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Eastern Region Watershed Planner

Please Note: The pay listed above includes the 3.25% pay increase that will go into effect on July 1, 2022.

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Water Quality Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill an Eastern Region Watershed Planner (Environmental Planner 4) position. 

This position is located in our Eastern Regional Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA.

Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

Are you looking for a challenging, engaging, rewarding career that uses your facilitation and planning skills to help protect waters in Eastern Washington? You will work alongside other water quality professionals, stakeholders, and members of the community to find solutions to complex water quality issues. Plan strategies for efficient implementation of Ecology’s Eastern Region’s water quality permits and water quality implementation plans. Coordinate with large-watershed stakeholder groups, other Ecology programs and Ecology’s regional staff to ensure that Ecology’s resources are applied in a coordinated manner as we work towards achieving water quality standards.

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

About the Department of Ecology
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 that embraces 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, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
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. This position is not currently required to work in the office on a regular basis. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. Looking ahead, Ecology has recently updated the agency policies on telework and flexible and compressed work schedules. Applicants with questions about position location options, telework, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” 
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of July 14, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before July 13, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

What makes this role unique?
The Eastern Region water quality section creates and implements water quality plans in 5 major watersheds and manages more than 200 permits and permit coverages. Our business plan helps the region strategically coordinate and prioritize our short term and long term work. We work with many stakeholders in our large watersheds, including the Spokane, Walla Walla, and Pend Oreille Rivers, to solve complex water quality problems such as toxics, dissolved oxygen, and watershed restoration. Ecology seeks innovative plans, policies, and technical solutions to address these problems and implement actions in a way that anticipates and responds to changing needs. Your recommendations will inform the Easter Regional Office (ERO) Regional Manager and Water Quality Program staff on priority actions that will help Ecology meet its goals and performance standards.
You will be responsible for updating the region’s water quality business plan. Your planning and communications skills will help guide the Eastern Region’s short and long term business activities. You will work in close connection with the region’s permitting and water quality unit supervisors, identifying key actions for short term (2-year), mid-range (5-10 years) and long-range (10-20 years) timeframes. These responsibilities include identifying, implementing, and monitoring the region’s performance metrics and making recommendations to the regional management team.

You will also work to facilitate external processes with Tribes and stakeholders in large, complex watersheds, where community engagement is high and Ecology has a key role in addressing complex regulatory issues. In addition to connecting with and gathering information from the public, you will coordinate with Ecology staff to help the public better understand Ecology’s role in administering the requirements of the Clean Water Act. 

 What you will do: 
As a senior environmental planner to the ERO Regional Manager and Water Quality Program, you will help develop and implement innovative water quality management strategies, with a focus on achieving water quality standards in the Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Walla Walla basins. You will:
  • Coordinate the Section’s business planning activities with the Regional Manager, ERO permit managers, and watershed leads. Write the biennial regional water quality business plan.
  • Identify priority actions over a range of timeframes and ways to coordinate the regional priority actions associated with watershed plans, permit compliance schedules, and permits. 
  • Develop regional performance metrics. Engage in activities to improve performance in order to meet key business goals. Gather, summarize, and report performance data. Monitor and report on implementation progress and trends. 
  • Work with the Water Quality Program planner, to identify and report on water quality program wide metrics. Implement adaptive management strategies when necessary to achieve goals. Assist water quality program staff in developing policy that furthers the ability of the region to achieve water quality standards through TMDL and permit actions. 
  • Develop and implement regional strategies, programs, and permitting tools that help achieve water quality standards, by coordinating region’s key actions on TMDLs, implementation plans, toxics management plans, and permitting. 
  • Coordinate with Section’s TMDL leads and permit managers to develop and prioritize the annual list of projects submitted to Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program in order scope and implement key watershed studies.
  • Represent Ecology to the public on large watershed advisory groups, and other water quality education and outreach activities. Provide assistance to the advisory groups and other members of the public.
  • Solicit input from Tribes, local governments, stakeholder groups, and others on the development and implementation of watershed activities for the Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Walla Walla basins, as well as other watersheds as assigned.
  • Develop regional water quality implementation strategies for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), as well as new and emerging contaminants of concern. Refine and implement Ecology’s regional toxics reductions strategies, in alignment with the Water Quality Program toxics reduction strategies. Harmonize toxics reduction efforts with other Ecology departments as it relates to the achievement of water quality standards.
  • Work with the Urban Waters Initiative as new sources of toxics pollution are identified and develop strategies to bring these sources into compliance with state water quality laws.


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

Option 1:
  • A Bachelor’s degree with major emphasis in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, landscape architecture, geography, land use or environmental law, public administration with an environmental emphasis, or closely related field
  • Five (5) years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development. 

Option 2:
  • A Master’s degree or above with major emphasis in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, landscape architecture, geography, land use or environmental law, public administration with an environmental emphasis, or closely related field
  • Three (3) years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development.

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

  • Demonstrated ability to build rapport and partner with others.
  • Education or experience in negotiation and conflict resolution, including meeting facilitation techniques, collaborative decision making, and working with a diverse public.
  • Education or experience in planning, facilitation of the planning process, preparation of complex planning documents
  • Ability to review and interpret technical documents relevant to water quality such as quality assurance and sampling plans, laboratory reports, scientific reports, water quality implementation plans and permit applications.
  • Experience preparing and giving public presentation of technical information, assistance, guidance, training, outreach to federal state, tribal, and local government, business, industry and the public.
  • Experience with collaborative watershed planning approaches for control of water pollution sources and water cleanup plans (TMDLs) that include recommendations or implementation of cleanup measures and adaptive management measures. 
  • Education and/or experience with the key components of the Clean Water Act, such as relationship between nonpoint source pollution control strategies, including stormwater best management practices and toxics management plans, and water quality improvement plans.

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: 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 Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on 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.
  • Three professional references.

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 (such as 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 Adriane Borgias at: Please do not contact Adriane to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email

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:

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 LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram 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.