Biography

Sharon practices environmental law in Preti Flaherty's Portland office. Her practice includes advising clients on environmental, permitting, compliance and remediation issues; representing members of the regulated community before federal and state environmental regulatory agencies; and counseling developers, business owners, and lenders on environmental issues in the purchase of and sale of real property and in other business transactions.

As a former Assistant Regional Counsel with the Hazardous Waste Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (Seattle), her work focused on the negotiation of hazardous waste cleanup agreements in the Superfund (CERCLA) and RCRA programs. Previously, she served as law clerk to Chief Justice Jay Rabinowitz of the Supreme Court of Alaska.

Environmental Due Diligence
Sharon has served as lead environmental counsel to numerous firm clients engaged in significant business transactions. Representative matters include:

  • Purchase of complex brownfield property. Transaction involved negotiation of first environmental covenant issued pursuant to the Maine Uniform Environmental Covenants Act.
  • Proposed sale of energy generating assets that were physically integrated with pulp and paper facility. Strategy included successfully obtaining a solid waste beneficial use permit under a tight timeframe, and negotiating with the Maine DEP to amend Maine solid waste laws.
  • Complex global permit transfer resulting from acquisition of large Maine manufacturing facility.

Environmental Compliance, Permitting and Enforcement
Sharon provides environmental counsel on a broad variety of technical regulatory compliance and permitting issues. including:

  • Hazardous waste and universal waste management
  • RCRA facility investigation and closure
  • Air, wastewater discharge, solid waste and beneficial re-use, landfill closure
  • Asbestos and PCBs
  • Spill prevention, control and countermeasure and integrated contingency planning
  • Transfer of environmental permits

Sharon draws on her experience as a former EPA regional enforcement attorney to assist clients facing EPA and Maine DEP enforcement actions. She has represented businesses and governmental authorities before the U.S. EPA in RCRA, Clean Water Act, and EPCRA enforcement actions and has been particularly successful in negotiating significantly reduced penalty amounts and in utilizing Supplemental Environmental Projects as alternatives to cash penalties.

Stormwater Experience
Sharon has been a key industry stakeholder representative during major overhauls of Maine's stormwater regulations and permits, including Chapter 500 stormwater management regulations and the Maine Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges. She negotiated the first Municipal Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) permits in Maine. In addition, she has represented members of the regulated community in the creation and implementation of the Long Creek Watershed General Permit (the first Clean Water Act permit in the U.S. to regulate stormwater discharges from existing impervious surfaces). She has also assisted clients providing comment on the proposed statewide Impervious Cover TMDL for impaired streams.

Professional Activities

  • Maine State Bar Association
    • Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section
  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

Honors & Recognition

  • Listed in New England Super Lawyers in the field of Environmental Law
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Maine Water Environment Association - Stormwater Committee
  • Maine Technology Institute - Environmental Technology Board
  • City of South Portland - Open Space Committee
  • Levey Day School - Advisory Board
  • Stanford Law School - Alumni Association
  • One Longfellow Square - Member

Presentations and Publications

  • Sharon has lectured and written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including developments in federal and Maine stormwater regulation, the environmental aspects of business and real estate transactions, brownfields remediation, the Maine Voluntary Remedial Action Program, and the Maine Uniform Environmental Covenants Act.

Firm Highlights

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Trusts and Estates Attorney Dianne Ricardo to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that Dianne Ricardo has joined the firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group. Based out of the firm’s Concord, New Hampshire office, Dianne focuses her practice on comprehensive estate...

Press Coverage

Portland law firm Preti Flaherty unveils renovated HQ space

Preti Flaherty has remodeled its Portland headquarters, spanning three floors and 41,000 square feet at One City Center. The update features hybrid workstations, collaborative areas, and an internal staircase that integrates flexible conference and...

News

10 Preti Attorneys, 6 Practice Groups Honored in National Rankings

Ten Preti Flaherty attorneys and six practice groups have been selected by Chambers USA for inclusion in their premiere annual list of America’s leading lawyers. Preti is recognized for excellence in the practice areas...

News

Preti Flaherty Names Michael S. Smith as Managing Partner

Preti Flaherty announced this week the election of Michael S. Smith as the firm’s new Managing Partner, effective July 15, 2024. He succeeds David Van Slyke, who is resuming his role as chair of...

Publication

What Is the Affirmative Relief Announcement?

On June 18, 2024, President Biden announced  a series of immigration actions  using the authority granted to him by our existing immigration laws. These actions will help certain undocumented individuals in the United States...

Publication

Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutionality of Outdoor Camping Bans

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the  City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson et al. , overturning a 2019 decision from the 9 th  Circuit Court, which held...

News

Matthew C. Worthen Joins Preti Flaherty’s Real Estate and Finance Practice Group

Preti Flaherty is pleased to welcome Matthew C. Worthen as a Director in the firm’s Real Estate and Finance Group. Worthen previously served as a Shareholder and Chair of the Real Estate Group at...

Press Coverage

Looking to 'new generation,' Preti Flaherty promotes 42-year-old litigator to managing partner

Effective July 15, Michael S. Smith has been named managing partner of the law firm Preti Flaherty. Michael succeeds David Van Slyke, who will resume his role as chair of the firm’s environmental practice...

Publication

Compliance for Two—What Employers Need to Know about the Newly Effective Final Regulation for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On June 18, 2024 the final rule from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) takes effect, clarifying employers' obligations under this landmark legislation. Effective since June 27...

Publication

Copyright Litigation: Substantial Similarity

In copyright litigation, courts assess substantial similarity to determine if alleged copying constitutes infringement. This evaluation involves comparing works across different categories using objective measures and subjective impressions to weigh similarities and dissimilarities. Even when...