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Senior NPDES Permit Writer (Natural Resource Specialist 4)

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality strives to build and sustain an inclusive environment that embraces and values diversity. Employees at all levels of the agency work together to foster fairness, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, veteran, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or physical or mental disability. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed preferred qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualification. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply. If you are unsure as to whether or not you meet the qualifications of this position, please contact us to discuss your application.
Are you passionate about preserving, enhancing, and protecting Oregon’s environment? If so, please consider a career with the State of Oregon at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). At DEQ, employees have the opportunity to work with a dynamic and supportive team of mission-focused individuals tasked with maintaining, restoring, and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land, and water. Here is a video about DEQ:
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has a full-time opportunity for a Senior NPDES Permit Writer (Natural Resource Specialist 4). This position will be located in either Eugene, Salem, or Medford, Oregon. The finalist may choose their preferred work location.
Please consider joining an innovative team, and work to advance our agency’s mission to protect and improve Oregon’s environment. DEQ has a centralized policy and planning office and regional offices around the state to accomplish its mission. There are three regions (Northwest, Western, and Eastern); this position is in Western Region.
Staff in the regional offices work directly with Oregon communities and regulated facilities to protect public health and the environment. Specifically, the regions provide the following services: we issue air, land and water quality permits to limit pollution so our environment remains healthy for people and wildlife; ensure regulated facilities remain in compliance with their permits; investigate pollution reports from residents; respond to and clean up oil spills and other hazardous materials; provide expertise and technical assistance to regulated facilities and the public; and coordinate work with other governmental entities, industries, and the public.
What you will do!
You will develop complex or innovative National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits that originate in any part of Oregon. You will solve difficult NPDES permit-related problems, such as developing permitting strategies to implement state water quality standards or evaluating discharges to water-quality limited water bodies. In addition, you will review final permit drafts from statewide permit program staff for consistency and compliance with federal and state requirements, including internal technical and policy directives.
What’s in it for you!
The opportunity to work in a productive and creative environment where no two days are ever the same! We offer a competitive benefits package that offers comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plans for the employee and their qualified family members, as well as paid sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave, and 11 paid holidays a year. In addition, we offer membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and you have the opportunity to potentially receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). If you are passionate about Oregon's environment, apply today!
This is a full-time, AFSCME represented position.
This recruitment may be used to fill future vacancies.
What are we looking for?
Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in physical science, environmental science, natural resources, or a closely related field, AND 4 years of experience in a natural resource or environmental field (an equivalent combination of education and experience is acceptable). At least 1 year of experience at a technical or professional level performing activities in a natural resource program such as researching and analyzing data, conducting investigations, applying pertinent laws and regulations, or coordinating and monitoring project activities.
Candidates who are most competitive will also reflect the following:

  • Experience developing and implementing NPDES permits.
  • Ability to use computer modeling and statistical tools to analyze study results.
  • Ability to learn and follow laws, regulations, and permit procedures applicable to the type of wastewater being discharged.
  • Excellent project management skills: ability to plan, schedule, and coordinate large, complex permitting projects.
  • Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clear and concise reports.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally through email and in-person with DEQ staff, permittees (treatment plant operators, city managers, elected officials, etc.), consultants, the public, and other natural resources agencies, including communicating technical information.
Working Conditions:
Work is mostly in an office setting. This position requires travel by car, including overnight stays, to DEQ regional offices, public hearings, seminars, and conferences. There will be occasional inspections of and technical assistance to regulated facilities, which may include substantial walking and climbing of stairs to gain access to multi-level facilities.
How to Apply: (complete the application in full)
  • External Applicants Click on the “Apply” button and submit your application. Click this link for the External Candidate job aid, and view this video for additional information.
  • Internal Applicants (current State of Oregon employees): Apply through your employee Workday account.  View this job aid for assistance.
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Please Note: In addition to your related work experience and education, DEQ will use the desired attributes and minimum qualifications above, under the “What are we looking for?” section to determine whom to interview. Please make sure your attributes and minimum qualifications are clearly demonstrated in your application material.
Veterans Information:
DEQ provides veterans’ preference points to all eligible veterans. For more information on veterans’ preference, please visit Veterans Resources, or call the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs at: 1-800-692-9666. For privacy reasons, please do not attach veterans’ preference documents when initially applying. You will be asked to submit those at a later time.
Pay Equity:
As an employer, the State of Oregon complies with HB 2005, the Pay Equity Bill. We do not discriminate on the basis of protected class in the payment of wages, and we do not screen applicants on the basis of their current or past compensation. Please visit for more information. Please note: the salary listed is the non-PERS qualifying salary range. If the successful candidate is PERS qualifying, the salary range will reflect an additional 6.95% (6% goes to PERS and .95% covers payroll taxes). Please review the Classification and Compensation page for more details.
Work Authorization:
DEQ does not offer visa sponsorships. On the first day of employment, all hires will be required to complete the US Department of Homeland Security’s Form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States. In addition, hires will have three business days from their first day of employment to present documents that establish employment authorization and identity. DEQ is an E-Verify employer and will use E-Verify to confirm that hires are authorized to work in the United States.
Questions/Need Help?
If you have questions about the recruitment or need assistance to participate in the application process, please contact Maddy Ouye, Human Resources Analyst, at or (503) 347-5759. TTY users: please use the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.
Are you interested in an Informational Interview with DEQ to learn more about working at DEQ, how current DEQ employees got to where they are today, and what opportunities there may be for you at DEQ? Please go here and complete the form: Please note that informational interviews are not tied to an open recruitment. If you complete the form above, you will be put in the queue to have an informational interview with a Hiring Manager from our Informational Interview Registry.