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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Attorney-Advisor, (General) Natural Resources Section, GS-0905-13, 14, 15
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  SO-OGC-2013-0010

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$89,033.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 to Wednesday, July 17, 2013
"Excepted Service Appointment" - Full-Time (Term) for 14 months, with option to extend up to four years.
1 vacancy in the following location:
Silver Spring, MD, USView Map

All qualified United States Citizens


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's 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!

An exciting opportunity is now available to be 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 advice to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Ocean Service and seeks compensation from parties responsible for injuries to natural resources resulting from the release of hazardous substances, the discharge of oil as well as physical impacts (e.g., vessel groundings) in national marine sanctuaries.

The NOAA Office of the General Counsel is seeking an attorney to work primarily on restoration issues related to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico, and the resulting oil spill (DWH oil spill). This oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico has caused injury to fragile ecosystems of the Gulf Coast and has impacted human uses of those resources.

The attorney will be based in Silver Spring, MD and will travel to other NOAA locations or the Gulf region as necessary to support the demands of matters assigned. The position will be an initial term limited appointment of fourteen months with the possibility of extensions for a maximum tenure of 4 years.  The individual selected for this position will not be guaranteed a position with the NOAA Office of the General Counsel upon the expiration of the term of the appointment.

NOAA is a premiere environmental agency located within the Department of Commerce and employs over 12,000 individuals 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

The NOAA Office of the General Counsel employs approximately 114 attorneys nationwide who provide legal advice to the NOAA Under Secretary and the agency's constituent line offices.  The NOAA Office of the General Counsel's , Natural Resources Section has 17 attorneys, one paralegal and two support staff, located in Silver Spring, MD, St Petersburg, FL, Seattle, WA, Gloucester, MA and Long Beach, CA. For more information, see



  • Applicant must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  • Frequent domestic travel required.
  • Position is in the excepted service.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable.
  • Applicant must complete a one year probation period.
  • Applicant must be a US citizen to qualify for this position.


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Duties include representing NOAA in matters relating to its natural resource trustee responsibilities under the Oil Pollution Act and its implementing regulations. The position involves working with a team of NOAA scientists, natural resource economists and restoration experts to determine the types and amount of restoration necessary to address the injuries caused by the DWH oil spill. The duties of this position include, but are not limited to, assisting in implementation of early restoration for the DWH oil spill including review of documents for OPA and NEPA compliance; representing NOAA at trustee council meetings where restoration projects are considered and developed by trustees; assisting in the development of the long-term PEIS for DWH restoration; providing legal guidance to NOAA on the RESTORE Act; and assisting with restoration project specific legal issues such as 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 and implementation of natural resource restoration. For more information see www.darrp.noaa.govPlease do not apply to this position through USAJobs.  All documentation must be sent to for further consideration.


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NOAA prefers applicants with experience working with federal environmental and conservation statutes.

You must have a J.D. degree from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association.

NOAA seeks attorneys who have practiced law  a minimum of four years with knowledge of 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.

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 be U.S. citizens to qualify for this position.

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

For more information about the qualifications requirements for this: standards/0900/general-attorney-series-0905/


Applications will be evaluated based on the Qualifications described below. 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 are no numerical rating system through which to apply veterans 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 DD Form-214 or other substantiating documents) to their submissions.

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

To preview questions please click here.


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NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at


NOAA GC will not pay relocation expenses or moving costs. 


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Application may be made by sending a resume, and cover letter to Octavia Saine, NOAA Office of the General Counsel, Herbert C. Hoover Office Building, 14th & Constitution Ave., NW, Suite A100, Washington, DC or by e-mail to:

Applications must be emailed or postmarked by July 17, 2013Please email your application material to the email address or mailing address provided in this vacancy announcement. 


A complete application consists of the following: *Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship, and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week. For work in the Federal Service, please include the grade level for the position(s). *Education. If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial 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. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.


Octavia G. Saine
Phone: 202-482-4080
Fax: 202-482-4893
Agency Information:
Department of Commerce, NOAA, OGC
14th & Constitution Ave, NW
Suite A100, Room A123
Washington, DC
Fax: 202-482-4893


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 qualifications.

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