Careers >> Environmental Services Director
Environmental Services Director
Title:Environmental Services Director
Position Type:Full-time
Pay Grade:Grade 14 - Salaried $70,849 - $105,610, starting salary DOQ
Closing Date:Open Until Filled

Job Summary

To plan, direct, and provide consultative services relating to the Wetland Conservation Act, Planning and Zoning, Environmental Health, and Solid and Hazardous Waste management programs by developing goals and objectives, directing implementation, and evaluating programs on an annual basis. Directs investigative and enforcement programs to protect the environmental health of the County.


Supervision Received

Employees working in this job class work under administrative direction and are free to plan, develop, and organize all phases of the work necessary for its completion within broad program guidance. Generally, they develop and utilize procedures and methods that do not conflict with major organization policies.


Supervision Exercised

Manages the Assistant Zoning Administrator who oversees the technical and clerical support staff. Also directly supervises the Zoning Officer, Compliance Officer/Wetland Specialist, Environmental Health Specialist, and contracted staff. Is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of the department.


Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; addressing complaints; training and rewarding employees. Responsibilities also include, in collaboration with the Human Resources Department, interviewing, hiring, implementing performance improvement plans, disciplining employees, and resolving grievances.


Essential Functions

This position description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other essential and nonessential functions as assigned or apparent to meet the ongoing needs of the department and organization. Regular attendance is an essential requirement of this position.


  1. Plans, directs and provides consultative services relating to the Wetland Conservation Act(WCA), Planning and Zoning, Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS), Environmental Health and Solid and Hazardous Waste management programs by developing goals and objectives, directing implementation, and evaluating programs on an annual basis. Develops and manages annual department budgets.
  2. Reviews and evaluates documents, license applications, and planning specifications to ensure compliance with statutes, standards, and regulations. Submits recommendations to the County Board.
  3. Supervises and maintains qualified staff personnel by hiring, transferring, suspending, promoting, discharging, assigning, rewarding, disciplining, and directing employees. Directs staff training activities and provides performance appraisals with individual staff members.
  4. Consults with local officials and the general public to explain and interpret zoning ordinances, environmental protection regulations and construction requirements by conducting public hearings as needed.
  5. Organizes and directs environmental health, WCA, planning and zoning, SSTS and solid and hazardous waste investigations by determining the nature and scope of the problem, overseeing the investigation and analyzing the problem, and directing enforcement proceedings under the framework of the County Solid and Hazardous Waste, Planning and Zoning, Shoreland, WCA, SSTS and/or Environmental Health Ordinances.
  6. Directs the operations of the Aitkin County Water Testing Lab.
  7. Prepares and monitors annual budgets for all department activities.
  8. Reads and interprets plans, specifications and blueprints sufficient to compare them with construction in progress and construction regulations.
  9. Enforces and interprets regulations with tact, firmness and impartiality by communicating with individuals and the public in a professional manner.
  10. Composes agreements, RFPs and contracts, and solicit bids or quotes from appropriate sources.
  11. Exercises independent judgment, initiative, and discretion in operating methods and procedures.
  12. Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with county and other local officials, state agencies and with the general public.
  13. Represents Aitkin County on state committees relating to zoning, shoreland, SSTS, WCA, FBL and solid waste issues. Testifies at Senate and Legislative committees on issues relating to the Department which may affect Aitkin County or the citizens of Aitkin County.
  14. Represents Aitkin County on member organizations for Zoning and Solid Waste when the opportunity exists.
  15. Testifies in Court on matters related to the Department.
  16. Adheres to collective bargaining agreements, county policies and procedures, and applicable laws, including timely/accurate reporting and consistent/uniform administration of EEO, FLSA, FMLA, ADA, Workers’ Compensation and Return to Work programs, in close collaboration with the Human Resources Department. Completes departmental new hire orientations promptly and staff performance appraisals in accordance with county policy.
  17. Conducts business in accordance with the Open Meeting law.
  18. Serves as the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act Environmental Services Responsible Authority Designee. Appropriately responds to requests for government data. Maintains department data in accordance with records retention schedules.
  19. Coordinates annual emergency practice drills in department and serves as a member of the county’s crisis management team.
  20. Attend seminars and workshops as needed.


  • Performs other related duties as assigned or apparent.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health, Natural Sciences, or a related field, plus five or more years related experience in local government that includes budgeting and administration of the Wetland Conservation Act, Planning and Zoning, Environmental Health, and Solid and Hazardous Waste management programs, and two or more years of supervisory experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the position.

Must possess, or obtain withing one (1) year of hire, an Environmental Health Specialist/Sanitarian Registration License, issued by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Must possess, or obtain within two (2) year of hire, a Certified ISTS Designer/Inspector license issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 

Type II Landfill Inspector license issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency preferred, but not required. 


Valid Minnesota driver’s license required. Employment reference checks and a criminal background check will be performed as part of the pre-employment process.

Must be willing to work flexible hours when necessary, including occasional evenings for meetings and occasional weekends.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required


Knowledge of:

  1. County and departmental policies, procedures, and practices.
  2. Federal, State, and local laws, rules, and regulations relevant to the work performed in this position, including data practices, the open meeting law, accounting, purchasing, information technology, OSHA, and basic personnel administration.
  3. Environmental health principles, methods, and procedures necessary to organize and administer a county wide program.
  4. Current state and county laws and ordinances governing solid and hazardous waste, environmental health, planning and zoning, subsurface sewage treatment system, wetland conservation.
  5. Trends in solid waste management to meet present and future needs of the county.
  6. Soils sufficient to interpret groundwater levels based on color, texture and structure.


Skill in:

  1. Communication and interpersonal skills as applied to interaction with staff, board members, and the general public sufficient to exchange or convey information and to receive work direction.
  2. Typing skill sufficient to complete 30 net words per minute without errors.
  3. Preparing and making presentations to groups.
  4. Reading, writing, and speaking English proficiently. Includes writing departmental policies and procedures and precise memos to Boards, Committees, and other organizations.
  5. Effectively organizing and prioritizing workload.
  1. Management, public relations, budget administration, oral and written communication, laboratory methodology, computer operation involving use of Microsoft and adobe programs.
  2. Use of transits and levels and knowledge of survey techniques.


Ability to:

  1. Present a positive attitude in the workplace, promote a spirit of teamwork and cooperation, and be able to treat co-workers, supervisors, and subordinates with respect, honesty, and consideration.
  2. Maintain confidentiality.
  3. Multi-task and work under pressure in a sometimes demanding environment.
  4. Travel and work in excess of standard hours when necessary.
  5. Compose agreements, RFP's and contracts, and solicit bids and quotes from sources.
  6. Enforce and interpret regulations with tact, firmness and impartiality.
  7. Deal with difficult, sometimes irrational, people with courtesy and tact.
  8. Read and interpret plans, specifications and blue prints sufficient to compare them with construction in progress and regulations.
  9. Prepare and monitor annual budgets.
  10. Represent the County at the senate and legislature on issues involving departmental programs.
  11. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with county and other local officials, state agencies and with the general public.


Language Skills

Very High Skills – Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or governing boards.


Mathematical Skills

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common

fractions, and decimals. Ability to draw and interpret bar graphs. Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.


Reasoning Skills

Very High Skills - Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.


Computer Skills

To perform this job successfully, an individual should be proficient at using the following software.

County Payroll Software, E-time, Webfusion, Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint,

AS400 Tax System, Firefox and Internet Explorer Web Browsers, and Adobe Acrobat.


Ability to Travel

Travel required for trainings and meetings in and out of Aitkin County.



To perform the job successfully, an individual should consistently demonstrate the following competencies (definitions attached or available upon request):


Ethics, attendance/punctuality, safety and security, dependability, analytical, design, problem solving, project management, technical skills, customer service, interpersonal skills, oral communication, written communication, teamwork, change management, delegation, leadership, managing people, quality management, business acumen, cost consciousness, diversity, organizational support, judgment, motivation, planning/organizing, professionalism, quality, quantity, adaptability, initiative, strategic thinking, visionary leadership, and innovation.


Work Environment

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Equipment and Tools

Computer, copier, fax, telephone, cell phone, remote access equipment, printer, 10-key calculator, shredder, emergency weather-alert system, hand tools, surveying equipment, laser levels, measuring and metering devices, county-owned vehicles, and personal vehicle (requires proof of insurance on file).


Physical Activities/Requirements

Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, use of fingers, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions. Must have the ability to lift and/or carry up to 50 pounds.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee performs medium work, exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.


Working safely is a condition of employment. Aitkin County is a drug-free workplace.



The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by employees assigned to this job classification. This is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. Aitkin County reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee.


Reasonable Accommodation Notice

The County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the County will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.


05/13/2014, Rev. 10/28/2020



Our Vision: We strive to be a county of safe, vibrant communities that place value on good stewardship of local resources.

Our Mission: Aitkin County’s mission is to provide outstanding service in a fiscally responsible manner through innovation and collaboration with respect for all.

Our Core Values: Collaboration, Innovation, Integrity, People-Focused, Professionalism

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