Charles focuses his practice on air and water pollution, waste and property remediation, hazardous chemicals and products, water allocation, and other environmental compliance and administrative law issues. Charles also has experience with NEPA, environmental issues related to business transactions, and environmental compliance, litigation and defense.
An active alumnus of NC State University, Charles has served on numerous university committees, including the University’s Board of Visitors. He has also served as Member and past Chair of the Foundation of the NC State College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, as well as a member of the Advisory Board to the College of Engineering’s Industrial Extension Service.
Charles previously served as an OSHA Hearing Officer and as chair of the Wake County Board of Adjustment. He served as an Adjunct Professor at Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, teaching Environmental Law, and Agriculture and Food Law.
Handled matters involving all major federal and North Carolina environmental programs, including Clean Air; Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund); Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA); Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and North Carolina requirements; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the similar North Carolina law (SEPA); Endangered Species Act; Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act; Migratory Bird Protection Act; Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA); and the North Carolina Coal Ash Management Act.
Litigated and mediated major regulatory and administrative controversies involving enforcement actions, penalties, notices of violation and non-compliance, clean-up orders, and permits, including contested administrative hearings and judicial actions.
Handled or advised in the clean-up of contaminated sites under both mandatory and voluntary programs, including agreements under CERCLA, RCRA, the N.C. Brownfields and Risk-based Remediation programs; the N.C. Inactive Hazardous Sites programs and its Registered Environmental Consultant option, and the North Carolina Groundwater (2L) Rules.
Drafted or lobbied significant North Carolina environmental laws and rules dealing with such topics as Interbasin Transfers (IBTs) of Water, Brownfields agreements, SEPA, solid waste regulation and landfill siting; groundwater closed-loop remediation, oil pollution response liabilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, N.C. Right-to-Know provisions, criminal environmental enforcement provisions, North Carolina’s Title V air permit and air toxics programs, and radioactive wastes; significant revisions of both the rule-making and contested case hearing provisions of the North Carolina Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and legislation is other areas, such as credit union regulation, liens, trademarks, vehicle franchises, vehicle widths and prescribed drug prescriptions.
Member, North Carolina Bar Association; Member and Past Chair, Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section; Member and Past Chair, Administrative Law Section
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Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America, Environmental Law (1989-2009, 2018-2021), Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” (2010), Administrative/Regulatory Law (2011, 2017-2021), Energy Regulatory Law (2017-2021), Litigation - Environmental (2017-2021), Woodward/White, Inc.
Named to North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2018, 2019
Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, North Carolina: Environment (2004–2020), Star Individual in North Carolina: Environment (2015–2020), Chambers USA
Named to Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” Environmental Law, Business North Carolina, 2002-2020; “Hall of Fame,” 2002, 2003 and 2020
Named to “North Carolina Super Lawyers,” Environmental, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2020
Named to Lawyers of Distinction, 2020
Named to International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers, Marquis Who’s Who, 2008-2011
McGuireWoods Achieves Top Rankings in Chambers USA’s 2020 Leading Lawyers Guide
May 1, 2020
Six McGuireWoods Lawyers Among Business North Carolina’s 2020 Legal Elite
January 14, 2020
McGuireWoods Earns Top Rankings in Chambers USA’s 2019 Leading Lawyers Guide
April 30, 2019