Position: NOAA, Attorney Advisor (General), Natural Resources Section (Deadline: Sept. 6, 2016, Silver Spring, MD)


(This appears to be a similar but distinct position to the one open in Gloucester, MA)

Attorney Advisor (General), Natural Resources Section


Agency Contact Information

  • 1 vacancy – Silver Spring, MD
Work Schedule is Excepted Service/Full-time – Permanent

Opened Tuesday 8/23/2016(7 day(s) ago)

Closes Tuesday 9/6/2016(7 day(s) away)

  • Salary Range

    $77,490.00 to $160,300.00 / Per Year

  • Series & Grade


  • Promotion Potential


  • Supervisory Status


Job Overview


About the Agency

The NOAA Office of the General Counsel employs approximately 110 attorneys in the Washington, DC area and in six regional sections. The Office provides legal advice to the NOAA Administrator and NOAA program offices on a wide variety of legal issues including U.S. and international fisheries, marine mammals, endangered and threatened marine species; preservation of coastal areas, marine sanctuaries, and licensing of commercial satellites. NOAA is a premier environmental agency located within the Department of Commerce and employs over 12,000 people nationwide. The agency’s mission is to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources and to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment to meet the Nation’s economic, social and environmental needs. For more information see http://www.noaa.gov.

An extraordinary opportunity is now available to be a part of a team of attorneys with the NOAA Office of the General Counsel’s Natural Resources Section in Silver Spring, MD. The Natural Resources Section provides legal guidance concerning NOAA’s natural resource trustee responsibilities to the Office of Response and Restoration (part of the National Ocean Service) and the Restoration Center (part of the National Marine Fisheries Service). NOAA is a natural resource trustee pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, & Liability Act (CERCLA), the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA). As a natural resource trustee, NOAA is responsible for assessing injuries to NOAA trust resources caused by the release of hazardous substances, the discharge of oil and/or physical impacts (e.g., vessel groundings in national marine sanctuaries) and seeking compensation from parties responsible for those injuries to natural resources. This area of work is significant to NOAA’s mission of conserving and managing coastal and marine resources to meet the Nation’s environmental needs.

The attorney will be based in Silver Spring, MD. The NOAA General Counsel’s Office, Natural Resources Section has 16 attorneys and three support staff, located in Gloucester, MA; Silver Spring, MD; St. Petersburg, FL; Seattle, WA; and Long Beach, CA. For more information, see www.gc.noaa.gov.


Duties include representing NOAA in matters relating to its natural resource trustee responsibilities under CERCLA, OPA, and the NMSA and their implementing regulations and developing damage claims under those authorities. The position involves working with a team of NOAA scientists, natural resource economists and restoration experts to assess the extent of injuries to NOAA trust resources caused by the release of hazardous substances, the discharge of oil and/or physical impacts (within natural marine sanctuaries) and determine the types and amount of restoration necessary to address those injuries. The workload of the attorney may include cases on both coasts of the country, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill case. The duties of this position include, but are not limited to, assisting in the development of injury assessment work and the planning and implementation of restoration projects including review of documents for OPA, CERCLA, NMSA and NEPA compliance; representing NOAA as a legal advisor at trustee meetings; and assisting with assessment study and restoration project specific legal issues such as chain of custody, document preservation requirements, memoranda of understanding, cost documentation, access agreements, easements, etc. The NOAA attorney would work closely with the U.S. Department of Justice, other federal and state natural resource trustees, NGOs, state and industry representatives. The NOAA attorney must take into account U.S. and NOAA policies during the development of the damage claim and the implementation of natural resource restoration. Frequently, overnight travel is required. For more information see www.darrp.noaa.gov.

Please do not apply to this position through USAJobs. All documentation must be sent toGCNaturalResoures.vacancy@noaa.gov for further consideration.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Position may require overnight domestic or foreign travel.

Relocation Authorized

  • No
Job Requirements

Job Requirements

Key Requirements

  • Applicant must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  • Position is in the excepted service
  • Registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov)
  • Applicant must complete a one-year trial period.
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.


NOAA seeks attorneys with knowledge of or experience working with federal environmental statutes and conservation laws, as well as laws and regulations governing Federal agencies, including the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Applicants must have a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing and to identify and resolve complex legal issues. Applicants also must demonstrate the ability to manage large projects independently, assimilate large amounts of materials quickly, balance a large and diverse workload, and work effectively in a team with other attorneys and support staff.

Significant academic achievement in law school (such as graduation in top third of class, graduation with honors, judicial clerking experience, or participation in moot court or law review) or experience practicing environmental law will be favorably considered. Experience in civil litigation and experience working with Federal, State, and/or Territorial governments on resource conservation programs and issues will also receive favorable consideration.

Applicants must have a J.D. from an accredited law school, and be an active member of a state bar or the bar of the District of Columbia.

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

For more information about the qualifications requirements for this: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-position/standards/0900/general-attorney-series-0905/

Security Clearance

Public Trust – Background Investigation

Department Of Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Octavia Saine
Phone: 202-482-4080


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Office of the General Counsel, 14th & Constitution
Suite 78032

Fax: 202-482-4893

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