Skip to main content
Washington, DC
James Votaw
©2024 Keller and Heckman LLP

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.

James obtains pre-market product approvals and exemptions for his clients, 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.

James 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, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH); Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS); and Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE).

James 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.

James 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.


  • American Bar Association; Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Pesticides and Chemicals Committee; Vice-Chair
  • Environmental Law Institute
  • District of Columbia Bar; Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community
  • New York Bar, Environmental & Energy Law Section


  • Chambers USA Ranked Attorney: Environmental Law – District of Columbia, 2014 – 2020


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