The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Job Details

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a consortium of 26 cities and water districts that provides drinking water to nearly 19 million people in Southern California. Metropolitan’s mission is to provide its service area with adequate and reliable supplies of high quality water to meet current and future needs in an environmentally and economically responsible way. Metropolitan’s facilities include the 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct, five water treatment plants with a combined capacity of 2.3 billion gallons per day, nine surface water reservoirs, 800 miles of pipeline, and 16 hydroelectric power plants.


Job Summary

The Environmental Planning Section currently has one (1) opening for a Principal Environmental Specialist.

As a Principal Environmental Specialist within the Environmental Planning Section you will serve as a subject matter expert with all matters involving compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, state and federal endangered species acts, and regulatory permitting pursuant to the Clean Water Act and the California Fish and Game Code.

You will act as lead for the development, implementation, training and communication of environmental strategies and programs and/or will serve as a highly technical expert for specialized and complex environmental planning programs in compliance with all applicable regulations, policies, and procedures related to environmental planning and management.

You will also develop regulatory and legislative standards for complex environmental programs and may exercise technical and functional supervision over assigned staff with responsibilities in the following areas: preparing and reviewing California Environmental Quality Act documents and technical reports, developing and overseeing mitigation monitoring plans for projects, determining the need for and obtaining regulatory permits, preparing environmental specifications and reviewing construction drawings, conducting environmental awareness training, participating in field visits and field surveys, construction monitoring, preparing regulatory permit applications, and recommending appropriate environmental avoidance and minimization measures and feasible mitigation to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local, laws and regulations.

1. Assists in the general administration of the organization including establishing and tracking organizational goals and objectives and monitoring and reporting of performance standards and business plan objectives; ensuring compliance with and completing administrative requirements such as time sheets, travel reimbursements, leave requests, purchase requisitions, and invoice payments; and monitoring budgets and overseeing consultants.

2. Assists in leading staff and management of the organization including the assignment and monitoring of workloads and establishing priorities; assessing employees’ work performance and competencies, training, and mentoring; and ensuring that work products including environmental documents, environmental permits, and other related environmental work products are accomplished efficiently in accordance with acceptable standards for quality and technical integrity, and in compliance with all applicable policies, rules, regulations, and laws.

3. Negotiates with environmental regulatory agencies and local government on environmental requirements for existing and proposed activities and/or operations to ensure that compliance issues and Metropolitan’s interests and needs are met.

4. Reviews or prepares Metropolitan board letters and required documents and responses to regulatory agencies to ensure a strong legal basis in support of Metropolitan’s planning activities, existing facilities, and water-related interests.

5. Monitors and participates in legislative and rulemaking process; develops recommendations for Metropolitan’s legislative policies regarding requirements for environmental resource management in order to ensure that Metropolitan’s existing and future planning activities and operations are not adversely affected.

6. Directs the development and presentation of related educational programs and status reports for managers, supervisors, staff, directors, member agencies, and professional associations to increase awareness in the environmental planning and management areas.

7. Develops and maintains mutually beneficial and positive working relationships with member and regulatory agency representatives to provide ongoing communication and compliance with common environmental compliance objectives.

Work Schedule: 9/80, Alternate Fridays Off

Job Requirements

Education and Experience: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in environmental science, environmental engineering, biology, planning, or other directly related environmental or social sciences field and eight years of progressively responsible experience in environmental compliance, including two years at the Senior Environmental Specialist level; or a master’s degree from an accredited college or university in environmental science, environmental engineering, biology, planning, or other directly related environmental or social sciences field and six years of increasingly responsible public sector, water industry, public utility, or related experience, including two years at the Senior Environmental Specialist level.

Additional relevant environmental fields also include: environmental studies and geography

Relevant Experience is defined as: work experience with environmental planning functions and environmental regulations including, but not limited to, the California Environmental Quality Act, Fish and Game Code, Clean Water Act, state and federal endangered species acts, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Required Knowledge of: California Environmental Quality Act; the endangered species and wetlands protection laws and regulations; regulatory permit requirements; general management and supervisory concepts and techniques; project management skills; and computer software such as Microsoft Word, Access, and Excel.

Required Skills and Abilities to: Manage a diverse workforce; manage projects and direct multi-disciplinary teams; develop strategies and creative solutions to complex planning and environmental problems; effectively articulate and implement organizational goals and objectives; prepare detailed project plans and reports; conduct sensitive discussions and negotiations with external agency representatives; prepare and deliver clean, concise, well-organized, and interesting presentations to a wide variety of audiences having varying levels of technical knowledge; establish effective and cooperative working relationships with all levels of representatives of governmental and member agencies and the public; assess environmental issues and determine compliance requirements; assess resource needs, establish priorities and schedules, and direct staff and consultants to accomplish work requirements; lead negotiations with regulatory agencies and other third parties on environmental related issues; and assist in the development of planning strategies, interpreting and directing compliance with Metropolitan policies, and evaluating and reporting performance and business plan objectives.

License: Valid California Class C Driver License that allows you to drive in the course of your employment is required at time of application. 

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met or may be encountered by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands: The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking; standing; bending; carrying of light items such as paper, books, or small parts; driving an automobile, etc. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.

Work Environment: The work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of such places as offices, meeting and training rooms, libraries, and residences or commercial vehicles, e.g., use of safe work practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls, observance of fire regulations and traffic signals, etc. The work area is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated. May travel to various sites requiring overnight stay.

Vision Requirements: No special vision requirements



• Competitive compensation
• Excellent medical, dental, life, vision plans.
• Deferred compensation in the form of a 401(k) plan (with matching contribution) and a 457 plan.
• Retirement benefits under the California Public Employees' Retirement System
• Tuition reimbursement
• Training and advancement opportunities
• On-site fitness center
• Excellent working environment
• Hub of public transportation: rail, subway, buses, and taxis

• Public transportation reimbursements and van pools


For more information on MWD benefits, please use the following link:

This job announcement has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work being performed by employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job. To receive a copy of the complete job description, please send an email to

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Qualified individuals with disabilities, who need a reasonable accommodation during the application or selection process, please call (213) 217-7738 or email

MWD is a Federal and State EO employer – Veterans/Disabled and other protected categories


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