Air Quality Specialist (CEQA)

21865 Copley Drive
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

invites applications for the position of:
Air Quality Specialist (CEQA)

An Equal Opportunity Employer

SALARY: $3,113.63 – $3,963.29 Biweekly
$80,954.40 – $103,045.56 Annually
OPENING DATE: 05/28/19

CLOSING DATE: 06/18/19 05:01 PM


South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) is one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated environmental regulatory agencies in the nation.  We serve a four-county region that includes all of Orange County, and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, home to approximately 17 million people.  South Coast AQMD’s headquarters is located in Diamond Bar, 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, at the junction of the 57 and 60 freeways.  With a highly diverse and dedicated “Clean Air Team” of over 900 budgeted positions, an annual budget (FY 2019-20) of $170.9 million, South Coast AQMD’s mission is to protect public health from air pollution through a comprehensive program of planning, regulation, education, enforcement, compliance incentives, technical innovation and promotion of public understanding of air quality issues.  The South Coast AQMD is obliged to ensure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a lead agency for rule projects and as a lead agency or responsible agency for permit projects. In addition, as a service to other lead agencies in our jurisdiction, the South Coast AQMD will comment and advise on air quality analyses in CEQA documents that are submitted for review.
The Air Quality Specialist is the experienced, journey-level class in the professional air pollution control series and requires directly related professional experience, as outlined under Minimum Qualifications.  Incumbents perform responsible, varied and complex work.  In addition to the Examples of Duties outlined below, these positions may provide oral testimony to local cities, counties and other public agencies regarding air pollution control strategies and rules of air quality analyses.


The South Coast AQMD seeks an Air Quality Specialist to fill for a vacancy in the CEQA unit of Planning, Rule Development and Area Sources (PRDAS) Division.  The primary responsibility of the CEQA unit is to conduct environmental evaluations which involve preparing and/or reviewing various air quality analyses and health risk assessments, writing CEQA documents for South Coast AQMD rule development projects and overseeing the preparation of CEQA documents for air permit projects.

Specialized Duties for the Air Quality Specialist in the CEQA unit include (and may not be limited to):

  • Conducting or overseeing the preparation of robust CEQA documents that contain an evaluation capable of withstanding legal challenges by performing complex technical analyses of all potential environmental impacts from a project and making significant conclusions and identifying feasible mitigation measures and project alternatives to proposed projects, as applicable.
  • Performing a variety of professional-level assignments in the development, formulation and review of data analyses, reports, plans, assessments and strategies.
  • Working with staff to prepare notices within the required deadlines and conducting meetings with internal and external stakeholders as part of the CEQA process.
  • Conducting and reviewing air quality modeling using AERMOD, HARP2, CalEEMod and EMFAC for CEQA documents, permitting, health risk assessments and compliance plans; and/or grid-based chemical transport modeling for air quality standard attainment demonstrations.
  • Preparing AERMOD-ready meteorological data using AERMET.
  • Interacting with regulated industry and reviewing their air pollution emissions inventories, health risk assessments and risk reduction strategies.
  • Analyzing information and data leading to the preparation of written documents such as findings and recommendations, plans, reports, policy papers, rule drafts and other supporting documents.
  • Performing various other staff work unique to the assigned unit.
  • Working collaboratively with stakeholders from industry, environmental and community groups, other agencies and staff from other South Coast AQMD divisions.
  • Preparing meeting materials and giving oral presentations.

In general, Air Quality Specialists perform the following duties:

Work with engineers, planners, other environmental professionals, Information Management staff and other personnel to develop and implement methods and techniques for the analysis and evaluation of air quality studies and plans.

Apply mathematical, statistical and engineering modeling and analytical techniques to the analysis of research and survey data; prepare graphs, charts and statistical summaries from derived data; determines appropriate data collection methods for use in research projects; and may assist in determining methods for more complex studies.

Assist in developing or develops recommendations concerning air quality management programs, plans and rules and prepare related reports and correspondence.

Assist in preparing technical analyses and recommended positions on proposed and pending legislation relating to air quality management.

Review and analyze a wide variety of environmental documents, conduct air quality impact analyses and assessments and write or coordinate the writing of Environmental Impact Reports.

Evaluate economic impacts of air quality regulations and develop economic incentives to achieve designated air quality standards.

May assist in organizing and participating in workshops and meetings and provide consultation and advice to individuals and businesses in matters related to area of expertise.

May assist in preparing and making presentations on proposed rules, rule amendments, and other air quality-related projects and studies.



In addition to the Minimum Qualifications that follow, the most competitively qualified candidates will also possess one or more of the following:
  • Training and experience that demonstrates proficient knowledge with South Coast AQMD, California and federal air quality regulations.
  • Working knowledge of CEQA Guidelines and CEQA case law.
  • Training and directly-related experience with writing CEQA documents and conducting air quality modeling and health risk assessments and any other transferable experience that is related to job duties in the CEQA unit.
  • Ability to research and review complex air quality issues and technical documents and make recommendations.
  • Knowledge and experience with developing, preparing and/or reviewing localized and regional air quality analyses and use of computer models and application programs used in these analyses including, but not limited to, AERMOD, HARP2, EMFAC, OFFROAD and CalEEMod.
  • Exceptional oral presentation and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully handle multiple projects and shifting and competing priorities while meeting deadlines.
  • Skill with related computer applications and tools for data analysis, research, mapping and report preparation.
EDUCATION: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, environmental science, planning or the physical, social or biological sciences, depending on the functions of the assigned unit.
EXPERIENCE: Two years of technical air quality or professional analytical experience that would demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities of the position to which assigned.
KNOWLEDGE: One or more professional disciplines, such as chemistry, toxics, statistics, economics, environmental planning or engineering, with emphasis on its relationship to planning, rule development or engineering activities; principles, methods and procedures of environmental review, planning, rule development or air quality monitoring, including related instrumentation; air quality regulations and review process; air quality modeling; emissions calculations; PC software applications commonly used in the field; research methods and techniques, including statistical and computer applications for data analysis; professional report writing; and State, federal and local programs, guidelines and code regulations related to air quality management.
SKILL OR ABILITY TO: Compile, analyze and interpret technical air quality data; learn and apply South Coast AQMD regulations to stationary and mobile source monitoring; monitor and evaluate the performance of consultants; oversee stationary and mobile source monitoring projects under minimum supervision; maintain accurate records of air quality planning, research, monitoring or rule development projects and prepare clear and persuasive reports and recommendations; represent South Coast AQMD’s interest at public, professional and internal meetings and communicate with a variety of technical and professional air quality and legal staff; maintain current knowledge of applicable federal, State and local regulations and technical or scientific developments; provide expert testimony, advice and counsel in a specialized field; apply appropriate computer-based analytical techniques to complex air pollution control problems; develop new techniques and approaches to the solution of complex air pollution control problems; proficiently use PC and mainframe software applications common to the field and to the general business environment of South Coast AQMD; read, understand and follow verbal and written directions; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; and establish and maintain effective relationships with all those contacted in the course of work.

Job applications must be completely filled out.  A resume cannot be substituted for the required information.  Be sure to detail any education, training or other relevant coursework that would make you a particularly strong candidate.


  1. A completed employment application covering at least the past 10 years of employment history (or longer if you have other relevant experience) and your entire South Coast AQMD employment history if you are a South Coast AQMD employee.
  2. Four references which include the names and phone numbers of your present and past supervisors or managers, or persons for whom you have directly provided services, not peers.
  3. Responses to the supplemental questionnaire.  Your response should be well written, clear, concise and directly responsive to all parts of each question.  Please limit your responses to no more than one page per answer.  (If each answer can fit in a one-page Microsoft Word document, single spaced, one inch margins, using Times Roman 11 font, the length of your responses are within acceptable parameters.)
  4. An unofficial copy of your transcripts, documenting all qualifying education claimed, submitted as an attachment to your online application.  Official transcripts may be requested at a later date.


Application packets and supplemental questionnaires will be carefully reviewed and only those candidates with the most competitive and/or directly transferable experience will be invited to the next step of the process, which is expected to be a panel interview.  The interviews (weighted 100%) are expected to result in a ranked eligible list, from which current and future vacancies may be filled, during the 6-12 month life of the list.
Only those who demonstrate at each successive step of the selection process that they are among the most competitively qualified will be advanced to the next step.  Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an invitation to future steps in the process.
South Coast AQMD reserves the right to add, delete or modify any elements of the selection process as deemed appropriate, based on the number and quality of applicants at each step.

Candidates who may need accommodations during the selection process must call Human Resources at least one week prior to any test dates.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment, please contact Human Resources at (909) 396-2800.


Air Quality Specialist (CEQA) Supplemental Questionnaire
* 1. Provide a complete, clear and concise overview of your qualifications for this position, based on the minimum qualifications (including education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities), as detailed in the job posting.
* 2. Describe your background, role and experience in performing or reviewing emissions calculations, health risk assessments or other technical analyses for CEQA documents. In the description, please specify the type and number of CEQA document(s) you prepared or contributed to, the emission sources/industries addressed, the level of analysis conducted and your role in the document preparation.
* 3. Please describe your experience with software applications and/or models you have used to quantify air emissions.
* 4. Have you attached a copy of your unofficial transcripts, documenting the education claimed on your application? (Candidates advancing to the panel interview stage of this recruitment will, at that time, be required to arrange for original/official transcripts to be sent directly from their college/university to South Coast AQMD.)
Yes Yes    No No
* 5. Have you provided four professional references on your application, which include your current and past supervisors/managers and/or college professors?
Yes Yes    No No
* Required Question
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