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Hill County Sanitarian (Environmental Specialist) in Havre, Montana

Nature of Work: This position performs professional and technical work in occasionally stressful circumstances requiring adherence to accuracy, confidentiality, integrity, and tact. This position works in and around hazardous and life-threatening situations requiring proper safety precautions, procedures and training. Position is on-call for emergencies.

Personal Contacts: Frequent contact with public to explain or enforce public health regulations, policy and remedial measures; coordination with other departments to obtain or provide information and the enforcement of Federal, State, and County law and regulations as needed.

Supervision Received: General direction and guidance from the state, Hill County Health Officer, Health Director and Sanitarian II; infrequent supervision from the Commissioners.

Essential Functions: As Sanitarian, position requires ability to enter and exit a variety of establishments and areas for inspections. Must be able to visually inspect areas; communicate orally and in writing; calculate, read written materials and drawings. Must be able to understand and explain complex regulations; maintain records; demonstrate good judgment


Reviews, evaluates and approves services; conducts technical and specialized health inspections and investigations regarding private sewage disposal plants, food poisoning, communicable diseases, water and air pollution and hazardous materials.
Evaluates programs and provides recommendations to Health Officer, Board of Health, Sanitarian II, and Commissioners regarding departmental programs; develops administrative policies and recommendations; properly interprets new and existing local, state and federal law affecting the work of the department; attends staff meetings and training to ensure understanding of program goals and objectives; supplies technical and professional consultation to needed audiences; represents county during inter-agency projects concerning environmental health; prepares and submits numerous reports.

Conducts public education efforts for schools and organizations on public health, sanitation, and environmental protection; inspects and approves sites for food permits, and instructs new applicants on food handling; responds to and resolves complaints concerning garbage, litter, or health problems.

Conducts inspections and investigations (according to established standards) of food-service and processing establishments, public accommodations, trailer courts, campgrounds, youth work camps, swimming pools/spas, day-care centers, developmentally disabled homes, and schools. Investigates emergencies involving foods and related goods, solid and hazardous waste sites, water supplies, junk vehicle yards, underground tanks, and consumer product complaints.

Will work on procedures to establish a decay ordinance in Hill County.

Investigates air pollution complaints; inspects sources of air contamination.

Enforces rules; initiates legal action as needed; reviews plans, and grants approval if compliance is met with all laws, regulations and rules; fully enforces licensure with DHES.

Works with Environmental Consultants on landfill licensing and monitoring programs; develops a fee schedule for area and out-of-area haulers; develops a program for screening of garbage waste that meets with state approval; helps develop a public education program on garbage; maintains landfill district and assessments on all businesses and residences; sets-up Safety programs for landfill employees

Inspects septic systems; assists and approves or disapproves of new plans; inspects and approves or disapproves of new or remodeled systems; conducts inspection of wells and septic systems for public-service businesses; collects water samples for analysis; advises citizens on disinfection of water sources; issues permits for sewage disposal systems; conducts percolation tests to analyze soil conditions and proper sizing of disposal systems; collects animals for rabies analysis; participates in live trapping program. Performs other related duties as needed.


Knowledge: This position requires a working knowledge of chemistry, bacteriology, biology, solid waste, and environmental health as they relate to sanitation; and of departmental goals and objectives. Position calls for extensive knowledge of hazardous waste operations and emergency response and working knowledge of Incident Command System (ICS).

Skills and abilities: This position requires the ability to: deal with the public effectively; solve problems; work unsupervised; work safely with underground storage tanks and other hazardous materials and situations; remain calm and rational under adverse conditions; detect and resolve potentially unsanitary and dangerous conditions; minimize risk to people, property and the environment; understand and follow complex laws or regulations; communicate effectively orally and in writing; follow verbal and written instructions, and to establish effective working relationships with fellow employees, supervisors, and the public.


Position requires:
--A Bachelor of Science degree in chemical or biological science. (Including microbiology course and lab)
--Must successfully complete National Registered Sanitarian Exam.
--Must be licensed as a Sanitarian in the state of Montana.
--Must possess a valid state of Montana driver’s license.
--Experience as a Sanitarian preferred.
--Application for SIT must be approved within 2 months from employment date.


Evaluation of this position will be based primarily upon the preceding job description requirements and duties. Examples of job performance standards include, but are not limited to the following:

--Performs assigned duties.

--Demonstrates knowledge of laws, regulations, and information required of the position.

--Monitors budget to ensure budgetary guidelines are met.

--Enforces laws, rules, and regulations fairly and consistently.

--Projects a positive image of professionalism and county government.

--Ensures sanitary conditions in public places within the County.

--Maintains accurate records; prepares and submits accurate reports.

--Responds to citizen complaints and inquiries in a timely and effective manner.

--Educates businesses and the public regarding public health and sanitation issues.

--Deals tactfully with the public.

--Observes work hours.

--Demonstrates punctuality.

--Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with fellow employees, supervisors and the public.