Senior Environmental Resources Specialist

Orange County Waste & Recycling

San Juan Capistrano, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $80,537.60 - $108,492.80 Annually
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive a salary range increase on the following date:   
Effective July 1, 2022 – 3.5% increase Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate's qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization. 

This recruitment is open to the public and is being held to establish an eligible list to fill current and future Senior Environmental Resources Specialist vacancies with OC Waste & Recycling and/or other County of Orange agencies. This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower classifications. 

This recruitment is open to the public and will remain open on a continuous basis until the needs of the County are met.  Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply immediately.

The County of Orange is a regional service provider and planning agency whose core businesses include public safety, public health, environmental protection, regional planning, public assistance, social services and aviation. Click here for more information.   

OC Waste & Recycling (OCWR) is an organization dedicated to providing waste management services, protecting the environment, and promoting recycling to ensure a safe and healthy community for current and future generations. OCWR operates three active regional landfills, four household hazardous waste collection centers, monitors 20 closed landfills, and administers municipal solid waste collection, recycling and planning for County unincorporated areas. OCWR is a nationally renowned waste management department responsible for a network of sanitary landfills. OCWR is committed to its exceptional record of regulatory compliance and excellence.

OCWR is looking for two experienced Senior Environmental Resources Specialists, one in the specialized area of Biological Compliance and Restoration and the other in Air Regulations.

Senior Biological Compliance and Restoration Specialist - CEQA/Habitat Compliance
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Habitat Compliance Group within OCWR oversees the permitting, installation, maintenance, and monitoring of performance standards of OCWR's habitat mitigation sites, which are established as compensatory mitigation for impacts from landfill development, expansion, and operational activities. Compensatory mitigation is required for unavoidable impacts to the natural environment and habitats, and is achieved through the permitting, restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation of natural habitats, and the in-perpetuity maintenance and management of these mitigation sites. The CEQA and Habitat Compliance Group also ensures departmental compliance with CEQA and various other environmental regulations, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Fish & Game Code, Clean Water Act, and applicable Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCP)/Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP).

The Senior Biological Compliance and Restoration Specialist will support OCWR's habitat management and restoration program for the South Region landfills, and will be primarily based in San Juan Capistrano, though may support other regions as needed. The position will be responsible for:

  • Providing biological compliance and habitat restoration expertise for OCWR Landfills in support of landfill development and operations.
  • Assisting with permitting and regulatory coordination for new and ongoing mitigation projects associated with landfill development.
  • Providing oversight of installation, maintenance, management, and monitoring of new and existing habitat mitigation sites.
  • Preparing routine reports documenting habitat mitigation areas status as required by regulatory permits.
  • Reviewing construction and operational plans and documenting and advising on impact avoidance and minimization measures for adherence to all applicable biological permit conditions.
  • Training OCWR landfill staff in identifying and appropriate avoidance of native habitats and species in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or permits.
  • Evaluating seed and plant materials from vendors for use in mitigation areas.
  • Reviewing documents and specifications prepared by contractors, consultants, and vendors for compliance with permit conditions, mitigation measures, and Best Management Practices. 
  • Closely monitoring every phase of construction at the assigned landfill for compliance with biological permits and plans.
  • Creating maps, exhibits, reports, and presentations to inform decision makers, state and federal resource agency staff, including use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or other aerial mapping software.
  • This position may also assist with public outreach, education, and site tours.
  • Other duties as assigned

Senior Air Regulations Specialist - Regulatory Support
The Regulatory Support Group within OCWR leads and navigates complex air regulations for Title V facilities in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) basin, and complying with SCAQMD, California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, and capable of working independently or as part of a larger team with County or with private sector staff and engineers.

The Senior Air Regulations Specialist will support OCWR's Regulatory Support program for its Headquarters location, and will be primarily based in Santa Ana, though may support other regions as needed. The position will be responsible for:

  • Providing air regulation support to the Landfill Regions.
  • Preparing and/or reviewing and submitting reports to regulatory agencies.
  • Preparing regulatory permits and renewals.
  • Leading regulatory approvals for landfill pilot projects.
  • Collaborating with landfills to resolve compliance issues.
  • Supporting OCWR with projects requiring air permitting.
  • Reviewing and commenting on proposed legislation and regulations.
  • Communicating with regulators and stakeholders.
  • Representing OCWR as a Subject Matter Expert in regulatory hearings and workshops.
  • Administering various service contracts.
  • Performing root cause analysis on regulatory and safety incidents.
  • Developing, maintaining, and optimizing systems and procedures to ensure an effective environmental program.
  • Providing regulatory and other training to OCWR team members.
  • Giving presentations to a variety of audiences.
  • Other duties as assigned

In addition to the minimum qualifications, the ideal candidates shall possess knowledge and experience in the following core competencies:
Technical Knowledge

  • Ability to interpret and understand federal, state, and local legislation, policies, regulations and issues that pertain to the assignment
  • Preparation of informational, statistical, scientific, technical and compliance reports
  • Ability to read and comprehend technical documents and specifications  
  • Contract management

Senior Biological Compliance and Restoration Specialist - CEQA/Habitat Compliance 

  • Knowledge of California native plants, native plant communities, non-native and invasive plants; and proper planting and irrigation techniques
  • Knowledge of Southern California fish and wildlife species
  • Knowledge of CEQA as it relates to biological resources
  • Knowledge of federal and State regulations, including Endangered Species Acts, California Fish and Game Code, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Clean Water Act, and familiarity with Habitat Conservation Plans and Natural Communities Conservation Plans frameworks
  • Ability to interpret topographic maps and aerial photographs and use GIS/GPS and/or other aerial software applications
  • Familiarity with construction drawings and specifications related to biological issues;
  • Knowledge of standard habitat impact minimization and protection techniques
  • Resource agency negotiation, permitting and mitigation experience
  • Field staff, contractor, and consultant supervisory experience

Sr. Air Regulations Specialist - Regulatory Support 

  • Knowledge of CEQA as it pertains air permitting
  • Knowledge of air emission calculations and reporting, source testing protocols, greenhouse gas calculations and reporting
  • Knowledge of SCAQMD Rule 1150.1 requirements 
  • Experience with SCAQMD Permitted Equipment Emergency Breakdown Reporting (Rule 430) 
  • Experience with Annual Emissions Reporting 
  • Knowledge of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)
  • Knowledge of fleet vehicle rules and regulations

Problem Solving and Analysis

  • Ability to identify, research, evaluate, estimate, accurately interpret, and apply technical data and policy information
  • Use sound reasoning and judgment to seek out resources and/or consult with others to gain and share information to arrive at conclusions and find alternative solutions to complex problems
  • Effectively identify and use department resources to resolve issues
  • Analyze problems and adopt effective courses of action
  • Proactively plan and align all undertakings with organizational vision
  • Effectively manage competing priorities while meeting established deadlines
  • Demonstrate innovation and creativity with a solution focus

Effective Communication | Collaboration 

  • Ability to effectively communicate complex topics, both verbally and in writing using both technical and non-technical language, to a variety of audiences of varying levels of understanding
  • Ability to supervise/manage other staff and/or direct the efforts of staff who are not direct reports, including outside contractors/consultants to meet project/program objectives
  • Maintain open and productive dialogue to facilitate resolutions, improvements and inclusion
  • Review and check documents for accuracy and quality of work and convey feedback and direction in an effective manner
  • Promote open, candid information sharing across organizational boundaries

Resolution | Decision Making

  • Ability to resolve conflicts in a positive and constructive manner
  • Work independently and maintain flexibility among changing assignments and priorities
  • Anticipate and minimize unexpected issues and situations by promptly resolving and addressing the issue and/or situation with evidence/based decision-making strategies
  • Accurately identify issues, impacts, and solutions
  • Implement/apply logical and creative thought processes in developing solutions according to written/oral specifications and/or instructions
  • Effectively and efficiently produce results consistent with program objectives

By date of appointment, possession of a valid California Driver's License, Class C or higher is required, which must be maintained throughout employment.
Click here to view the minimum qualifications and physical requirements for a Senior Environmental Resources Specialist. Note: The minimum qualifications have been modified from six (6) years of technical experience to (4) years of technical experience for this position. In addition, no supervisory experience is needed. 

Please note, foreign degrees require an evaluation of U.S. equivalency by an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Services (N.A.C.E.S.) 


Please visit the following link to apply and for more information:

Human Resource Services (HRS) screens all application materials for minimum qualifications. After screening, candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be referred to the next step in the recruitment process. All candidates will be notified via email of their status in the process.
Structured Oral Interview (SOI) I (Weighted 100%)
Applicants will be interviewed and rated by a qualification and appraisal panel of job knowledge experts. Each applicant's rating will be based on responses to a series of structured questions designed to elicit the applicant's qualifications for the job.
Based on the department's needs, the selection procedure listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.
Eligible List
Once the assessment has been completed, HRS will establish an eligible list of candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies. Only the most successful candidates will be placed on the eligible list.
Veterans Employment Preference
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click here (Download PDF reader) to review the policy. 


Please see below for important information regarding COVID-19 related requirements. 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and laws, regulations, and policies regarding COVID-19 are subject to change. The County of Orange is required to comply with all applicable State or County Public Health Orders, some of which require vaccination or testing as follows:

  • Workers, who provide services in certain Medical or High-Risk Settings, will be required to provide proof of full vaccination from COVID-19 or to wear a mask and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
  • Workers, who provide services in certain Health Care Facilities or in a correctional facility or detention center where health care is provided, will be required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated and boosted.  (Workers may be exempt from this requirement based on religious beliefs or a qualifying medical reason; however, if exempted, they will be required to wear a mask and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.)

The position for which you are applying may be required to adhere to any applicable State or County Public Health Orders.  You will receive notification of any requirement as it applies to a position.  

Email is the primary form of notification during the recruitment process. Please ensure your correct email address is included in our application and use only one email account.
NOTE: User accounts are established for one person only and should not be shared with another person. Multiple applications with multiple users may jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply.
Candidates will be notified regarding their status as the recruitment proceeds via email through the site. Please check your email folders, including spam/junk folders, and/or accept emails ending with "," "" and "" If your email address should change, please update your profile at
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Click here for additional Frequently Asked Questions. For specific information pertaining to this recruitment please contact Susana Gamboa at or by phone at (714) 834-4655. 


Orange County, as an equal employment opportunity employer, encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.