GENERAL PURPOSE:Under general direction, performs a variety of senior professional level environmental planning functions and analysis in assigned functional areas, manages and ensures environmental compliance for Sound Transit projects related to environmental impact studies and permitting; ensures compliance with all federal, state and local environmental regulations, local critical areas ordinances and other related regulations; manages preparation of complex and controversial environmental documents and obtains environmental approvals; maintains effective working relationships with other agencies and Sound Transit partners including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and local jurisdictions; provides strategic advice to project managers on environmental compliance issues; manages the environmental permitting process and coordinates directly with permitting authorities; and ensures compliance and implementation of environmental mitigation measures and permit commitments by other departments and third parties. Mentors environmental planning staff.
Currently Sound Transit has openings for two Senior Environmental Planners with the following areas of concentration:
Alternative Titles/Keywords:Environmental Due Diligence, Remediation, Facilities Compliance Specialist, Facility Operation Compliance, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Professional, Contaminated Materials
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:The following duties ARE NOT intended to serve as a comprehensive list of all duties performed by all employees in this classification, only a representative summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties.• Manages preparation and completion of environmental review and documentation for a variety of Sound Transit projects for Sounder Commuter Rail, Bus Regional Express, and Link Light Rail to ensure that the Agency complies with local, state and federal environmental regulations including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and associated environmental regulations; coordinates with FTA, FHWA, FRA and other agencies and jurisdictions to obtain environmental approvals for Sound Transit projects and plans; manages a variety of technical consultants (environmental, transportation, noise, air, etc.) and complex and diverse teams in this effort; coordinates with agency project managers, other agency staff, consultants and other groups to initiate and complete work; ensures the environmental documentation and processes meet legal requirements; participates in public outreach activities with ability to communicate technical information to laypersons.• Manages consultants and consultant contracts (including on-call contracts) for environmental services such as for preparing large and complex environmental impact studies, archaeological monitoring during construction, historic preservation, and interpretive displays; procures consultant; develops and manages scopes, schedules, and budgets; oversees contracts and assures contract compliance on assigned projects; develops recommendations on consultant services and other project needs, advises project managers of project conflicts and proposes resolution; contracts management includes reviewing and approving invoices; secures contract change orders as required; and coordinates communications among agency staff and contractor.• Manages endangered species act (ESA) compliance for Sound Transit projects. Serves as point of contact for FTA, FHWA, and FRA and the federal resource agencies ESA compliance on all federally funded projects; leads the development and review of ESA consultation documents for new projects as well as handling reinitiating ESA as projects change and new species are listed; and interprets environmental regulatory and technical information, laws, and guidelines..• Evaluates proposed agency actions and reviews actions by other agencies affecting Sound Transit facilities and determines the need and level of appropriate environmental review and documentation for compliance with SEPA and NEPA.• Ensures implementation of environmental mitigation commitments based on environmental review; reviews contract documents (drawings and specifications) to ensure project is complying with environmental commitments, coordinates with project managers and other agencies and local jurisdictions.• Identifies opportunities for the agency to integrate sustainability principles into local, state and federal environmental documentation and planning processes. • Manages environmental permitting and approvals for Sound Transit projects beginning with critical input during project development; reviews planning documents; assists with early screening of alternatives; determines potential environmental consequences of proposed projects; provides input on preliminary project schedules; coordinates with, resolves issues, and provides necessary information to federal, state, and local agencies and officials granting environmental permits and approvals; conducts environmental review of project plans and contract specifications to ensure permit requirements have been adequately incorporated and coordinates plan and specification review by other environmental specialty staff as needed; oversees the maintenance and refinement project environmental commitment lists beginning with commitments made during environmental review process through environmental permitting and into the construction and operation of transit systems; oversees environmental consultant support for the environmental permitting effort including negotiating scopes and budgets, leading regular coordination meetings, tracking schedules and spending, and reviewing work products.• Develops natural resource (wetlands, water resources, wildlife and habitat) mitigation strategies for assigned Sound Transit Projects; identifies mitigation opportunities and needs for all projects; tracks changes to mitigation regulations; negotiates with federal, state, and local agencies on project mitigation requirements; manages consultant assistance with mitigation site development and design; collaborates with environmental staff during natural resource mitigation site selection and assists in developing scope, schedule and budget for final natural resource mitigation design package. • Makes periodic site visits to construction sites to ensure the project is being implemented according to the permits and best management practices.• Engagement with Sound Transit’s Environmental Sustainability Management System (ESMS), which may entail participation through the Steering Committee or other technical working groups; researches and assists in the management of the various ESMS initiatives; develops and helps to achieve annual sustainability targets and helps to educate staff about the ESMS.• Provides support to the Office/Department on matters as directed; serves as staff on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence; attends and participates in professional group meetings; maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the fields related to area of assignment; incorporates new developments as appropriate; ensures processes, policies and practices are interpreted and applied consistently and effectively; ensures accountability and compliance with all current and applicable state and federal laws, Agency policies and procedures, rules and regulations.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:Education and Experience: Bachelors Degree in environmental studies, urban planning, environmental science, biology, or closely related field, a Masters degree is highly desirable. Six years of experience in area of assignment which includes managing or overseeing environmental review process, environmental impact studies, natural resource permitting, and endangered species compliance, preferably in the transit industry and/or in public sector agencies; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience. Required Licenses or Certifications:Possession of a valid Washington State Drivers License.Preferred: Masters’ degree in area of assignmentRequired Knowledge of:• Environmental and land use laws and regulations and practices related to compliance. • Environmental management and policy. • Operations, services and activities of an environmental planning program.• State and federal environmental laws, regulations, and industry practices, policies and procedures as they relate to environmental issues most relevant in transportation planning such as compliance with NEPA, SEPA, the Endangered Species Act, Section 4(f)/6(f), Section 106, and air quality conformity.• Current trends and professional literature in the area of environmental planning.• Biology as it relates to environmental impacts of wetlands, streams, and wildlife and mitigation strategies to address ecosystem impacts.• Federal, state, and local transportation planning requirements.• Environmental impact analysis methods and issues, • Sustainability concepts, practices and policy issues as related to environmental planning.• Project management techniques and principles.• Principles and practices of governmental budget preparation and administration.• Principles of business letter writing and basic report preparation.• Principles and procedures of record keeping.• English usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.• Modern office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and statistical databases.Required Skill in:• Utilizing personal computer software programs affecting assigned work and in compiling and preparing spreadsheets and reports. • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other department staff, management, vendors, outside agencies, community groups and the general public. • Applying principles and practices of state and federal environmental laws and regulations.• Interpreting and applying state and federal environmental laws, regulations, and industry practices, policies and procedures as they relate to environmental issues.• Communicating environmental and technical issues to the public in community outreach settings.• Analyzing problems and identifying alternative solutions.• Resolving a variety of environmental issues.• Contract management and administration.• Preparing and analyzing complex data and comprehensive reports.• Responding to inquiries in effective oral and written communication.• Researching, analyzing, and evaluating new service delivery methods and techniques.• Applying project management techniques and principles.• Working cooperatively with other departments, Agency officials, and outside agencies.• Preparing and reviewing consultant scopes, budget and schedules.