Environmental engineers and scientists perform such duties as: U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 5. Page 6. Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 SERIES DEFINITION This series includes positions that involve advising on, managing, supervising, or performing administrative or program work relating to environmental protection programs (e.g., programs to protect or improve environmental quality, control pollution, remedy environmental damage, or ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations). These positions require specialized knowledge of the principles and methods of administering environmental protection programs and the laws and regulations related to environmental protection activities. EXCLUSIONS 1. Classify positions that require professional knowledge and competence in the broad, multi- disciplinary field of environmental science, which encompasses chemistry, biology, toxicology, health, physics, safety, and related areas, in the General Physical Science Series, GS-1301. 2. Classify positions that primarily require professional knowledge and competence in one or more specialized disciplines of environmental science in the appropriate professional series, e.g., Ecology Series, GS-0408; Chemistry Series, GS-1360. 3. Classify positions that involve professional engineering work concerned with eliminating or controlling environmental hazards or conditions in the appropriate engineering series, e.g., Civil Engineering Series, GS-0810; Environmental Engineering Series, GS-0819. 4. Classify positions that involve professional legal work concerned with enforcing environmental laws and regulations in the General Attorney Series, GS-0905. 5. Classify positions that involve preventing or controlling environmentally related diseases and health problems/hazards (when the emphasis is on the health and welfare aspects of the work, i.e., sanitation or hygiene) or assuring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations in the appropriate environmental health series, e.g., Safety and Occupational Health Management Series, GS-0018; Sanitarian Series, GS-0688; Industrial Hygiene Series, GS-0690. 6. Classify positions that require professional knowledge and competence in the conservation or management of soil, water, plant, animal, or related natural resources for particular purposes or uses in the appropriate scientific/conservation series, e.g., Rangeland Management Series, GS-0454; Wildlife Biology Series, GS-0486. 7. Classify positions that involve professional work concerned with identifying, evaluating, and protecting archeological, historical, and cultural resources (artifacts, structures, sites, etc.,) in the appropriate professional series, e.g., Archeology Series, GS-0193; Architecture Series, GS-0808. U.S. Office of Personnel Management 2

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 8. Classify positions that primarily require specialized knowledge related to the administration of programs to preserve and protect natural or cultural resources in the Miscellaneous Administration and Program Series, GS-0301. 9. Classify positions involving program management or direction that do not require specialized knowledge of environmental programs in the Program Management Series, GS-0340. 10. Classify positions concerned with analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations and management that do not require specialized knowledge of environmental programs in the Management and Program Analysis Series, GS-0343. 11. Classify positions that primarily require specialized knowledge of financial or business and trade practices and processes in the appropriate administrative or management series, e.g., Contracting Series, GS-1102; Property Disposal Series, GS-1104; Realty Series, GS-1170. 12. Classify positions involving compliance work that do not require specialized knowledge of environmental programs in an appropriate compliance series, e.g., General Inspection, Investigation, and Compliance Series, GS-1801; General Investigating Series, GS-1810. 13. Classify positions concerned with public information and involvement work that do not require in-depth knowledge of environmental protection programs and processes in the Public Affairs Series, GS-1035. 14. Classify positions that primarily involve performing support work requiring a practical knowledge of program requirements and procedures and/or basic environmental concepts and techniques in the appropriate technical series, e.g., Environmental Protection Assistant Series, GS-029; Physical Science Technician Series, GS-1311. 15. Classify positions that primarily involve hazardous materials handling in an appropriate Federal Wage System occupation. OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION The Congress has enacted a national charter for the protection of the environment. It establishes policy, sets goals, and provides means for carrying out the policy. In addition, Congress has passed numerous other statutes and amendments to address requirements for environmental protection and improvement. All Federal agencies are required to comply with Federal, State, local, and host nation environmental laws and regulations, and relevant Executive Orders. To achieve and maintain compliance, agencies must integrate environmental considerations into their decision-making processes, prepare detailed environmental documentation regarding proposed actions, maintain ongoing programs to protect and restore environmental resources, fulfill numerous U.S. Office of Personnel Management 3

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 environmental reporting requirements, etc. Regulatory agencies, principal among which is the Environmental Protection Agency, are responsible for rulemaking, monitoring, compliance, and enforcement activities affecting both public and private organizations and for managing and overseeing programs conducted by States and other entities through program delegations (contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, etc.). Environmental protection programs deal with such areas as air and water quality, hazardous waste and materials management, underground storage tanks containing regulated substances (petroleum products, chemicals, and wastes), oil and hazardous substance spills planning, nonhazardous waste management, waste minimization and recycling, and site restoration and remediation. Many programs focus on specific pollutants (e.g., noise, radon, asbestos, pesticides, medical waste, acid rain) or on protecting a specific medium (land, air, water, wetlands). As it has become recognized that program areas are not always discrete (i.e., that pollutants pass from air to water, from land to groundwater and back, freely), the focus has begun to shift to more integrated approaches. Consequently, many environmental protection programs are adopting strategies that deal with the environment in a more coordinated way, e.g., addressing overall environmental quality objectives, comparing environmental risks across programs, considering total pollutant loads and exposures, preventing pollution instead of controlling or transferring it to other parts of the environment, recognizing the worldwide and long-range character of many environmental problems, and reflecting environmental priorities in policies for other sectors such as energy, transportation, and agriculture. Environmental protection specialists play a central role in planning and administering environmental programs. Generally, they perform a variety of functions related to one or more of the following areas: Rulemaking and regulation, which involves developing, reviewing, and implementing legislative proposals, regulations, standards, policies, and operating guidance. Compliance and enforcement, which involves evaluating and securing compliance with environmental laws and programs through permitting, self-assessments, audits, inspections, investigations, and enforcement and corrective action activities. Environmental considerations and documentation, which involves (1) reviewing proposed actions (construction, leasing, land transactions, mission activities, etc.) and ensuring that environmental effects are considered in planning and decision-making, that these considerations are documented, and that provision is made for public involvement; (2) complying with environmental reporting requirements; and/or (3) analyzing and managing environmental information or information systems. U.S. Office of Personnel Management 4

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 Program administration and oversight, which involves (1) managing, administering, and coordinating programs or projects to achieve and maintain environmental compliance of ongoing operations or remediate past environmental violations or compliance problems; or (2) administering, evaluating, and overseeing environmental programs and/or activities funded by a program of grants, cooperative agreements, or other similar arrangements. RELATED POSITIONS Because environmental protection specialist work usually involves circumstances that demand multiple, coordinated responses, it frequently overlaps with work performed by persons in related fields. Environmental protection specialists often use data and information collected and developed by scientists (e.g., biologists, chemists, hydrologists) and engineers. They work closely with and receive support from safety and occupational health personnel, legal advisors, land managers, natural resource managers, community planners, public affairs specialists, and others involved with environmental plans and programs. Where positions have responsibilities for closely associated activities, it may be necessary to make series distinctions on the basis of factors other than the specific kind of work, such as the primary knowledge requirements, the sources of recruitment or lines of progression where the position is located, the training and experience of the employee or candidates, or the overall purpose of the work and how it is to be done as determined by management officials. DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SPECIALIST AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST POSITIONS Environmental protection specialist positions require specialized knowledge of the principles, practices, and methods of program or administrative work relating to environmental protection programs. This entails (1) an understanding of the philosophy underlying environmental regulation; (2) knowledge of environmental laws and regulations; (3) knowledge of the planning, funding, organization, administration, and evaluation of environmental programs; (4) practical knowledge of environmental sciences and related disciplines, the effects of actions and technology on the environment, the means of preventing or reducing pollution, and the relationship between environmental factors and human health and well-being; and (5) practical knowledge of important historic, cultural, and natural resources (including land, vegetation, fish, wildlife, endangered species, forests) and the relationship between the preservation and management of these resources and environmental protection. Environmental protection specialists apply specialized knowledge of one or more program or functional areas of environmental protection work, but do not require full professional competence in environmental engineering or science. In comparison with environmental protection specialists, environmental engineers and scientists (environmental scientists, biologists, chemists, etc.) perform work requiring the application of professional knowledge and skill to environmentally related areas. Environmental engineers and scientists perform such duties as: U.S. Office of Personnel Management 5

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 planning and designing environmental systems to provide clean water and air; identifying and analyzing substances or organisms that are responsible for the deterioration of the aquatic and soil environment; measuring, analyzing, and describing air and water resources. Although a manager may change the duties and responsibilities assigned to a particular position so it can be reclassified from environmental protection specialist to environmental scientist, or vice versa, depending upon the needs of the organization, environmental protection specialist positions may not be classified as interdisciplinary. (See the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards.) DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SPECIALIST AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ASSISTANT POSITIONS Environmental protection specialists are concerned with developing, analyzing, evaluating, and modifying environmental programs, policies, and procedures. They exercise judgment and broad perspective in applying a thorough knowledge of the principles, concepts, and practices relating to environmental protection programs as they concern problems of organizing, planning, funding, and controlling environmental activities. In comparison with specialists, environmental protection assistants perform support work in the environmental protection and improvement field. The work involves extensive practical knowledge gained through experience and/or specific training. Assistants carry out tasks, procedures, and/or computations that can be performed by (1) application and adaptation of standardized techniques and methods and (2) use of practical judgment with only an elementary grasp of the basic principles of environmental protection work. Environmental protection assistants perform duties such as: reviewing files and records and summarizing relevant factual information in connection with compliance reviews; providing information to the regulated community on procedural requirements and formats for filing permits, grant applications, compliance-related forms, etc; collecting, tracking, computing, and summarizing statistical data in chart and narrative form. U.S. Office of Personnel Management 6

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 FACTOR LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS FACTOR 1, KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY THE POSITION Level 1-6 Π950 Points The work requires knowledge of the established principles, concepts, and methods of environmental protection program work, and skill in applying this knowledge in performing a variety of duties involving the management, coordination, monitoring, oversight, or evaluation of routine programs, projects, or activities. These are activities for which (1) the regulatory framework is well established and defined and (2) there are standard/conventional procedures and techniques (reviewing documents, analyzing evidence, writing supporting documents) that apply to most situations encountered and that can be carried out with minor modification or adaptation. The work requires knowledge and understanding of recognized reference standards, regulatory requirements, and pertinent statutes sufficient to assure environmental compliance and provide routine technical assistance to operating personnel and managers. The work requires knowledge of the policies, organization, operations, work practices, and environmental parameters of regulated industries, agricultural or commercial establishments, Federal agencies, States, or other entities sufficient to obtain information, evaluate compliance, and recommend necessary changes, control measures, best management practices, etc. The work requires practical knowledge and understanding of one or more environmental sciences or related fields (e.g., biology, ecology, chemistry, hydrology, radiation physics, environmental law, real property functions, or statistics) sufficient to assess and correlate environmental data, verify results, and discuss technical aspects of work with scientists, engineers, and other environmental experts. The work requires skill in using standard data gathering and analysis techniques to collect and review technical information on environmental activities or quality and to identify and solve problems of a procedural or factual nature. The work requires ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing to prepare and conduct briefings or training programs, lead group conferences, and write reports and letters. Some positions require knowledge of contracting or grants management procedures sufficient to oversee and/or monitor contracts or program grants; some require knowledge of regulatory development and implementation procedures to assist in developing regulations or other guidance. U.S. Office of Personnel Management 8

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 Illustrations: At a field office that receives and disposes of excess items from several military installations, the specialist ensures that hazardous property is received, handled, stored, inspected, documented, and manifested/disposed of in compliance with applicable environmental regulations and safety requirements. The specialist inspects storage areas; provides technical guidance to personnel involved in the handling and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes (e.g., paints, varnishes, lacquers, solvents, fuels, and pesticides); and prepares required reports. Where items are disposed of through commercial contractors, the specialist may act as the contracting officer’s representative. The specialist evaluates and recommends action on permit applications for projects that involve routine changes (placement of structures or dredging or filling) to waterway or shoreline use. He/she conducts site inspections to make wetland determinations and gather information on conditions and potential mitigation measures; conducts public interest reviews (prepares public notices, responds to questions, coordinates public hearings); coordinates activities with other Federal and State agencies; and recommends issuance or denial of permits. The specialist performs site inspections at hazardous waste disposal, transport, or storage facilities where the problems typically are easy to identify and conventional in nature. He/she evaluates work practices, determines compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and recommends changes to control or eliminate potential or existing hazards or violations. The specialist investigates routine violations of pesticide laws and prepares enforcement actions. He/she gathers and examines evidence of violations; prepares warning letters, civil complaints, administrative orders, etc; and assembles case files for civil and criminal actions. The specialist negotiates and monitors State assistance grants and oversees program activities for a well-established State program to regulate underground storage tanks (USTs). He/she identifies basic program needs; provides assistance to State and local agencies on routine matters pertaining to the development, establishment, and continuance of program activities; participates in the development of project plans and specifications; analyzes documentation for conformance to requirements; and conducts portions of on-site assessment visits. The specialist performs a variety of activities involved in the development and implementation of relatively routine changes to regulations restricting the land disposal of hazardous wastes. He/she evaluates the feasibility and probable effects of proposed regulations; develops position papers, issue papers, workgroup materials, and briefing papers for higher-level managers; develops preamble language for proposed and final rules; and assists in developing policy guidance to implement the various provisions of environmental standards. U.S. Office of Personnel Management 9

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 Level 1-7 Œ 1250 Points In addition to the knowledge described at Level 1-6, the work at this level requires knowledge of program principles and procedures applicable to a wide range of duties in one or more program and/or functional areas, and a high level of skill in applying this knowledge in solving complex problems involving diverse aspects of environmental protection (e.g., performing investigations, inspections, or oversight activities of greater than average difficulty, as in a new program or a program that is being redefined, where procedures require frequent modification and change in order to incorporate revised theories and techniques); modifying or adapting established methods and procedures or making significant departures from previous approaches to solve similar problems; revising standard methods to improve or extend environmental administration and/or management systems; and evaluating, modifying, or adapting new methods to meet the requirements of particular situations. The work requires knowledge of statutes, regulations, licensing/permitting requirements, and precedent decisions governing environmental operations sufficient to use in planning, implementing, or monitoring environmental programs and services (e.g., determining needs, evaluating program effectiveness, assuring compliance with regulations). The work requires management, administrative, or coordinative knowledge and skill sufficient to provide advisory, reviewing, evaluating, educating and/or training, negotiating, or problem-solving services (as a “troubleshooter,” specialist, or coordinator) on specific problems, projects, programs, or functions (e.g., developing, coordinating, reviewing, and evaluating the implementation of work plans, including estimates of staffing needs, equipment, and supplies, and detailed instructions necessary to carry out the plans, for complex long-term toxic waste cleanup projects). Illustrations: The specialist manages the asbestos abatement, underground storage tank, solid waste management, and water and air quality management programs for a complex, multi mission military installation located in a rapidly expanding urban area that is beginning to legislate environmental issues. He/she develops and implements plans to accomplish program goals, modifies policies and procedures to comply with frequent changes to applicable laws and regulations, provides technical advice and assistance to installation managers, conducts studies and surveys to identify problems and recommends modifications to operations or obtains and oversees outside contractors to complete projects, and develops and/or reviews all environmental documentation relating to assigned program areas. The specialist serves as an environmental auditor and audit team leader to accomplish on-site surveillance of disposal contractors, purchasers of hazardous property, and facilities for the temporary storage of hazardous property throughout a multi state area. He/she obtains information on contractor, sales, and storage facility operations and processes; determines compliance with environmental regulations and policies, permit requirements, contract U.S. Office of Personnel Management 10

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Environmental Protection Specialist Series, GS-0028 TS-133 March 1995 clauses; evaluates the effectiveness of hazardous property management systems; and identifies practices that may subject the Government to potential for liability. The specialist coordinates the preparation of environmental impact documents for complex water and land projects (e.g., large dams, roads, aqueducts) in operation or under construction, on Government-owned land. He/she assembles and evaluates environmental and planning data (including biological and cultural resource studies prepared by subject-matter experts); prepares or coordinates the preparation of planning and environmental documents (environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, executive summaries, public involvement documents, and working papers); participates in public meetings, workshops, and hearings; and conducts inspections of construction, operations, and maintenance activities to insure compliance with applicable environmental documents. The specialist coordinates Clean Water Act compliance activities for all projects associated with a major agency water resource development project. He/she determines when permits are required, prepares or coordinates the preparation of the applications, resolves any problems to assure that permits are obtained at the right time, represents the agency in negotiations involving mitigation plans, and provides expert advice on Clean Water Act and related compliance issues. The specialist plans, coordinates, directs, and evaluates an environmental quality program to protect and conserve tribal resources in a multi state area. He/she provides technical oversight to environmental coordinators in field agencies that administer to the tribes and/or pueblos in the area; reviews or coordinates preparation of environmental documents for any project or activity that may impact on trust resources (e.g., new road or dam, waste incinerator, landfill, agricultural development, irrigation project, housing development, timber sales on land adjacent to the reservation, sand/gravel pit restoration, fertilizer plant, bingo hall, commercial development); develops procedural manuals and in-service training programs for agency and area personnel; advises agency and tribal officials on complex environmental issues; and monitors compliance activities. The specialist administers State pesticide enforcement and applicator certification grants in accordance with statutory requirements, national guidance, and regional priorities. He/she provides technical assistance to assigned States, reviews grant applications, negotiates work outputs with State officials, and provides program/compliance oversight and guidance. Assignments may include conducting investigations, inspections, and laboratory data audits. The specialist investigates and prepares complex cases of environmental violations and negotiates settlements or pursues enforcement actions. He/she conducts investigations; analyzes findings; proposes appropriate enforcement actions and settlements; coordinates with scientists/engineers, management officials, and others; and prepares necessary documentation. The specialist assists in developing complex regulations and operating guidance to implement Superfund programs (e.g., remediation standards and procedures, guidance on health/environmental risk assessment and remedial and removal management techniques). U.S. Office of Personnel Management 11

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