*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.
EPA Office/Lab and Location: Two research opportunities are available at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 10 Groundwater and Drinking Water Section in the Tribal Drinking Water Team located in Seattle, Washington. At this time, the appointment will be remote (pending the COVID-19 pandemic).
The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA works to ensure that: Americans have clean air, land and water; National efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information; Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are administered and enforced fairly, effectively and as Congress intended; Environmental stewardship is integral to U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy; All parts of society have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks; Contaminated lands and toxic sites are cleaned up; and chemicals in the marketplace are reviewed for safety.
The Drinking Water program assures that public water systems (PWSs) adhere to national drinking water standards in EPA Region 10, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, through a combination of State oversight and direct implementation (DI) on Tribal lands. The participant will gain experience on DI through the Tribal Drinking Water Program, which carries out all functions associated with primacy implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and a drinking water program, including assuring that tap water at Tribal PWSs meets national health standards for all regulated contaminants (over 80), that sanitary survey inspections are conducted on time at each water system, and that issues posing potential risks to the water system are identified and mitigated.
Research Project: Under the guidance of an EPA mentor, the participant will learn the following areas:
- Reviewing water quality data to assure it meets drinking water standards.
- Preparing technical assistance documents that support Tribal operators and water system managers.
- Providing technical support on the implementation of various drinking water rules, including the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR), Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR), Groundwater Rule (GWR), Lead & Copper Rule (LCR), Groundwater Rule (GWR), Disinfection Byproduct Rule (DBPR), radionuclides, organic and inorganic chemicals, and the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule.
- Preparing technical and scientific input on contamination relating to organic and inorganic chemicals, corrosion control treatment, sanitary defect correction, disinfection byproduct control, fecal bacteria mitigation, as well as on turbidity removal and achieving disinfection for virus, giardia and cryptosporidium.
- Assisting in the management & analysis of drinking water data.
- Assisting in the evaluation of groundwater sources that are potentially under the direct influence of surface water (GUDI).
Learning Objectives: This opportunity will provide the participant with exposure to a broad range of regulatory, technical and policy issues surrounding drinking water. Since the research involves Tribal water systems where the EPA has primacy, the participant will gain hands-on experience in rule implementation. There is flexibility for the participant to develop expertise in areas of his or her interest. The participant will also learn how EPA informs and engages with a broad range of stakeholders, and gain experience in collaborating with water operators in rural areas. Normally, field work is an integral component to this role, though most travel is currently suspended due to the pandemic.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Jenna Manheimer (email@example.com). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 2021. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed four additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.
EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.
ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.
Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email EPArpp@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.