Environmental Protection Specialist

Washington, D.C
May 11, 2021
May 16, 2021
Full Time


The individual serves as an Environmental Protection Specialist, GS-0028-14, in the Office of Environmental Analysis.
Learn more about this agency


The major duties of this position are:
  • Ensure the agency's compliance with NEPA and related environmental statues and regulations.
  • Prepare environmental assessments for abandonment and manage complex environmental and historical preservation reviews.
  • Interpret and apply Federal environmental statutes, particularly NEPA and NHPA, implementing regulation guidelines and the Board's environmental rules to specific cases.
  • Communicate effectively in writing, complying with the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.
  • Ensure the efficient work of multi-disciplinary teams to prepare and complete environmental and historic documents, including Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements, and Memoranda of Agreement.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

U.S. Citizenship is required.

All qualification requirements must be met by 05/14/2021. Your application package will not receive consideration if it lacks any of the required documents under the "Required Documents" tab.

Probationary Period: One-year probationary period may be required.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See http://www.sss.gov/

Background Suitability Investigation: Continued employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation and the granting of a Federal suitability or security clearance. If selected, you may be offered tentative employment until the background investigation has been fully adjudicated.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet the specialized experience* as described below:

Specialized Experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position typically in or directly related to environmental protection, and is equivalent to the work performed at the next lower grade level.

To be qualified for this position at the GS-14 grade level, you must demonstrate in your resume one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level of Federal service such as: experience in preparing environmental documentation and coordinating with government agencies or organizations on environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.

Specialized experience must meet 52 weeks equivalent to the next lower grade level. A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

*Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (i.e, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations. Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


Education may not be used as a substitute for experience at this grade level.

Additional information

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. In addition, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has work/life-balance flexibilities that may be right for you. We offer:

Flexible Work Schedule options: Two flexible work schedules, the Flexitour Option and the Compressed Work Schedule. Employees on the Flexitour may schedule fixed arrival and departure times around established core hours and work 8 hours plus a 30-minute unpaid lunch period. Employees on the Compressed Work Schedule may work 8 9-hour work days and one 8-hour day (plus the 30-minute unpaid lunch period) in each biweekly pay period and receive one scheduled day off; OR may work 4 10-hour days (plus the 30-minute unpaid lunch period) with one week day off each week;

During the pandemic period, the agency is using its discretion to maximize telework. Otherwise, limited Telework opportunities are available upon supervisor approval and in accordance with the Employee Work Schedule policy;

Fitness Center: STB employees, at no cost, have access to the fitness center conveniently located in the building; and

A monthly transit subsidy for a portion of your commuting costs to help defray the commuting costs of employees who use mass transportation, including commuter bus, Metrorail or Metrobus, or commuter rail systems.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

All qualified candidates will be assigned to a quality category. The category assignment is a measure of the degree in which your background matches the competencies required for this position. Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics): Compliance with Environmental Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines, Technical Competence, and Written Communication.

The Category Rating Process does not add veteran's preference points or apply the "rule of three" but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each quality category. Veteran's preference eligibles who meet the minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent will be listed in the highest quality category (except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-09 level or higher).

Category Rating Procedures: Applicants who apply under "All US Citizens" eligibility and do not have eligibility under Merit or Noncompetitive status, will be placed in one of the following categories:

Best-Qualified: Applicants who demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies, as determined by the job analysis.
Highly-Qualified: Applicants who demonstrate acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies, as determined by the job analysis.
Qualified: Applicants who demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies, as determined by the job analysis.

**Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category. Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP). ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility, you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. Well-qualified means you must be within the Best and Highly Qualified categories; meet medical, suitability, and minimum educational and experience requirements; all selective factors where applicable and appropriate quality ranking factor levels; be physically qualified, with reasonable accommodation where appropriate, to perform the essential duties of the position; meet any special qualifying condition(s) that OPM has approved for the position; and be able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Information about ICTAP is on OPM's website at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.

Preview the Assessment Questionnaire, click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11105657 .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Please be advised, the following documents are required even if you are already a current Federal or STB employee:

1. Resume that includes the experience you wish to be considered for the review of your qualifications, the dates of employment with month and year, and hours worked per week, if part time. Resumes that do not contain all of the necessary information to determine qualifications may be marked as insufficient and applicants may not receive consideration for this position. Your latest resume submission is the one that will be used to determine your qualifications.

2. Responses to questionnaire.

3. Supporting documents verifying your eligibility or any preference eligibility along with your application package.

These documents may include, but are not limited to:
  • Veterans documentation: All veterans MUST submit a DD-214, MEMBER 4 copy, if you are currently on active duty, you must submit an official statement of service from your command or other official documentation that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions;
  • Preference eligible documentation: If claiming 10-point preference you must also submit a SF-15 and any other proof that you are eligible for 10-point preference if a job offer is extended to you, final VA letter including percentage (please do not include letter from VA noting specific private medical information);
  • ICTAP documentation: RIF separation notice along with last performance rating or appraisal; and
  • Transcripts if you are using education to substitute or if position has a positive education requirement.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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