Seattle attorneyBill Van Ness Jr., 79, has died. He co-founded Van Ness Feldman LLP, which specializes in energy, environmental and transportation issues. After graduating from law school, Van Ness worked for Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson from 1966 to 1977 on the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, first as special counsel and later as chief counsel. Van Ness during his tenure drafted several pieces of key environmental legislation that became law, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). He also helped to draft the concept of the environmental impact statement, which ultimately became Section 102 of NEPA. Van Ness returned to private practice in 1977 and established Van Ness, Feldman, Curtis and Sutcliffe; Howard Feldman remains with the firm. Van Ness is survived by his wife Pat, four children and nine grandchildren.