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 Act; Clean Water Act; Safe Drinking Water Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA or Superfund); Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA); Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); Endangered Species 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.
Negotiated clean-up of contaminated sites under both mandatory and voluntary programs, including agreements under the North Carolina Brownfields program, the North Carolina Inactive Hazardous Sites program and its Registered Environmental Consultant option, and the North Carolina Groundwater (2L) Rules.
Drafted or lobbied significant North Carolina environmental legislation, including Interbasin Transfers (IBTs) of Water, N.C. Brownfield Act, State Environmental Policy Act; 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, 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
Member, American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section and Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section
Named to “Legal Elite Hall of Fame,” Environmental Law, Business North Carolina, 2002-2003
Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Environmental Law, North Carolina, Chambers USA, 2004-2018; Named "Star Individual," 2017
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers of America, Environmental Law (1989-2009, 2018), Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” (2010), Administrative/Regulatory Law (2011, 2017-2019), Energy Regulatory Law (2017-2019), Litigation - Environmental (2017-2019), Environmental Law (2019) Woodward/White, Inc.
Named to “North Carolina Super Lawyers,” Environmental, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2011; 2017-2019
Selected for inclusion in the International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers, Marquis Who’s Who, 2008-2011
Star Individual in Environmental Law, North Carolina, Chambers USA, 2015-2016