Blake Biles has more than 35 years of experience as an environmental attorney, including five years with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and over 30 years in private practice. He has provided services to a wide variety of clients concerning virtually the full range of environmental requirements, and encompassing all types of legal matters: counseling, transactions, rulemakings, compliance audits, and both enforcement and appellate litigation.
Mr. Biles has considerable experience in matters involving the regulation of, and potential liabilities associated with, chemicals and other commercial products. This includes requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), hazard communication and right-to-know standards, biotechnology and life sciences, nanotechnology, consumer product safety, and related product liability issues. He has worked extensively on matters involving hazard and risk evaluations, and their legal implications: chemical-specific risk assessments, EPA IRIS assessments, National Toxicology Program evaluations, National Academies reviews, and product/process failure mode and effects analysis (FEMAs).
Mr. Biles has represented international business interests with respect to emerging chemical liability regimes; provided advice concerning treaty developments and obligations; served as a member of the OECD/BIAC, the US Council for International Business (USCIB), and International Chamber of Commerce committees; and directed environmental/tort due diligence in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Mr. Biles has long provided pro bono services to low-income and other vulnerable populations, including representation of tenants to preserve affordable housing; work for AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly (including Chair of the LCE Board of Directors); service on the Neighborhood Legal Services Program Board of Directors; representation of homeless individuals, persons seeking social security disability benefits, and residents of substandard nursing homes; and advocacy for mentally-ill persons in institutional settings, including prisons. The DC Bar has recognized Mr. Biles as Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.
At EPA from 1975 to 1980, Mr. Biles was an attorney in the Office of Enforcement, and in the Office of General Counsel. Thereafter, he was the first Director of the new-chemicals review program in the Office of Toxic Substances.
Environmental Representative Matters
- Counsel to a range of business entities with respect to governmental and private-plaintiff actions involving "at-risk" chemicals, including perfluorinated chemicals (PFC), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and other flame-retardant products, methyl bromide, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), formaldehyde, and asbestos.
- Negotiation of many TSCA Audit Agreements with US EPA for major chemical companies, and ongoing representation in their subsequent audit implementation.
- Representation of companies in numerous EPA enforcement actions alleging violation of TSCA and other chemical-control requirements.
- Lead counsel to a large publicly traded private equity firm and global asset manager (with approximately US$20 billion in assets under management) concerning the environmental aspects of acquisitions, divestitures, and financings of real-property transactions throughout the US and around the world.
- Consultant in a federal criminal prosecution alleging a company's violation of statutory reporting requirements..
- Advice to a FORTUNE 50 company in its development of new products, focusing upon hazard and risk evaluations with respect to both safety and liability considerations.
- Representation of numerous companies in reporting and recall actions involving consumer products that are subject to laws administered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Counsel to business interests in the DC Circuit litigation that established a five-year federal statute of limitations for the imposition of civil administrative penalties.
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2004-2014 for Environment
Washingtonian's "Best Lawyers" 2011, 2013 for Environmental Law
The Best Lawyers in America 1995-2014 for Environmental Law
The Legal 500 US 2012 for Litigation: Environment
The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers 2012
Washington, DC Super Lawyers 2007-2012 for Environmental Law
PLC Which lawyer? 2012 - Recommended for Environmental Law
The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers 2009 and 2011
The Legal 500 US 2008-2009 and 2011 for Litigation: Environment
PLC Which lawyer? Yearbook 2009 and 2011: Highly recommended for Environmental Law