ensuring that written and verbal communication is clearly understood by others
  • Maintain cultural competency to support diverse perspectives in developing, implementing, and evaluating policies, programs, and services that affect the health of the community
  • Strong oral communication for networking and interpersonal relationships
  • Excellent written communication including the ability to craft correspondence, reports, and articles or web postings with minimal grammatical and syntax errors
  • Supervise, motivate, and develop employees and team to become more productive and effective in achieving desired goals and career growth while encouraging employee critical reflection; able to give direction without conflict
  • Show fairness and impartiality in interactions; is interested in employee welfare, elicits staff input where feasible; respond to staff suggestions and complaints in a sincere, sensitive, and timely manner
Goal Setting and Accomplishment:
  • Use strategic thinking and planning for goal setting and evaluation
  • Effectively plan, organize, and manage competing priorities and challenges under pressure
  • Create a sense of mission by articulating and modeling confidentiality, professional values, and ethics with honesty and integrity
  • Operate with a high degree of flexibility, initiative, attention to detail, and commitment
  • Delegate and use persuasion and negotiating skills for shared responsibility and acceptance of change