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PFAS Coordinator - Planning Director, Job ID 69993

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Job Summary
This position will play a vital role in coordinating the state’s efforts to understand, characterize, mitigate, and manage the human health and environmental risks from releases of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This position exists to perform administrative and coordinative duties under the day-to-day direction of the Manager of the Water Assessment section and the overall policy priorities identified by the MPCA’s Assistant Commissioner for Land Policy and Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Commissioner for Water Policy and Agriculture.

The role of the PFAS coordinator is to promote and ensure integrated management of PFAS activities across MPCA and with other state agencies, and to serve as a communicator and conduit for information between the MPCA and external parties on issues related to PFAS. 

A primary function of the role is to serve as the lead of the PFAS staff lateral team – which includes staff from MPCA, MDH, and MNDNR – to promote an integrated response to PFAS issues, and to raise issues and make recommendations to the MPCA’s PFAS management team. The PFAS Coordinator will also be primary contact/liaison for internal MPCA programs involved with PFAS investigation and program development efforts and will assist in coordination and implementation of any initiatives undertaken by the agency lateral team. The coordinator will serve as a conduit for information between the MPCA and external parties, other states, multi-state associations, EPA, stakeholders, and legislators on issues related to PFAS.

The roles of this position are both comprehensive and technical in nature including providing information as an agency expert for legislative committees and presenting at other public forums; establishing goals and objectives; directing the activities of consultants, project leaders and other staff at all levels as they relate to implementation of the action plans; monitoring and coordinating the activities of partners and stakeholders, and evaluating policies and procedures for program administration; and monitoring and evaluation of federal and other state’s approaches, policies and initiatives.

Minimum Qualifications
Candidates must clearly demonstrate the following qualifications:

Four years of advanced-professional experience coordinating and developing statewide, long-range plans for environmental, natural resources, other related governmental area with knowledge of the principles and practices of diverse areas of environmental program management such as monitoring, risk assessment, remediation/restoration, and water quality. (Example: Advanced professional-level experience within MPCA is equivalent to Senior Environmental Specialist: Environmental Specialist 3, Hydro 2, SPA Sr./Planner Sr., or higher-level work)


Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, environmental science, environmental health, soils, geology, the aquatic sciences, environmental policy or related field and three years advanced professional environmental experience as described above. (A
Master’s degree in a field listed above would substitute for one year of experience.)

Demonstrated planning and project management skills.
Effective human relations skills to work with clientele and staff, problem-solving skills for resolving technical matters, and the ability to bring projects to a conclusion.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will not sponsor applicants for work visas. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Preferred Qualifications
Demonstrated understanding and knowledge of the principles of major environmental regulatory programs, federal and state laws.

Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgement and discretion in developing, applying, and interpreting policy and procedures.

Experience in policy and program development for emerging issues or contaminants of emerging concern.

Technical expertise and direct experience working on issues surrounding PFAS.

Ability to:
Communicate sufficiently to mobilize action to achieve organizational goals, to coach and advise other program staff, and to support programs in resolving differences of opinion and creating a collaborative path forward.

Communicate complicated information to interested individuals and groups, and provide information to committees, legislators, and in other public forums.

Work with a number of state agencies in the development of coordinating programs for long-range planning.

Establish and maintain effective working relations with public officials and planning groups.

Utilize effective science communication skills.

Skills in negotiation and consensus building as the position will work with diverse individuals and organizations to find solutions to complex public policy and environmental management problems when standard, traditional solutions are inappropriate or unacceptable.

Physical Requirements
Requires occasionally lifting and/or carrying such articles as file folders, ledgers, and small equipment. Although a sedentary job is defined as one which involves sitting, a certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in carrying out job duties.

About Pollution Control Agency
Our mission is to protect and improve the environment and human health. We work with many partners (citizens, communities, and businesses, all levels of government, environmental groups and educators) to prevent pollution, conserve resources, and to help ensure polluting does not have disproportionate impact on any groups of people. We emphasize work-life balance with flex schedules, compressed schedules, and options to telework for some.