Charles has years of broad-based and expansive experience in managing and resolving environmental issues for his clients.
His rich knowledge of environmental laws and regulations provides a legal advantage to his clients. He has the know-how to establish long-term relationships and the resources to tackle problems and develop durable solutions to meet his client’s diverse legal needs. He routinely and successfully represents clients in:
- environmental litigation
- environmental compliance
- land use planning/environmental review
- municipal law
Charles counsels and represents clients with zoning and environmental review procedures under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and National Environmental Policy Act and has extensive experience in general municipal law. He currently acts as attorney of record for the Village of Williamsville and serves as counsel to several other local towns and municipalities.
- Successfully represented chemical manufacturing client in major CERCLA cost recovery suit, involving multiple trials and two appeals to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in the client shifting the majority of on-going cleanup costs to other responsible parties.
- Drafted solid waste management law for municipal client and successfully defended a challenge to that law in New York State court.
- Successfully negotiated resolution of EPA compliance order alleging violations of Federal Clean Water Act Pre-Treatment Standards on behalf of manufacturing client.
- Successfully represented not-for-profit housing developer in cost recovery litigation related to cleanup of petroleum contamination. Assisted client in negotiating cleanup of historical contamination associated with former gas station and recovered those costs, including attorneys fees, from responsible party
- Represented large municipal client in successfully pursuing claims against bankrupt former steel manufacturers to fund cleanup of major brownfield site, which is now being put back to productive use as largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the United States
Honors & Affiliations
- Listed in
- Buffalo Business First, 2015 Legal Elite of WNY
- New York Super Lawyers 2020®, Environmental
- New York State Bar Association, Environmental Committee; State and Local Government Committee
- Erie County Bar Association, Environmental Committee, Past Chair; Municipal Committee
- Executive Editor, Buffalo Law Review, 1994-95
- Recipient, Max Koren Award
- Issues Affecting Craft Alcohol Beverage Manufacturers, Bar Association of Erie County, March 3, 2017
- Preservation Fundamentals, New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Town of Clarence Historic Preservation Commission, April 29-30, 2016
- "Due Dates for Taxes Operational Reports Postponed For Breweries," New York Brewers Association Brewer's Blog, April 6, 2020
- "Why Your Brewery Shouldn't Make CBD-Infused Beer," New York Brewers Association Brewer's Blog, August 20, 2019
- Quoted in “Sludge indicative of larger issues,” Buffalo Law Journal, September 18, 2017
- Quoted in “WNY schools combat lead contamination in water,” Buffalo Business First, November 11, 2016
- “The “Mimosa Law” Is About More Than Sunday Brunch: Part 1 – No More Solicitor Permits,” New York State Brewers Association, September 2016
- "Water, water everywhere - but is it safe to drink?" Buffalo Law Journal, September 19, 2016
- Quoted in “New York's craft beverage industry moves forward,” Buffalo Law Journal, July 1, 2016
- City Honors Crew, Director
- NYS Chemistry Council, Board of Directors and Regulatory Committee Chair
- The City of Buffalo Environmental Management Commission, Commissioner
- Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, Former Board Member, Active Member
- Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Former Board Member, Member of Legal Committee
- Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Pro Bono Legal Work
- Partners for a Livable Western New York, Director 2007-present
- Congress for the New Urbanism National Conference, Program Committee Chair, 2014
- Leadership Buffalo Graduate, 2005