His work in private practice has included the representation of companies and other business entities, industry associations, educational institutions, and various governmental agencies (including state, regional, local, and special purpose units of local government). Charles’ practice has included work on water and air pollution, waste and property remediation, toxic substances and hazardous chemicals, water allocation, environmental policy statutes such as NEPA, and other environmental compliance and administrative law issues.
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 Sciences, as well as a member of the Advisory Board to the College of Engineering’s Industrial Extension Service. He served as an OSHA Hearing Officer and as Adjunct Professor at Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law teaching Environmental Law, and Agriculture and Food Law.
Charles received his B.S. in Physics from N.C. State University (High Honors) and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he also served as an instructor in Information Resources and Public Policy. A revised version of his law school paper was published as “Problems in Judicial Review Arising from the Use of Computer Models and other Quantitative Methodologies in Environmental Decisionmaking,” 10 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 251 (1982).
Charles is a member of the bar(s) in North Carolina, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, and U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
Charles has been involved in 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); National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the similar North Carolina programs. He has also handled matters involving such other NC programs as its groundwater protection (2L) rules, Brownfields and Risk-based Remediation programs, the waste inter-basin transfer (IBT) program, Inactive Hazardous Sites requirements, and the N.C. Coal Ash Management Act.
For those programs and others, he has handled issues involving permits, compliance orders, information requests, reporting requirements, remediation issues, enforcement actions, penalties, and rulemaking, declaratory rulings. and legislation. While his focus is now on those compliance and strategic issues, he has handled (and is familiar with) administrative and judicial actions in both federal and state courts and administrative arenas.
Charles has drafted, commented on or otherwise assisted with significant North Carolina environmental laws and rules dealing with such topics as IBTs, 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, radioactive wastes, and various pieces of legislation pertaining to farm and agriculture. He also participated in the past revisions of both the rule-making and contested case hearing provisions of the North Carolina Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and legislation in other non-environmental areas.