Minimum Qualifications One year of permanent competitive service as a Biologist 2 (Ecology), Grade 23.
Strong interpersonal skills to interact with both public applicants and their consultants as well as staff members from different State agencies that may participate in project reviews and the implementation of mitigation actions. The preferred candidate should have excellent writing, data management and presentation skills; project/contract management experience; and be familiar with New York State and Federal regulations regarding wetlands, waterbodies, and streams. Desired skills include: an ability to identify and delineate freshwater wetlands using both state and federal methods, an in-depth understanding of wetland ecology; proficiency with GIS software and air photo interpretation; proficiency in analyzing and manipulating data. Preference will be given to candidates that have experience in siting of major infrastructure, transmission, and/or generation projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State Environmental Quality Review Act, Public Service Law (PSL) Article VII, and/or PSL Article 10.
Duties Description The Biologist 3 (Ecology) will manage the review and evaluation of impact assessments for adverse renewable energy facilities impacts to regulated wetlands, adjacent areas, waterbodies, and streams. The incumbent will oversee staff that perform duties that include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Maintain proficiency in knowledge of applicable ORES laws, procedures, policies, and rules, perform research and apply analysis to complex technical and policy issues, and promote the mission, policies, and strategic objectives of ORES;
• Appear for and on behalf of ORES in administrative and legal proceedings, provide expert testimony, and represent ORES in adjudicatory proceedings;
• Analyze impacts to regulated wetlands, adjacent areas, waterbodies, and streams, and other fish and wildlife habitats from proposed renewable energy projects;
• Develop and present permit conditions, administrative proceedings, briefs, comments, draft findings, restoration actions or other mitigation involving regulated wetlands, adjacent areas, waterbodies, and streams;
• Conduct remote identification and mapping of wetlands using GIS software, field identification of freshwater wetlands, field delineation of wetlands boundaries and overseeing the work of contractors engaged in wetland delineation;
• Maintain, and, where necessary, develop expertise in the ecology of fish, amphibians, aquatic mammals, and aquatic invertebrates; limnology; hydrogeology; and geographic information systems;
• Use geographic information systems and other computer programs to identify important natural resources and evaluate project impacts on those resources;
• Conduct analysis of routing options, air photo interpretation, report writing, development of mitigative measures and permit conditions, and coordination with multiple staff;
• Conduct and review field investigations to obtain relevant information to assess resource impacts of various projects impacting regulated wetlands, adjacent areas, waterbodies, and streams;
• Identify mitigation action plans and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation for regulated wetlands, adjacent areas, waterbodies, and streams;
• Develop procedures, guidance, technical reports, standards and criteria to protect regulated wetlands, adjacent areas, waterbodies, and streams with a focus on impacted by renewable energy facilities;
• Prepare written recommendations, provide public presentations and provide testimony as required in support of the ORES’ permit process;
• Assist in drafting and management of contracts for work that cannot be implemented by ORES staff;
• Assist in outreach opportunities, including the preparation of press releases and social media posts.
Additional Comments For a provisional pending examination appointment, the incumbent of the position will be required to take a written examination for Biologist 3 (Ecology) and be reachable for appointment from the newly established eligible list.
ORES will be instrumental in helping New York State meet the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) policy goals, the most ambitious climate legislation in the United States. The office will be responsible for implementing and executing a new streamlined permitting process for renewable energy projects in New York State greater than 25 MW, and any projects 20 MW and above that opt into the siting process administered by ORES. The process has been streamlined within this new office to decrease the time from application to approval for construction to a maximum of one year.
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