United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Job Announcement

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Region 2, Office of Regional Counsel (“ORC”), is accepting applications for a staff attorney position in EPA’s office in Manhattan. The position is in one of ORC’s branches that handles legal matters arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA,” also known as the “Superfund” law).

ABOUT REGION 2 AND ORC: With close to 800 employees, Region 2 is one of ten EPA regional offices and covers the geographic area of New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight tribal nations. The Office of Regional Counsel includes about 80 lawyers and provides legal support to the Region on both enforcement and counseling matters under the broad range of federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and CERCLA. We also work collaboratively with state, tribal, and local governments to implement these environmental laws. Our attorneys represent the Agency in administrative proceedings and work with the Department of Justice on cases brought in federal court. Region 2 offers a diverse and supportive work environment. Further information about Region 2 can be found at /aboutepa/epa-region-2.  

DUTIES OF POSITION: The staff attorneys in ORC’s Superfund branches conduct negotiations, prepare administrative orders and settlement documents, provide legal counseling to the EPA Region 2 Superfund program office, prepare judicial litigation referral memoranda, work closely with the Department of Justice on specific matters that have been referred to the Department for litigation, and perform other functions to implement and enforce CERCLA. From time to time, the staff attorneys may also represent EPA in enforcement matters arising under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act or Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act; such work may involve representing the Agency in adjudicative hearings.

SALARY: For this position, EPA is seeking recent law school graduates (2015 or 2016) and therefore, hiring will be at either the GS-11 or GS-12 level. At present, in the New York City area, the starting salaries for these grade levels are $66,940 and $80,234, respectively. The career ladder of this position extends to GS-14. The current salary table may be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/salary-tables/pdf/2016/NY.pdf.

Federal employment benefits are among the most comprehensive programs available anywhere. See /careers/salaries-and-benefits.

QUALIFICATIONS: This vacancy is open to all qualified applicants. To qualify, an applicant must: (a) be a U.S. citizen; (b) have a law degree (LL.B. or J.D.) from an accredited law school; and (c) through academic courses, internships, work or other activities, have a demonstrated interest in environmental law and/or environmental protection. Applicants should have excellent written and oral communication skills and a strong interest in public service, especially in the mission of EPA.   

To be considered at the GS-12 level, candidates must already be admitted to practice before the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and have one year of experience as a practicing attorney. Individuals who begin at the GS-11 level must either have been admitted to practice before the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or be admitted within 14 months of starting work with EPA.

A background security investigation will be required for all new hires. Appointment and continued employment will be subject to the applicant’s completion of the security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

EPA will not pay relocation expenses.  

HOW TO APPLY: Applications must be submitted electronically by no later than November 30, 2016 to simon.paul@epa.gov. The words “EPA Region 2 attorney position” should be included in the subject line of the email message

Applications should include:

  • A resume, including significant accomplishments, work experience, class rank or G.P.A., contact telephone numbers, and e-mail address.
  • An unofficial transcript of law school grades.
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the position and highlighting any environmental experience or environmental law training.
  • The name, address and telephone numbers of at least three professional or academic references.
  • A short writing sample not to exceed ten pages.
  • Proof of current state bar membership (or a statement that you are a 2016 J.D. graduate with bar membership pending).

Questions regarding this job announcement may be directed to Paul Simon at (212) 637-3152 or simon.paul@epa.gov.

There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service. (Attorney appointments within the Office of Regional Counsel are positions in the excepted service, not the competitive civil service.) Nevertheless, EPA considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Thus, applicants eligible for veterans' preference should include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions.

EPA is an equal opportunity employer; selection for this position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status, or other differences. Women, minorities, and attorneys with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. EPA provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify Mr. Simon at the above-referenced phone number or e-mail address. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.