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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Attorney Advisor (General), Natural Resources Section
Open Period:
08/23/2016 - 09/06/2016


GS - 0905AA 12/13/14/15
USD $71,012 - USD $152,593
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Excepted Service/Full-time
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
Saint Petersburg, FL, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Octavia Saine


Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
All qualified United States Citizens

Please read this Public Notice in its entirety prior to submitting your application for consideration. The directions for applying to this announcement can be found in the “How to Apply” section.

Please send your application material only to:
Security Clearance Required:
Public Trust - Background Investigation
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
Marketing Statement:
Unlock secrets in deep oceans, track rapidly moving storms, operate state-of-the-art environmental satellites, chart the Nation’s waterways, formulate models to forecast climate trends, protect and preserve our living marine resources…all in a day’s work at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)!  Join a dedicated workforce committed to a vital mission:  safeguarding the public, protecting natural resources, strengthening the economy.  A career that makes a world of difference!  
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

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 St. Petersburg, FL. 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 St. Petersburg, FL.  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
Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

Position may require overnight domestic or foreign travel.


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  

Please do not apply to this position through USAJobs.  All documentation must be sent to for further consideration. 

Qualifications and Evaluations

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

For more information about the qualifications requirements for this:
Key Requirements:
  • Applicant must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  • Position is in the excepted service
  • Registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Applicant must complete a one-year trial period.
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.
  • Education Requirements:
    Applicants will be evaluated based on the Qualifications described above. Please be advised that NOAA Attorney positions are in the Excepted Service.  As such, these positions are not covered by the usual civil service hiring procedures.  There is no numerical rating system through which to apply veteran’s preference; however, the NOAA Office of the General Counsel considers veterans preference eligibility as a positive factor in hiring.  Applicants eligible for veterans preference are encouraged to include that information in their cover letter or resume, and to attach supporting documentation (e.g., the 00-214 or other substantiating documents) to their submissions.
    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.

    Benefits and Other Info

    NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at
    Other Information:
    Relocation or moving expenses will not be reimbursed.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:
    In the cover letter, please explain in detail how your experience, education, training, activities or awards relate to the qualifications listed above.  Also, please explain why you are interested in working for the NOAA Office of the General Counsel, Natural Resources Section.  Please include your email address and your day and evening telephone numbers, and indicate the best time to reach you by telephone.

    Application must be made by sending a resume and covert letter through email to:

    Failure to follow these instructions will result in your application not being considered.
    Required Documents:

    Cover Letter and resume. Please include your GPA and class rank in your resume, if available. Your resume must indicate your citizenship, and whether you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59.

    Please note that prior to receiving a formal offer, you will be asked to submit an official law school transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to for more information.

    Next Steps:
    Applicants will not be notified that their application has been received.  Interviews may be arranged at the discretion of NOAA for those subject to further consideration based upon qualification.