Position Profile


Job Title:  Policy Analyst - Air Policy Design

Work Unit:  Policy and Planning Division, Air and Biodiversity Policy Integration Branch

Ministry:   Alberta Environment and Parks

Competition Number:  1040285

Date:  January 2017
 

Purpose

 

This specialized policy analyst position, researches and designs air policy options for that Alberta air sheds that are about to reach or have reached their limits of assimilative capacity and are designated as “non-attainment”, “non-achievement” or “orange / red status” under the national CAAQS framework. The position delivers strategic advice on how to manage air sheds and provincial and national air quality standards so as not to close the air shed to all new sources of emissions. A key function of this position is to look at both regulatory and non-regulatory options for managing emissions in order to bring non-attainment air sheds in Alberta in compliance with regional, provincial and national ambient air quality standards and thresholds. This position is also responsible for a continual jurisdictional review of policy and regulatory tools to manage air quality in non-attainment areas in leading jurisdictions, evaluate the suitability to Alberta’s existing air quality management system, and provide advice to the Department on options for incorporation into regional, provincial and national air policy strategies and frameworks.

This position is responsible for all aspects of ambient air policy development. Reporting to the Senior Policy Analyst, the incumbent is responsible for:

  • Review of policy and regulatory tools to manage emissions of both point and non-point in non-attainment air sheds in leading jurisdictions.
  • Consulting the stakeholders including industry, ENGO’s, First Nations, Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and other interested parties to gauge level of support for the various policy options.
  • Developing policy options to manage emissions in Alberta through a multi-stakeholder process, in support of delivering the Clean Air Strategy and cumulative effects management framework, industrial approvals in Environment and Parks and Alberta Energy Regulator (e.g. ozone ambient air quality standard).
  • Supporting the development, implementation and maintenance of Government of Alberta response action plan in case of exceedances of CAAQS standards in Alberta Airzones.
  • Supporting the development of plans in response to the exceedance of Land Use Framework triggers limits on air quality for Alberta Land Use Regions.
  • Supporting the Approvals staff in the Department and AER with approvals applications of facilities in stressed air sheds

The position provides expertise and policy advice to help ensure that GOA policies are achieving desired outcomes relating to environmental quality and human health effects, and provides recommendations relating to actions required to achieve desired environmental outcomes.

All of these responsibilities are directed to protecting human and ecological health through setting innovative and leading-edge air quality policies and practices for environmentally sustainable development of Alberta’s resources. They are in fulfillment of the department responsibilities as defined with provincial legislation (Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act).

Responsibilities and Activities

  1. Support development and implementation of air policy to align with cumulative effects management.

Provide technical and policy expertise to ensure that management policies are innovative and developed with full consideration of scientific, health, social, economic and technical factors; are in alignment with appropriate provincial, national and international strategies and legislative requirements, and are integrated with other media to manage cumulative effects.

This includes:

  • Provide policy and technical expertise and represent the Department on multi-stakeholder and multi-agency committees involved in the development of environmental objectives or other air quality management initiatives and the development of implementation plans.
  • Work closely with external partners (e.g. CASA) to develop multi-stakeholder, shared-responsibility approaches to identify priorities, develop objectives, and deliver air quality management policies.
  • Identify policy and knowledge gaps for unique and complex problems to improve our understanding and address uncertainties and data gaps.
  • Problem solving through understanding of the issues and research to address complex problems like lowering ambient particulate matter levels.
  • Provide technical support to department staff in implementing air quality management tools and policies.
  • Remain current on scientific advances and new regulatory approaches applied locally and internationally in air quality management tools and policies.
     
  2. Alignment of air policy in Alberta with the national air policy.

Provide support and resources that will assure that air policy in Alberta is aligned with federal air policy initiatives and regulation. Effective federal and provincial policy alignment will allow the Government of Alberta to be in control of its economic growth and environmental management.

Major activities include:

  • Participate in the development of air emissions management options at the provincial and national level through the multi-stakeholder sector-based emissions setting process (such as the provincial CASA non-point source emissions management team and national BLIERs).
     
  3. Effective communication of options for emissions management to the public, media, executive, Minister and external stakeholder groups.

Communicating the results of air policy research and analysis in a manner that is accessible and understandable to all stakeholders is a key function of this position.

Major activities include:

  • Respond to public and stakeholder inquiries regarding air issues, objectives, practices and policies on non-attainment air sheds
  • Respond to Information Requests and Action Requests applicable to non-attainment air quality management measures.
     
  4. Provide leadership and support to multi-stakeholders as required.

Demonstrating leadership skills is key to this position.

This means:

  • Provide effective leadership and support to colleagues and stakeholders in often contentious and adversarial multi-stakeholder processes.
  • Be proactive in helping colleagues to fulfill the mandate of the Ministry.
  • Set an example by actively modeling the APS values.
  • Ensure that expectations are clearly defined by all parties to create effective communication.
  • Assure that resources are allocated in an equitable and consistent manner.

Scope

 

This position will support the department by developing key environmental outcomes, policies and tools for air quality management to address the cumulative impacts of air pollutant emissions. This will require knowledge of air quality management and policy development and will require significant stakeholder engagement. It will require balancing competing interests in an effective manner to driving and meeting environmental objectives. Effective planning, project management, technical, policy and communication skills are essential.

Areas Impacted:

This position involves the development and application of provincial and national environmental standards, guidelines, objectives and policy instruments that are consistent with provincial legislation and with other departmental and governmental agreements (e.g. CASA). This position must apply policy, scientific and technical principles, expertise and judgement in a number of environmental disciplines, including air pollution control, risk assessment and management, etc. to develop and apply new policy tools for managing air quality in Alberta. Regional policies must be integrated into provincial, inter-provincial, national and international initiatives, and conversely, must look at other jurisdictions around the world to assess best environmental tools to apply in Alberta. This involves integrating policies across ministries, across media, and across the department.

This position has a significant impact on the best practices, standards and methodology for:

  • Federal-provincial government initiatives (e.g. CAAQS).
  • Multi-stakeholder initiatives (e.g. CASA Odour Management Framework).
  • Provincial air quality management initiatives (e.g. Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAQOs), regional Air Quality Management Plans).
  • Industry and non-profit organizations reporting standards (e.g. Air Monitoring Directives (AMD)).

Stakeholders:

  • Alberta Environment and Parks staff.
  • Other levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal and international).
  • Partners (CASA, air shed groups).
  • Industry and industry associations.
  • Non-government organizations.
  • Researchers.
  • First Nations and Métis associations.
  • Members of the public.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 

Education and Experiences:

  • A Master’s degree in environmental health sciences, environmental sciences, or related disciplines. Strong background in air quality and policy required.
  • Extensive scientific background in air pollution principles and sciences; odour assessment theories, methodologies, and tools and practices; as well as the environmental health sciences to assess and manage risks on human health caused by exposure to air pollution and other pollutants from other environmental media.
  • Ability to evaluate and interpret scientific and technical information, integrate new information as it arises, and develop creative approaches and provide recommendations for actions to manage a wide variety of air quality issues.
  • Practical experience in program implementation and stakeholder engagement required.
  • Strong understanding and familiarity of the policy development cycle.
  • Willingness to meet professional requirements on an ongoing basis, and increase knowledge by pursuing professional and continuing education opportunities.

Project Management and Leadership:

  • Strong organizational, time and project management skills to effectively balance multiple demands. Knowledge of planning and budgeting. Capable of managing large amounts of information effectively.
  • Strong consulting and leadership skills to work effectively with colleagues and with internal and external stakeholders to define and prioritize needs.
  • Show innovation and creativity required to find new ways of meeting partners’ needs as well as those of Alberta Environment and Parks.
  • Ability and flexibility to adapt leadership approach to address specific people and project situational challenges.
  • Strong issues management skills to manage and mitigate risks.

Technical and Policy Analysis:

  • Practical knowledge of:
    • Health effects related to air quality;
    • Specialized theories/principles in all aspects of environmental risk assessments and risk management, air quality analysis, as well as a sound understanding of statistical and deterministic procedures;
    • Air quality and the atmospheric processes that affect pollution dispersion;
    • Regional and provincial air issues and the causes/sources or potential causes of these air issues;
    • Regional, provincial, federal air policy legislations related to ambient air quality and monitoring requirements;
    • The layered nature of the air policy design system from national to provincial and regional;
    • Government of Alberta, department, and branch business plans, budget process, and policies and procedures;
    • Strategic planning and issues management, including policy development process.
  • A thorough understanding of Alberta’s Air Management System and the Cumulative Effects Management System.
  • Related experience in managing, analysis, and reporting of air related information; ability to conduct specific calculations and analysis; strong computer skills for statistical analysis, graphics, spreadsheets, databases and word processing software.
  • The ability to interpret and apply existing scientific information and integrate new data and information as it arises, using the latest scientific methods.
  • Should ideally have some knowledge of environmental systems outside of the air media for use on interdisciplinary and cumulative effects projects and multi-stakeholder teams.

Team work and Communication:

  • Ability to establish contacts and build relations in the research and professional community to resolve scientific issues and inconsistencies encountered.
  • Negotiation, facilitation and collaboration skills to assist in developing partnerships and establishing a common vision.
  • Experience in multi-stakeholder engagement and consultation processes, and ability to work with stakeholder groups to respond collectively to existing and emerging environmental issues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and capable of working independently or in a multi-disciplinary team environment, as the situation requires.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to communicate technical information effectively with specialists and non-specialists, including members of the public are essential.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and provide leadership with a broad cross-section of government and non-government groups including industry, environmental groups and other levels of government.
  • Effective communication of Ministerial and Executive direction in the development of short and long-term strategic planning priorities.

Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Internal

Assistant Deputy Minister

As required, infrequent

Provide support towards the attainment of division/department goals; information sharing; and resolution of issues.

Air Policy Director

Daily, frequent Provide support towards the attainment of division/department goals; information sharing; and resolution of issues.

Other Air Scientists

Daily Provide information on projects and collaborate as needed.

Other Branch Staff

Daily Information sharing; and provide support as needed.
External

Alberta Energy Regulator

As required

Seek input for the design of new ambient objectives.

Provide information on the application of AAQO's and CAAQS into the industrial approvals.

Supervision Exercised

  None.

 

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