Washington, DC

James G. Votaw

  • Partner
  • Direct Dial: +1 202.434.4227
  • Fax: +1 202.434.4646
  • Professional Assistants: Cheryl Thornhill and Hannah Sears , Ph: +1 202.434.4345

    Washington, DC

    1001 G Street NW
    Suite 500 West
    Washington, DC 20001

James Votaw has an extensive practice focusing on environmental and health and safety regulation.Within that arena, he concentrates on the regulation of conventional and nanoscale chemicals, pesticides, consumer and industrial products, and industrial processes and wastes.

For his clients, Mr. Votaw obtains pre-market product approvals and exemptions, including the first U.S. approval of a nanoscale pesticide. He negotiates testing orders, defends enforcement actions, advises on restrictions and disclosures associated with the chemical content of products, counsels on release and other environmental reporting, and supports environmental regulatory and liability aspects of commercial transactions (including, but not limited to regulatory due diligence and private label distribution arrangements).Further, he participates in technical rulemaking proceedings, provides strategic and regulatory compliance counseling within existing and emerging industries, initiates compliance training, conducts internal investigations, performs compliance auditing, offers facility permitting services and develops product compliance plans and systems.

Mr. Votaw represents clients before State and Federal regulatory agencies and federal courts. He has extensive experience in compliance counseling on matters related to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); the Clean Air (CAA) and Clean Water Acts (CWA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC); California’s Proposition 65; Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH); Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS); and Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE).

Mr. Votaw, an established leader in the field, has spent his career in Environmental Law private practice. His portfolio includes clients from the nanotechnology, chemicals, life sciences, semiconductor, filtration, equipment manufacturing, transportation, retail and consumer product, property development, and trade association industry sectors. Additionally, he has served as external policy advisor to the Massachusetts Interagency Nanotechnology Committee.

Mr. Votaw is regularly invited to speak at conferences, is frequently quoted in industry publications, and has authored articles featured in Industry Week, American Bar Association, and Environmental Leader. Chambers and Partners placed Mr. Votaw in their prestigious Ranked Attorney Environmental Law – District of Columbia category in the USA Guide for 2014 - 2020.



Practice Areas


  • Catholic University of America
    • J.D., 1989
  • Dickinson College
    • B.A,, 1986

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


  • Vice-Chair, Pesticides, Chemical Regulation and Right to Know Committee of the Natural Resources Section of the American Bar Association
    Environmental Law Institute
    Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Section of the District of Columbia Bar
    Environmental Law Section of the New York Bar
    American Chemical Society
    Materials Research Society
    Society for Risk Assessment
    ASTM Committees on Nanotechnology (E56), Pesticides (E35)
    Air Quality (D22) and Sustainability (E60). 


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