WA Dept. of Ecology Hiring a Hazard Assessment & Alternatives Assessment Specialist

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. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.

The Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction (HWTR) Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Hazard Assessment and Alternatives Assessment Specialist (Chemist 3) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Building (HQ) in Lacey, WA.

This position serves as a designated agency specialist for identifying safer chemical alternatives. Our work is focused on efforts that eliminate or replace toxic chemicals of concern in products and processes with high performing and cost effective alternatives. As a team member, your role is to help build a community of practice in the growing field of alternatives assessment. This position also supports the development of our Chemical Action Plans to address priority chemicals for toxic reduction strategies. This position plans alternatives assessment projects, develops guidance, represents the agency on interstate, national and international technical committees, and trains internal and external clients on hazard assessment and alternatives assessment methods. This position applies green chemistry and green engineering principles to the program's most complex chemical of concern challenges. This position consults with and advises management and staff on issues related to alternatives assessment.
We are looking for applicants with chemistry, chemical engineering, green chemistry or green engineering experience. We are seeking highly motivated individuals that can work with technical staff to advance cutting-edge programs related to safer chemicals and products. Applicants should have the ability to work effectively across agency programs, businesses, government and nongovernmental organizations. We are looking for applicants who can work independently in a timely fashion to identify safer chemical alternatives and to partner with organizations working to implement safer alternatives. Applicants should have the ability to work with diverse internal and external stakeholders to communicate and seek input in the rapidly advancing field of consumer product safety, green chemistry, and alternatives assessments. 

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To learn more about our agency, please visit our website at www.ecy.wa.gov.


The Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction (HWTR) Program is made up of people dedicated to fostering sustainability, preventing pollution, and promoting safe waste management. We do many different things in a coordinated approach to protect the people and environment of Washington from pollution from hazardous products and waste.

Some of the key work activities of the Hazard Assessment and Alternatives Assessment Specialist position are:

Serves as a designated specialist as the agency's authority for chemical hazard assessment and safer chemical alternatives assessment:

  • Promotes the development and use of innovative alternatives assessment guidance and tools.
  • Identifies the physical and chemical properties of chemicals, the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment, and hazards and risks to human health and the environment.

  • Identifies areas to conduct or invest in alternatives assessment research and development.

  • Coordinates alternatives assessment activities for the program, maintains the quality and rigor of Ecology's alternatives assessment protocols so that high technical standards are maintained, provides alternatives assessment technical assistance with businesses, agency personnel and other organizations to resolve complex chemistry challenges related to safer chemicals and processes.

  • Is responsible for supporting chemical hazard assessment methodologies, including the Quick Chemical Assessment Tool (QCAT) and GreenScreen.

  • Acts as the coordinator to maintain and update QCAT including internal and external coordination.

  • The position may plan future product or sector selection activities, section and program activities, training, and outreach related to alternatives assessment.

  • Provides mentoring, training, and consulting expertise on a section and program-wide basis relate to alternatives assessment.

  • Serves as an alternatives assessment or hazard assessment contracts officer, reviews and is responsible for analytical data quality.

  • Collaborates with state and federal agencies, universities, industry representatives, and non-governmental organizations on chemical hazard screening methodology and tools. Including presentations, participation in workgroups, advisory committees, and preparation of legislative reports.

Technical Assistance and Education

  • Provides internal and external technical assistance on alternatives assessment and chemistry-related topics to reduce the use and exposure to toxic chemicals.

  • Supports Toxics Reduction staff with education, training, and business assistance efforts in support of the Toxics Evolution Project.

  • Participates in presentations and workshops related to alternatives assessment innovation and tools.

  • Tracks state and federal legislation and policy development related to chemicals policy in the US and internationally to support the agency's priority on Preventing and Reducing Toxic Threats

Chemical Action Plans (CAPs)

  • Provides chemistry-related technical support for developing and implementing CAPs. Including conducting literature reviews, surveys, draft report preparation, responding to comments, and final report preparation.

  • Supports and assists with any chemistry-related recommendations that arise from a CAP.

  • Coordinates with the Department of Health, industry, nongovernmental organizations, trade associations, and other stakeholders as required.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be January 11, 2017.  In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before January 10, 2017. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


Required Qualifications
A Bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry or green chemistry specialty with at least four (4) years of experience as a working chemist.  


A Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college credit chemistry and four (4) years of experience as a working chemist.

Note: A Master's degree will substitute for two (2) years of required experience. A Ph.D. degree will substitute for three (3) years of the required experience provided a Bachelor's degree and the required college-level chemistry have been achieved.
Desired Qualifications

  • A degree in Chemical Engineering, Green Chemistry or Green Engineering is preferred.

  • Experience with Chemical Hazard Assessments.
  • A Green Chemistry or Chemical Stewardship Certificate from a recognized institute of higher learning.
  • Is able to produce high quality and accurate reports in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Is able to effectively coordinate activities, services, and schedules to ensure smooth and efficient operation of work.
  • Is able to make timely decisions without sacrificing quality even under ambiguous circumstances or when data is limited.
  • Is able to coordinate and lead groups in a manner that creates a cooperative and productive environment to effectively resolve problems or develop and implement plans.
  • Displays balanced thinking that combines analysis, wisdom, experience and perspective.
  • Is able to obtain, organize, and maintain data to support research and investigation.

To apply, see the job posting for details.