Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Senior Environmental Specialist (#20002682)

General Statement

Under general direction, supervises the operations and/or administration of a sub-unit in the Field Services, the Enforcement or the User Charge section.

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Supervises and/or participates in the review of technical proposals submitted by Users and the review of District inspection and sampling data; develops evaluation criteria.
  • Supervises and participates in the determination of Industrial User's compliance with regulations; conducts technical meetings with industrial user management regarding compliance measures; directs the execution of appropriate regulatory actions; tracks team and/or unit activities.
  • Supervises and participates in Show Cause hearings; participates in litigation brought before Circuit Court; may serve as expert witness.
  • Prepares Industrial Waste Division Administrative and Section activity reports; prepares periodic compliance reports on IWD operations as mandated by the USEPA.
  • Oversees the preparation of correspondence in response to public inquiries including Freedom of Information Act requests and user inquiries pertaining to User Charge and enforcement issues.
  • Calculates User Charge rates; reviews User Charge accounts to ensure adherence to reporting and collection requirements.
  • Conducts quality control/quality assurance of inspection and sampling study reports.
  • Assists in coordinating User Charge functions with field, billing and legal personnel; supervises and participates in the analysis and resolution of appeals of User Charge billings; schedules and participates in Director and Board appeal meetings; prepares appeal determinations.
  • Maintains records and computerized monitoring systems for User Charge appeals and/or ordinance enforcement activities.
  • Coordinates and performs special projects involving the compilation and analysis of data pertaining to various District and/or User operations; prepares project reports and cost analyses.
  • Responds to chemical spills and environmental emergencies in industrial settings; directs IWD activities in emergency response to public safety situations and other agency or citizen complaints; Field Services personnel may be required to respond to special investigations and other work-related activities during non-working hours.
  • Assigns, supervises and reviews work; ensures staff compliance with District policies and procedures including Personnel Rules and Administrative Procedures; completes performance reviews; addresses employee complaints and grievances; may recommend employment actions such as hiring, transfer, suspension, promotion or discharge.

Other Job Functions

  • May conduct complex field inspections of User facilities.
  • Performs research and special projects as assigned and prepares related reports.
  • May provide coverage for routine administrative activities in the absence of the Supervising Environmental Specialist.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

Positions in this classification involve a combination of office work and work in the field.  Office work is performed in a typical office environment and requires the use of standard office equipment including computers.  Field work is performed outside the office and may involve exposure to industrial equipment or operations, contact with hazardous or toxic material and exposure to a variety of weather conditions.  Field work may also require the operation of a District vehicle.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of general environmental principles, practices and techniques.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, processes and procedures involved in industrial waste treatment, sewage treatment, flow measurement and monitoring.
  • Thorough knowledge of intergovernmental and District standards and requirements as to Industrial Waste Division procedures and regulations.
  • Ability to supervise and participate in industrial waste engineering enforcement and monitoring activities of a complex nature.
  • Ability to read, interpret, apply and enforce controlling laws, ordinances and regulations and compose supporting procedures for internal and external use.
  • Ability to participate in the technical development and utilization of computerized databases.
  • Ability to plan and supervise the work of subordinate analysts and administrative staff.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with users, outside agencies and other District personnel.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university majoring in environmental engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, biology or a closely related field and four years of full-time, post-degree experience in industrial waste activities.


Graduate study in the designated fields may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of two years.  Sub-professional technical or professional experience in engineering, scientific, treatment plant operations or industrial waste activities may be substituted for the required education to a maximum of two years.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as an Associate Civil Engineer or Environmental Research Scientist; or, two years of such service as an Environmental Specialist.
  • Civil service status in one of the foregoing classes.

CLASS: 20002682; EST: 1/1/2005; REV: 2/1/2023;