Hazardous Materials Specialist I

County of Santa Clara
Full Time $108,482 - $131,324 Per year CA 1555 Berger Dr #300, San Jose, CA 95112, United States Apply before 6/26/2024 11:59


Under supervision, conducts a variety of inspections and investigations in the enforcement of hazardous materials/waste laws and ordinances.

This recruitment is for a position working in the Department of Environmental Health's Hazardous Materials Program, which is authorized by the California Environmental Protection Agency to operate as a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). 
EXAMINATION DATES: Candidates who meet the employment standards will be invited to take an online written examination. Please note, the tentative examination dates have been scheduled for July 9th - July 15th. Qualifying candidates will be notified with examination instructions.    

Typical Tasks

  • Conducts inspections for compliance with applicable Federal, State and Local hazardous materials laws and regulations;
  • Enforces hazardous materials/waste laws, regulations, ordinances and codes; and, assists/advises regulated facilities to bring them in compliance;
  • Issues citations to facilities that are not in compliance;
  • Investigates complaints regarding improper storage, use, handling or disposal of hazardous materials/waste and unauthorized releases, spills or leaks of hazardous materials/waste;
  • Conducts initial investigations into illegal dumping and unauthorized releases of hazardous materials/waste;
  • Maintains inventories of hazardous materials/waste facilities;
  • Performs initial permit inspections for compliance with applicable laws and ordinances for hazardous materials/waste;
  • Takes samples of suspected hazardous waste to determine if there have been unauthorized releases, spills or leaks;
  • Gathers information on prior inspections and investigations using departmental database and files and reviews this information to understand certifications of compliance or resolution of outstanding issues;
  • Participates in inter-agency investigations, clean-ups and enforcement efforts to achieve uniformity of procedures and consistency in the interpretation of codes;
  • Operates specialized equipment to perform tests and analyses; performs routine calibration and minor maintenance of instrumentation equipment;
  • Prepares clear professional reports, memoranda, business correspondence, and other documentation including reports of findings concerning unauthorized releases of hazardous substances and clean-ups and prepares material for use in legal actions;
  • Meets, answers inquiries, and prepares informational literature on hazardous materials/waste to provide technical assistance to representatives of industry, government associations and the general public;
  • Attends training sessions to receive instructions in hazardous materials management principles, methods, techniques, site remediation, hydrogeology, risk assessment and chemical fate and transportation;
  • May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker, as needed;
  • Performs related duties as required.

Employment Standards

The knowledge and abilities required to perform this function are acquired through the possession of a Bachelor's Degree, preferably in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology or a related Science.

The degree must include a minimum of thirty (30) semester units as required by the State of California for the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) which may include courses such as: Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Physical Science, Environmental Science, Geology or Soil Science, Environmental Health, Environmental or Sanitary Engineering, Toxicology, Industrial Hygiene, Hazardous Materials Management, Fire Science or Fire Technology.


One (1) year of work experience comparable to a Hazardous Materials Trainee in Santa Clara County, including conducting investigations and inspections of hazardous materials/waste, or in the enforcement of Federal, State and Local Government health/environmental regulations.

Possession of a valid California Driver's license prior to appointment and the ability to obtain and maintain a County Driver's Permit.

Knowledge of:
  • Basic organic and inorganic chemistry, with a strong emphasis on chemical characteristics, hazardous identification, compatibility issues and their effects on human health and the environment;
  • Statistical analysis;
  • Elementary understanding of the principles and practices of hazardous materials management;
  • Elementary understanding of Federal, State and Local laws and regulations applicable to hazardous materials management and environmental health;
  • Elementary understanding of the practices in the transportation, process/treatment, recycling, and disposal of hazardous waste;
  • Computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and/or databases.
Ability to: 
  • Interpret laws, regulations, ordinances, codes and data;
  • Learn to collect samples of hazardous substances;
  • Prepare comprehensive and technically accurate reports;
  • Communicate effectively verbally and in writing;
  • Maintain records accurately;
  • Identify, control and dispose of hazardous waste and recommend corrective action;
  • Enforce laws, regulations, ordinances and codes pertaining to hazardous materials/waste.
Some positions may require an employee to climb ladders, scaffolding or trenches, or to crawl while performing investigations and field inspections.