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SMA Compliance Program Planner (Environmental Planner 3)

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen
Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have 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, Ecology is a good fit.

The Department of Ecology is recruiting for a SMA Compliance Program Planner (Environmental Planner 3) in the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) Program. This position will be located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey and will work with a talented and dedicated team of people working in shoreline, coastal, and floodplain management. 
This position provides expertise and consultation to Ecology staff, state agencies, and local governments on shoreline armoring issues; guides program efforts to improve the implementation of armoring regulations; develops strategies and processes to insure compliance with local Shoreline Master Programs; and represents the Department of Ecology in various multi-agency efforts focusing on shoreline armoring in Puget Sound.

We are looking for applicants with a strong background or understanding of shoreline management in Washington State. Applicants should have strong analytical and project management skills and the ability to develop thoughtful, creative, and effective solutions to challenging shoreline management issues. They should also have excellent oral and written communication skills and be able to build and maintain cooperative relationships with agency staff, tribes, local governments, and stakeholders. Our ideal candidate will have hands-on experience in shoreline permitting and compliance. 

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.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts
Ecology's mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment, and promote the wise management of our air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations. Our goals are to prevent pollution, clean up pollution, and support sustainable communities and natural resources.

The mission of the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) Program is to support community conservation efforts for our shorelands, wetlands, and floodplains.
This associate planner position reports to the Coastal/Shorelands Section Manager, and serves as an independent project manager and is responsible for leading the development and implementation of a statewide SMA compliance and effectiveness program.
Some of the key work activities of the SMA Compliance Program Planner position are:
Develops program strategies and processes that help determine whether shoreline permits are being administered correctly and development conditions are being followed by applicants. Acts as a technical liaison with SEA regional staff, WDFW, and local governments to develop and implement the program.
  • Develops resources and tools for SEA staff to prioritize focus areas for compliance review and for tracking and evaluating compliance.
  • Develops policy options and decision support tools for addressing non-compliance.
  • Creates feedback loops to promote learning for Ecology and local government on how to improve overall compliance with the SMA (e.g. clearer permit conditions, follow-up correspondence/site visits, etc.)
Develops implementation strategies and resources to support effective shoreline permitting and compliance.
  • Represents the department providing additional outreach and training to empower local governments to effectively administer their shoreline regulations.   
  • Develops an "audit/assistance" program in collaboration with local governments. Coordinates with SEA Regional staff to establish a consistent framework to use when visiting local governments to talk about their Shoreline Master Program. Promotes on-going regulatory coordination between local and state agencies with expertise.
Develops and implements other strategies for evaluating effectiveness of SMPs and insuring compliance with SMA.
  • Analyzes and characterizes actions authorized through SDP exemptions. Depending on the results develop potential approaches for tracking these actions.
  • Develops SEA strategies and processes for evaluating/investigating non-permitted shoreline actions, including: assisting regions with evaluating/triaging ERTS complaints; coordinating with SEA Enforcement Coordinator and other agencies; and investigating priority complaints.
  • Develops strategies for monitoring to develop effectiveness/feedback loops on Ecology actions related to CUP/VAR reviews.
  • Consults with WDFW and other resource agencies on how to use mapping and analysis tools (e.g. High Resolution Change Detection) to evaluate the effectiveness of Shoreline Master Programs. 
This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be September 30, 2019. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before September 29, 2019. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.

Required Qualifications:
A Master's degree or above with a 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, 


Two (2) years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development. 


A Bachelor's degree in a field listed above or in a natural science


Four (4) years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development.


One (1) year of experience as an Environmental Planner 2, provided a Master's degree as described above has been obtained. 

Desired Qualifications:
  • At least two (2) years of experience in administering Washington's Shoreline Management Act.
  • At least two (2) years of experience working for a state, federal, local, or tribal resource or planning agency.
  • Experience organizing, facilitating, or leading professional work groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to write clear reports and papers that effectively communicate to the intended audience
Special Requirements / Conditions of Employment:
  • Must possess a valid driver's license.
Why work for Ecology?

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 the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.
*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information
Supplemental Information

Application Instructions

In order to be considered, applicants MUST attach the following documents as an attachment to their application:
  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required/desired qualifications of this position.
  • A Resume.
  • Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume" may disqualify you from further consideration.
Department of 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.

Other Information

If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Brian Lynn at: Please do not contact Brian to inquire about the status of your application.

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.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology.

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 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.