ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST II
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is full-performance level technical, investigative, and regulatory
work involving the enforcement of various codes and regulations designed
to protect public health, safety, and the environment. Contacts include
owners, managers, designers and builders of licensed facilities, contractors,
business owners, or citizens to inform, advise and resolve problems encountered
in the field. Assistance is provided on demand to the public and clients.
An employee in this class performs inspections and investigations of public facilities (including insect and rodent problem areas or complaints); air, water, noise, or hazardous waste pollution incidents or complaints; or new or existing well and septic systems on a regular basis in an assigned area of the county, or in response to special requests or requests for permit approvals. The employee plans and carries out the work independently; only unusual situations are referred to the supervisor for assistance. Completed work may be evaluated for technical soundness, appropriateness or conformity to policy and other requirements. Guidelines consist of federal, state, and local codes and regulations and agency policy and procedures; however, existing guides are not always applicable for unusual conditions in the field. The employee uses judgment to locate and select appropriate guides, referring significant deviations to the supervisor for assistance. The complexity of the work is characterized by the analysis required to determine the interrelationship of construction or operation methods or procedures observed during inspections, investigations, or surveys which may have an adverse effect on the health or safety of the public and to make effective recommendations for the most practical settlement of adverse effects/practices in order to establish/maintain compliance with codes and regulations. This work directly affects the accomplishment of the program goal of protecting public health and the environment. The field environment of the work involves recurring exposure to dirt, grease, various chemicals, cold, heat and adverse weather conditions, which may require the occasional use of special or protective equipment. An employee may also be occasionally exposed to hostile or abusive behavior from licensees or contractors. The work requires long periods of standing and/or walking, sometimes over rough or uneven surfaces; repeated bending, stooping or crouching; and some lifting of objects up to 50 pounds.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
In All Program Areas
Notifies owners/operators of code violations; advises on methods of correcting deficiencies; negotiates and prepares timetable for compliance; conducts follow up investigations to monitor compliance.
Maintains records of all investigations and enforcement actions. Drafts documentation for cases being referred for revocation hearings or other legal action. Issues notices of violation or summonses. Prepares cases for prosecution. Testifies in hearings and court proceedings.
Investigates complaints; determines whether further action is required and initiates methods to resolve problems; corresponds with complainant as necessary.
Writes reports documenting inspections, investigations, and enforcement actions, writes and signs correspondence to all concerned parties as necessary.
Reviews current technologies. May make suggestions concerning new equipment and methods in terms of ability to meet county, state, and federal health and safety standards.
May recommend changes in codes, regulations and administrative guides. Suggests changes/improvements in inspection procedures.
Identifies the need for and drafts public information materials. Meets with civic and other groups to explain public health and safety standards.
Draws maps and sketches as necessary to document field investigation findings.
Assist clients and the public by telephone or in person with their requests for information
In assigned area of the County, schedules and conducts on site inspections and investigations of construction and operating standards in facilities and institutions, such as restaurants; markets; bakeries; nursing homes; group residential homes; public and private schools (including review of immunization records for students in private schools and enforcing requirements for immunizations); tanning salons; and massage establishments and public swimming pools, for the purpose of identifying public health and safety hazards.
Conducts on-site hazard analysis for food preparation and handling. Reviews menus and recipes to determine the critical food preparation steps and the proper methods to protect the food during these preparation steps. Evaluates layout, cleanliness, and condition of facility; observes procedures for display, storage, preparation, serving, and disposing of food. Conducts temperature monitoring of food and equipment and inspects and/or tests equipment; reviews records to insure all necessary records and certificates are maintained; takes samples of food, beverages and potable water as required. Conducts inspections of seasonal itinerant food vendors and special food service events for compliance with applicable regulations and issues licenses.
Exercises authority to suspend operating permit and temporarily close a facility that does not meet minimum safety and health standards or presents an imminent health hazard.
Recommends and may initiate license revocation proceedings or other enforcement action if facility continues to fail to meet minimum standards.
Conducts and mediates informal conferences with licensee and their legal representatives to obtain additional information and review compliance agreements; negotiates with both parties to reach a voluntary settlement.
Reviews and approves architectural drawings and equipment specifications for remodeling and initial construction of food service facilities and swimming pools. Conducts on site compliance inspections of new facilities prior to licensing to ensure that work has been done according to approved plans and complies with codes/regulations.
Investigates facilities and institutions alleged to be operating without a license. Determines nature of activity and recommends appropriate legal action, which may involve closing the facility.
Evaluates adulterated food and damaged equipment due to fire, electrical or water shut offs, sewage backups or other emergencies; exercises authority to embargo and dispose food of questionable quality. May be called after normal working hours to conduct such investigations.
Investigates alleged food borne illnesses; interviews victims, witnesses, employees, managers or owners as necessary; takes samples of food, beverages, etc.; identifies environmental and operating factors contributing to spoilage and contamination of food and directs owners/operators to implement control measures to prevent further illness.
Verifies compliance with life safety requirements at small group residential homes for the Department of Fire/Rescue Services as part of facility licensing.
Investigates complaints and enforces regulations concerning smoking, entertainment and video games, and tanning and massage establishments. Participates in bioterrorism preparedness planning and operations, as requested.
Performs related duties as required.
Receives and reviews complaints concerning insect and rodent infestations; plans and schedules work including complaint investigations, inspections to monitor compliance with county and state codes, and special projects; determines inspection priorities based on nature of complaints, other work assignments, and work plans established by supervisor.
Conducts inspections and investigations to enforce codes related to removal and prevention of infestation of rodents, insects, and other possible disease vectors; advises citizens and business owners having infestation problems of proper methods of eradication based upon technical knowledge of control techniques.
Ensures that rodenticides/pesticides are properly applied and that chemicals do not adversely affect the public, animals, or the environment.
Investigates cases of chemical poisoning resulting from the use of rodenticide/pesticides; obtains chemical samples and evaluates laboratory results.
Coordinates and administers the County's mosquito control program; assists in West Nile Virus control response.
Instructs and provides technical guidance and expertise to employees in other organizational units regarding methods for identifying and measuring and/or correcting vector problems.
Conducts inspections and investigations of food preparation; layout, cleanliness and condition of food service facilities; and swimming pools on a routine basis in a small area of the County or in response to citizen complaints. Reviews plans and architectural drawings for new food service facilities and swimming pools for compliance with regulations and conducts on-site compliance inspections. Reviews menus and recipes to determine critical food preparation steps and ensure protection of food at critical steps, monitors food temperature and operation of equipment, review required records and certificates, and collect food, beverage and potable water samples. Investigates food borne disease outbreaks, interviewing involved parties, obtaining and transporting samples, directing owners or managers to implement control measures. Inspects swimming pools prior to opening and during seasonal operation for compliance with local codes concerning operation and safety.
Performs related work as required.
Enforces laws, regulations and ordinances related to air pollution, water quality, hazardous waste, and noise control.
Investigates complaints of noise pollution from such sources as early morning or evening construction work, musical bands, stereos, air conditioners, etc. Measures noise levels by using a sound level meter, recorder, noise analyzer, pure tone generator, amplification and related equipment. Evaluates results of testing.
Investigates air pollution complaints including refuse fires, construction fires, stack emissions (i.e., manufacturing/industrial), incinerators, etc.; determines whether toxic materials are being burned and whether appropriate and effective pollution control methods are being used.
Conducts air pollution source sampling, both indoor and outdoor, using sampling equipment. Responds to complaints and provides technical assistance on interior air quality issues. Conducts in-house trouble-shooting surveys.
Investigates requests for open burning permits; checks for safety precautions, distance from other buildings, toxic materials or chemicals; issues permits when appropriate.
Evaluates applications for Air Quality Control Construction and Operating permits for technical and regulatory requirements. Conducts inspection to ensure compliance with permit requirements and regulations. Conducts smoke evaluations as part of permit inspections or in response to complaints.
Conducts premise audits at facilities registered or permitted for Air Quality or Hazardous Materials purposes for compliance with all laws and regulations previously mentioned. Works with facility owners/managers to establish/maintain compliance.
Conducts water quality investigations and enforcement activities with State officials; identifies cause and effect of contamination of storm water, wells and ground water; surveys streams; conducts dye tests, takes water samples; drafts reports of findings.
Performs monthly water quality sampling and monitoring at observation wells and stream locations at Montgomery County landfill sites, including field measurements with properly maintained and calibrated equipment. Obtains monthly water quality samples at various private domestic (potable water) wells in the vicinity of the landfill sites.
Investigates hazardous waste disposal and spills; identifies nature and source of hazardous materials; recommends methods for proper disposal or removal of hazardous materials; coordinates such investigations with the Fire and Police Departments and other appropriate agencies.
Maintains and calibrates equipment and instruments.
May conduct initial investigation of complaints of radiological contamination.
Performs related duties as related.
Well and Septic
Inspects construction of new or existing primarily potable water wells or septic systems to determine compliance with County and State codes and regulations and to ensure protection of the groundwater resource.
Conducts percolation tests and water table observations, examining plans in the field to confirm the accuracy of the plans provided and the proper location of test holes. Evaluates soil and rock conditions to determine suitability for septic system installation. Accurately records test data and observations and consolidates data for the plan review process. Conducts specialized testing and soil evaluation for innovative and alternative on-site sewage disposal systems.
Collects and delivers well water samples for laboratory analyses, accurately recording pertinent data. Evaluates laboratory results to determine appropriate course of action (i.e., close permit, disinfect well water, install treatment device, etc.).
May advise homeowners/sellers regarding well water quality analysis and treatment options to mitigate undesirable or unsafe water quality.
May conduct review of record plats and building addition, single lot and subdivision plans concerning wells and septic systems. May assist customers at walk-up counter and answers questions from engineers, surveyors and the public regarding well and septic permits, percolation tests and septic system design. May design septic systems and determine placement of wells on lots, under the supervision of higher level employees. May write and revise well and septic permits for installation of systems for single family homes or commercial properties. May provide advice to landowners and developers regarding siting of percolation tests and subdivision and permit requirements.
Responds to homes with failing septic systems. Evaluates soil, sets up and conducts percolation tests, evaluates results and writes permit for reconstruction. Works with installer to expedite reconstruction.
Conducts sanitary survey investigations in various areas of the County to determine if groundwater contamination or sewage system failures exist. Collects data and recommends appropriate methods of abatement of health hazards determined in surveys. Interviews and advises homeowners regarding survey and problem resolution.
Inspects well water treatment devices for proper installation and function.
Inspects scavenger vehicles annually and as necessary to ensure safe disposal of sewage.
Posts vacant houses with septic system failures as unfit for occupancy.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: One (1) year of experience in environmental health investigatory/enforcement
work after having obtained Registration as an Environmental Sanitarian
(or equivalent registration).
Education: : None beyond that required to obtain Registration as an Environmental Sanitarian in the State of Maryland.
Equivalency: Three years of experience equivalent to that performed by Registered Environmental Sanitarians can be substituted for experience.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Considerable knowledge of local, Maryland State, and federal laws, standards, and regulations governing environmental and/or public health standards.
Considerable knowledge of and ability to apply principles, practices, and concepts of environmental and/or public health.
Considerable knowledge of and skill in applying methods and techniques of fact finding, analysis, and resolution of complex problems.
Knowledge of a technical specialty related to the field of assignment may be required.
Knowledge of and skill in the use of computers and applications sufficient to perform the work required of the position.
Skill in proper sampling techniques and in operating equipment necessary in area of specialty (i.e., water and food sampling, velometer, sound level meter (Type II or better), air sampling equipment, etc.).
Ability to complete necessary coursework to maintain State of Maryland Board of Sanitarian Registration or to acquire necessary certifications (i.e., asbestos control, noise control, hazardous materials).
Ability to effectively communicate and to handle communications and negotiations with tact, resourcefulness, and good judgment, even in confrontational situations.
Ability to distinguish differences in black and white smoke plumes sufficient to obtain approved certification in plume evaluation (when position requires).
Ability to read architectural plans or topographic plats or plans and evaluate compliance with environmental health standards (when position requires).
Ability to distinguish color differences in the soil profile and to use the Munsell color chart (when position requires).
Ability to obtain significant knowledge of the business/operating practices of the businesses/industries covered by the laws being enforced.
Ability to respond to urgent or emergency situations at other than normal working hours.
Ability to analyze and interpret data and prepare comprehensive reports.
Ability to lift objects up to 50 pounds (when position requires).
Possession of Registration as an Environmental Sanitarian in the State
Possession of a Certified Pest Control operator's license (when position requires).
Possession of a valid motor vehicle operator's license.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam II
(Core Exam I if required to have confined space entry training)
Class Established: March, 1989
Revised: August, 1989
June 1995 (M)
August 2002 (M)