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This is a Senior Executive Service (SES) position located in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA).  We are recruiting for the position of Regional Counsel (RC)-Region 9, San Francisco, California.  (EPA Region 9 includes the states and territories of Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and over 140 tribal nations.)

The RC reports to the both the Assistant Administrator for the OECA and to the Office of General Counsel (OGC).  The activities of the Office of Regional Counsel (ORC) are of major importance within the Region, and due to the potentially precedential effects thereof, may be of nationwide importance.  These activities may have a significant influence on the protection and enhancement of the Nation's environment.

The RC serves as Region 9's principal legal advisor to OECA, the Regional Administrator and Regional program managers and as such has responsibility for providing legal advice and policy recommendations on counseling and enforcement matters involving the whole range of environmental issues regulated by the EPA.  The RC functions as a key member of the Regional management team.  The RC, through legal determination, recommendations and decisions, influences major litigation and Regional program operations.  The RC reviews and resolves legal questions which arise under regulations, lawsuits, enforcement actions, executive orders and other administrative actions involving major federal statutes affecting the Agency programs, which include such statutes as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.  The RC is the focal point within the Region for resolution of legal issues arising under such statutes in consultation with  OGC and/or OECA, as appropriate.

In addition, the RC serves as Region 9's principal enforcement advisor responsible for determining the goals, priorities, and objectives for the region's enforcement and compliance assurance program; representing the Region in high profile matters in its dealings with outside parties, and supervising and coordinating the work of a legal staff of attorneys and legal professionals in defensive and enforcement litigation resulting from activities under the relevant statues.  The RC also manages resources, plans and prepares budgets for submission, establishes internal operating policies, and assigns and evaluates work.  The RC leads and manages a staff of approximately 74 employees in Region 9's Office of Regional Counsel, including both attorneys and support staff.  The operational budget is estimated at $9 million.

Duties

1.  Legal Research and Problem Resolution.  Reviews and resolves the legal questions which arise under all regulations, lawsuits, enforcement actions, executive orders and other administrative actions involving major Federal statutes affecting the Agency's programs, which include such statutes as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the toxic Substances Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (in each case as from time to time amended).

2.  General Legal Advice and Policy Recommendations.  Provides the Regional Administrator, Deputy Regional Administrator and the Regional Divisions and Offices with general legal advice and (upon request) policy recommendations concerning all Regional programs, operations and activities so that their major decisions are made with applicable legal considerations in mind.

3.  Legal Advice, Policy Recommendations, and other Assistance on Enforcement Matters. Provides legal advice and policy recommendations to the Regional program managers responsible for enforcement matters.  Assists in the preparation of major legal correspondence, notices of violation, administrative orders, litigation referrals and other enforcement documents and reviews such documents for legal sufficiency and consistency with Agency legal interpretations and policy guidance.

4.  Legal Advice and Policy Recommendations to Grant Programs.  Provides legal advice and policy recommendations to managers of Agency grant programs, including the construction grants program administered under Title II of the Clean Water Act.  Advises on the eligibility for Agency funding of cost items under Agency grants, including cost overruns by contractors on Agency-funded projects.

5.  Drafting of Determinations, Regulations, Notices, etc.  Drafts and reviews final Agency determinations, proposed and final regulations, notices and such other documents to be published in the Federal Register, including Agency actions on state air pollution plans, designations of sole source aquifers under the Safe Drinking Water Act, approvals and authorizations of state programs under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and other Federal environmental statutes.

6.  Litigation Matters.  Supervises and coordinates the Region's participation in defensive and enforcement litigation resulting from the Region's activities under the statutes referred to above.  Conducts discovery and prepares motions, briefs and other litigation documents.

7.  Negotiation and Informal Dispute Resolution.  Represents the Region in its dealings with outside parties, including negotiation of bilateral agreements, consent orders and judgments, and memoranda of understanding.  Represents the Region in negotiating the settlement of disputed matters so as to avoid protracted and expensive litigation and facilitate expeditious administration of Agency programs.

8. Hearing Officer Duties.  Serves as hearing officer in hearings and deciding matters brought before the Agency and assists in Regional Administrator in preparing formal administrative decisions.  Some such decisions (e.g., bid protects decisions arising under the construction grants program) are final Agency action subject to direct review in the Federal courts.  Performs responsibilities which the Administrator has delegated to the Regional Counsel; such as rendering decisions on confidentiality of business information under 40 C.F.R. Part 2, which decisions also become final Agency action.

9. Representation of the Region.  Represents the Region at conferences and meetings held with other Federal departments and agencies, Congressional committees and individual congressmen and senators, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, governors of states and staff offices of governors, state and local officials, representatives of private industry and farm groups, etc., and in this capacity is required to give expert legal advice with respect to many novel legal situations and problems arising from the administration of Regional programs.  Prepares and delivers advice and testimony to state legislative bodies in connection with their deliberations on assumption of responsibilities for programs to be delegated by the Agency.

10. Liaison with the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.  Serves as liaison between the Region and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance to provide and effective channel of communication in order to assure that the Region obtains legal judgments and policy advice from such office and also to assure that such office is able to base such judgments and such advice upon accurate perceptions of the pertinent facts and Regional program objectives.

11. Major Lead Region Matters.  Serves as a national legal expert in one or more major subject matter areas.  These areas involve highly complex matters relating to significant aspects of the Agency's policies and programs and require a very high degree of expertise.  Maintains specialized expertise in such areas and serves as a consultant to other attorneys in the Agency.  May manage a task force of Regional attorneys in seeking solutions to common legal problems or in preparing guidance documents, model agreements, regulations, pleadings, etc.  In this capacity, serves as the liaison between the Office of Legal and Enforcement Counsel and the Office of Regional Counsel.  Arranges conference calls, meetings and other means of exchanging information among Regional attorneys.

12. Supervision of Office.  Directs and manages the activities, staff and resources assigned to the office.  Within delegated authority, the Regional Counsel exercises responsibility for developing plans, preparing the budget for submission, establishing internal operating policies and procedures, assigning and evaluating work, and providing direction to staff.  Ensures that written material is clear, precise and of high professional quality.  Ensures the work is timely, prompt advice is provided to program managers and that oral presentations, whether before courts or other public bodies, are of high quality.  Carries out Agency personnel management and equal opportunity programs.  Manages the selection, training, motivation, discipline, conseling and evaluation of the staff.