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Career Opportunity

Planner III-Environmental Review (5298) - Natural Resources & Lands Management Division - SFPUC (138620)

Recruitment: RTF0138395-01117609

Published: November 01, 2023


Laurie Gee -

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Department: Public Utilities Commission
Job class: 5298-Planner III-Environmental Review
Salary range: $120,666.00 - $146,640.00
Role type: Permanent Civil Service What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time
Exam type: Position Based Test
Rule: Rule of 10 What does this mean?
List type: Combined Promotive and Entrance


11/01/2023: This Job Ad has been amended to extend the closing date of application submissions to Monday, November 27, 2023. If you qualify, you are encouraged to file an application as soon as possible. If you have already applied to this specific recruitment, you do not need to apply again.

This is a Position-Based Test conducted in accordance with CSC Rule 111A.

  • Application Opening Date: Thursday, October 5, 2023
  • Application Filing Deadline: Monday, November 27, 2023 at 11:59PM (PDT)
  • Recruitment ID: RTF0138395-01117609/ PBT-5298-138620
  • Location: 525 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco CA, 94102

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)
Headquartered in San Francisco, we have 2,300 employees operating across eight counties serving more than 2.7 million customers in the San Francisco Bay Area – 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Our Mission: To provide our customers with high quality, efficient, and reliable water, power, and wastewater services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care.

Our Vision: We are an innovative utility leader, recognized for excellent results in service, safety, stewardship, and inclusiveness.

We are an award-winning and industry-leading utilities organization committed to our customers, community interests, and the environment. To learn more about our organization, please visit our website at

We are proud of our infrastructure and programs, but most importantly, we value our highly qualified and dedicated workforce which ensures that this vision becomes a reality.

To learn more about working at the SFPUC, visit our career site here.

Role description

About the Natural Resources and Lands Management Division
The Natural Resources and Lands Management (NRLM) Division within the Water Enterprise of the SFPUC is responsible for the management of approximately 61,000 acres of Bay Area watershed lands under SFPUC ownership as well as 150 miles of utility right-of-way. NRLM Division is responsible for managing, protecting, restoring, and monitoring the ecological resources on these lands and environmental compliance for the operations and maintenance of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System which serves 2.7 million customers. We are committed to responsible natural resources management that protects and restores viable populations of native species and maintains the integrity of the ecosystems that support them for current and future generations. We strive to become a leader in science-based and collaborative environmental stewardship in order to continue providing high-quality and reliable water supplies to our customers.                

About the Position
The incumbent will perform environmental review coordination and environmental regulatory compliance planning for SFPUC routine maintenance activities, pursuant to such laws and regulations as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the U.S. Clean Water Act, the Porter-Cologne Water Pollution Control Act, and the California Fish and Game Code.  The incumbent will work closely with Natural Resources, other City divisions and departments and external stakeholders to develop scopes of work and avoidance and mitigation measures that ensure maintenance and operations comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.  The incumbent will also review a wide range of environmental documents and projects to ensure consistency with SFPUC plans, policies, goals and procedures.  The incumbent will be required to negotiate independently and directly with federal and State resource agencies and other City departments to procure permits and approvals.  Work level is difficult and requires initiative, accuracy, teamwork, efficiency, and an extensive knowledge of key environmental laws.

Working Relationships: The incumbent will be supervised and under the direction of the Senior Environmental Compliance Planner (Planner IV), who is supervised by the Natural Resources Planning and Compliance Manager.  The incumbent will have no direct reports, but may be required to supervise the work of subordinates and consultants. The incumbent will synthesize and coordinate input from Natural Resources and Lands Management Division, Water Supply & Treatment, Water Quality, and other divisions in the SFPUC, as well as from external stakeholders. The incumbent will prepare technical reports and correspondence for both internal and external communications as requested by the supervisor, Planning and Compliance Manager, Division Manager or AGM for Water.  The incumbent may have direct communication with the City Attorney’s office regarding permit compliance related matters and non-compliance issues.

Nature of Work: The nature of work may require working in the field in remote settings, including watersheds, estuaries, streams, rivers, and on reservoirs. The position may require driving or hiking to remote locations on unimproved dirt roads in inclement weather.  The positions may require overtime and work on weekends.

Essential duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Performs difficult environmental impact evaluations of projects including preparation and review of complex technical reports such as Environmental Impact Reports and other compliance reports related to local, state and federal environmental laws; evaluation of projects include interpreting mathematical modeling, surveys, analyses, and forecasts as applied to a range of environmental matters such as water, energy, waste and endangered species; applies for permits and agreements from local, state, and federal agencies, and ensures compliance with permit requirement, local, state and federal laws and regulations, and SFPUC plans and policies; communicates directly with local, state, and federal agencies regarding these reports and other permit related matters.  
  2. Supervises staff members in the preparation of compliance reports, and categorical exemption reports and ensures compliance with permit requirements, local, state and federal laws and regulations, and SFPUC plans and policies; supervises subordinate surveys, clerical and office personnel in the preparation of various environmental impact documents.    
  3. Coordinates with SFPUC bureaus/divisions and other City departments in completing environmental impact review of projects, including preliminary conferences, consultations with consulting specialists and submission of reports to the City Planning Department; works with multidisciplinary teams, departmental officials, managers, staff, regulatory personnel, and the public; represents SFPUC interests to external stakeholders and partners.      
  4. Analyzes maintenance and operations activities to determine the appropriate level of environmental review, documentation, and/or permitting requirements; directs, reviews, and evaluates the work of consultants in the preparation of various environmental and cultural resources analyses for operations and maintenance projects; prepares and reviews CEQA compliance documentation for maintenance and operations activities.
  5. Applies and interprets local, federal, and state laws, regulations, and ordinances, and SFPUC plans and policies; explains legal, technical and procedural aspects of environmental review to the public; prepares technical reports and correspondence, and proposes possible project modifications and/or best management practices to minimize environmental impacts.
  6. Reviews, documents, and reports complex environmental and regulatory compliance documents and project proposal; communicates and prepares technical correspondence on behalf of SFPUC interests on a wide range of environmental and other issues to regulatory agency personnel.

How to qualify

Minimum Qualifications: Minimum qualifications reflect the lowest level of acceptable education and/or experience required of an individual such that the individual reasonably could be expected to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position.  Candidates must meet all the requirements established by the MQs to be considered for the position. 

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university AND
  • Four (4) years (8,000 hours) of verifiable full-time equivalent experience either:
  1. performing environmental review functions OR
  2. in a city/regional/urban planning environment preparing documents for entities such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university in city/regional/urban planning, environmental studies, architecture, law, earth sciences, geography, economics, landscape architecture, civil engineering, urban studies or public administration AND
  • Two (2) years (4,000 hours) of verifiable full-time equivalent experience either:
  1. performing environmental review functions OR
  2. in a city/regional/urban planning environment preparing documents for entities such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Special Conditions: Requires one (1) year of experience in Water Supply System Environment Regulatory Compliance

The above minimum qualifications reflect special conditions associated with the position(s) to be filled. They may differ from the standard minimum qualifications associated with this class code

Note: One year of full-time employment is equivalent to 2000 hours. (2000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40-hour work week.) 

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all of the steps in the selection process.

Desirable Qualifications:
The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Extensive knowledge of local, state, and federal environmental laws, including experience with environmental permitting, regulatory documentation, and regulatory compliance, including CEQA
  • CEQA and permit-related construction compliance, mitigation monitoring and reporting experience
  • Experience and knowledge of lands and resources management and planning
  • Database experience and knowledge for environmental or other compliance purposes
  • Knowledge of water or other utility operations and maintenance.

Verification of Education and Experience: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. For more information on how to verify your experience or education please click here

Verification of required work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of employment, hours per week, and signature of the employer, supervisor, or appropriate representative.

Employees of the City and County of San Francisco may submit performance evaluations showing duties performed to verify qualifying City experience. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee's class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of Civil Service Commission Rules. CCSF employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1/111A.11.2.

Experience claimed in self-employment will only be accepted if supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to minimum qualifications above. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupation and total earnings must be submitted.

Verification of qualifying education is a copy of your transcript or diploma. For more information, please click here.

Verification of required valid licensure/certification typically must be a photocopy of the license/certificate including the name of the issuing agency as well as the name of the license/certificate holder, license/certificate number, and expiration date.
Falsifying one's education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

What else should I know?

Selection Procedures:
After application submission, candidates deemed qualified must complete all subsequent steps to advance in this selection process, which includes the following: 

Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire (MQSQ): (Weight:  Qualifying) Candidates will be required to complete a MQSQ as part of the employment application at a later time. This MQSQ is designed to obtain specific information regarding an applicant's experience in relation to the Minimum Qualifications (MQ) for this position. The MQSQ will be used to evaluate if the applicant possesses the required minimum qualifications.

Supplemental Questionnaire Evaluation (Weight:100%): 

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be sent a Supplemental Questionnaire via electronic mail after the closing of this filing period. The Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to measure the knowledge, skills and/or abilities in job-related areas required for the position.  Applicants will be given a deadline to return the Supplemental Questionnaire. Those who do not respond by the established deadline will not be eligible to continue in the examination process and will not be added to eligibility list resulting from this process. All applicants’ responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire are subject to verification. The Supplemental Questionnaire examination component may include but not be limited to:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of environmental analysis.
  • Knowledge of accepted practices in implementation of environmental law.
  • Ability to carry out assigned tasks decisively and accurately.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, concisely and in a well-organized, and an effective manner, both orally and in writing, and prepare concise reports.

A passing score must be achieved on the Supplemental Questionnaire Examination in order to continue in the selection process and be placed on the eligible list. Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score. Candidate scores on this examination may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director.

The department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures to make final hiring decisions.

NOTE:  Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all of the steps in the selection process.

Eligible List/Score Report: A confidential eligible list of applicant names that have passed the civil service examination process will be created, and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established, so applicants can view the ranks, final scores and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of applicants on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once the eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be of six (6) months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Certification: The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Ten (10). The hiring department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures prior to making final hiring decisions.

To find Departments which use this classification, please see here.

Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights: Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at here.

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule. Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director. Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco

How to Apply: Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit and begin the application process.

• Select the “Apply Now” button and follow instructions on the screen 

Applicants may be contacted by email about this recruitment and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

Having trouble? If you are having trouble with the application, please visit or email SmartRecruiters recommends using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser to submit your application.

Recruitment Analyst Information: If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the analyst, Laurie Gee via email at

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.