Attorney job opening in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2, Office of Regional Counsel’s Caribbean Team in San Juan Puerto Rico–Apply by September 30, 2011

In NLLSA on September 25, 2011 by Barbara

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Region 2, Office of Regional Counsel (“ORC”), is accepting applications for an attorney (GS-905-15) to serve as the Team Leader of ORC’s Caribbean Team, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


ORC’s Caribbean Team provides full-service legal counseling and representation to EPA Region 2’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, whose jurisdiction covers Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The attorneys on ORC’s Caribbean Team represent EPA Region 2 in administrative and civil enforcement litigation arising under a number of federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to­Know Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The attorneys review or prepare administrative complaints and administrative orders, negotiate settlements and prepare judicial litigation referrals. They conduct administrative litigation activities, including drafting of pleadings, motions and briefs, and administrative hearings, and participate with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the conduct of judicial litigation activities. They coordinate with Commonwealth of Puerto Rico attorneys and officials, who conduct business in Spanish, on interpretation of federal law and regulation, and on litigation matters.  They also participate with EPA Headquarters and DOJ in defensive litigation, and they review for legal adequacy proposed permits and other Regional actions.

The Team Leader oversees the work of the Caribbean Team of ORC. The Team is currently comprised of four staff attorneys and one administrative assistant, in addition to the Team Leader. The Team Leader provides leadership and guidance to the Team members and legal advice and policy recommendations to other Region 2 managers. The Team Leader supervises and, as necessary, performs all duties of the Team including, as appropriate, coordination with Commonwealth of Puerto Rico attorneys/officials who conduct business in Spanish.  The Team Leader reports to the Regional Counsel.


This vacancy will be filled at grade level GS-15 and is open to all qualified applicants. In Puerto Rico, the GS-15 salary range currently begins at $109,033 plus a cost-of-living adjustment.

To qualify, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen and must be admitted to practice before the highest court of a State, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The preferred candidate will have a minimum of five years of experience as an attorney and experience which demonstrates the ability to supervise legal work activities and resources for environmental programs at one or more levels of government. The preferred candidate will have expert knowledge of one or more of the federal environmental statutes administered by EPA.

This position is designated as Moderate Risk and requires a background investigation.  Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation.


If you have excellent leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and significant experience in the substantive legal areas described above, please go to and search RTP-R2-OT-2011-0029 to view the announcement and to get details regarding the position, minimum qualifications, and how to apply.  Applications must be made in time for their receipt by September 30, 2011.

Your application must include a resumé, together with a letter which addresses the following areas: (1) your knowledge of, and the duration and nature of your direct experience working with any of the federal environmental statutes listed above; (2) the duration and nature of any experience you have had working as a supervisor, manager or mentor of other lawyers; (3) your experience handling legal matters involving government law enforcement or legal counseling work before judicial or administrative forums; (4) the nature and extent of any significant personal participation you have had in the development of or commenting on federal environmental laws, regulations or policies; and (5) your experience in public speaking before professional audiences.

Questions regarding this position should be directed to Thomas Lieber, Acting Deputy Regional Counsel, Office of Regional Counsel, USEPA Region 2, via e-mail at, or by telephone at (212) 637-3158.

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. Lieber 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.


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