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Energy Specialist

Salary: $36.80-$44.93 hourly / $6,401-$7,814 monthly / Range: 6562

DEFINITION: Under direction, manages the entire environmental review, permit processing, and compliance programs for complex energy projects; supervises professional and technical personnel preparing environmental documents and special studies; performs long-range planning related to offshore energy development; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Incumbents in this class perform advanced, difficult, and specialized work in the energy field; provide first-line supervision of planning staff; manage programs including budget preparation and controls; and manage contract work performed by technical consultants.


1. Assigns, reviews and evaluates work of professional staff; and provides training to professional staff as needed.
2. Reviews energy development permit proposals and project designs for assessment of consistency with land use designations and regulations, project alternatives, air emission controls, environmental impacts such as aesthetics, oil-spill potential, biological, archeological, noise, site alternatives, and other general environmental impacts; reviews and comments on coastal leasing, development and abandonment proposals from state and federal agencies; and monitors complex permit compliance activities.
3. Selects consultants and directs their work in preparing environmental documents and other technical reports for energy projects.
4. Prepares or directs the preparation of staff reports on energy projects; and appears before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors regarding energy-related matters.
5. Conducts or directs research and analysis for studies relative to long-range plans and policies for energy development.
6. Provides technical information, assistance and coordination with numerous agencies and relevant technical advisory committees; and maintains current knowledge of coastal energy issues affecting Santa Barbara County.


1. Possession of a bachelor's degree in urban and regional planning or science field, and three years of increasingly responsible professional experience in planning or environmental assessments and compliance activities related to energy or large industrial development projects; or,
2. two years experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Planner III with Santa Barbara County related to energy or large industrial development projects; or,
3. possession of a master's degree in urban and regional planning or science field and two years of responsible professional experience in planning or environmental assessments and compliance activities related to energy or large industrial development projects; or,
4. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: principles and methods of land use planning and environmental reviews; Federal and State laws relating to planning and environmental quality; current methods of mediating impacts from and controlling pollution caused by large scale, energy-related or industrial development projects such as nuclear, gas and coal; techniques and principles of program management including monitoring technical consultants; principles of budgeting; principles of supervision; and basic math.

Ability to: read and analyze reports and data to draw conclusions and develop well supported recommendations; appear before and conduct public meetings; interpret engineering plans for projects and assess their potential environmental effects; assess compliance with complex permit requirements; prepare comprehensive, clear and succinct written reports and letters; work cooperatively with staff, public officials, members of the energy industry, developers, and the public.

Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License may be required for some positions.


Knowledge of: federal and state laws relating to coastal areas.

Ability to: plan, review, and evaluate work of staff.


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