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

Benchmark Litigation Names Preti Flaherty 2024 “Maine Firm of the Year"

Benchmark Litigation  has named Preti Flaherty as 2024 Litigation Firm of the Year in the State of Maine. Through extensive peer- and- client reviewed research, as well as analysis of casework; the Benchmark Awards...

News

Preti Attorneys File Suit Against Al-Generated Robocalls in the 2024 NH Presidential Primary

Representing the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire, the League of Women Voters of the United States, and individual voters, Preti Flaherty, with co-counsel, filed a federal lawsuit against Steve Kramer, Lingo Telecom...

Event

Good Energy: Jazz, Cocktails, and Camaraderie

Preti Flaherty and Phelps Dunbar will be hosting an afterhours event: ‘Good Energy: Jazz, Cocktails, and Camaraderie’ at The Oceantic Network’s annual IPF Offshore Wind Conference. The event will be held on April 23...

Event

Building a Strong Discipline and Performance Management Framework

As an HR professional, hiring the right talent, addressing employee needs, and managing terminations are just a few of the most challenging problems that arise. During this year's three-part Employment Breakfast Webinar Series, we'll...

News

Attorney Jeffrey Thaler Named to 2024 Lawdragon Green 500: Leaders in Energy Law

Preti Flaherty’s attorney Jeffrey Thaler has been recognized by  Lawdragon  as one of the top 500 Leaders in Energy Law. This is Jeff’s third time named to this prestigious list since the first publication...

Publication

Failure to Follow Your Contract's Notice Requirements Can be Costly

In Kinetic Systems, Inc. v. IPS-Integrated Projects Services, LLC et. al., No.: 20-cv-1125 (D.N.H. February 6, 2024), the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire granted summary judgment for a general contractor...

Event

When to Say Goodbye: Navigating Leave and Terminations

As an HR professional, hiring the right talent, addressing employee needs, and managing terminations are just a few of the most challenging problems that arise. During this year's three-part Employment Breakfast Webinar Series, we'll...

Publication

USCIS Announces H-1B Registration Period for FY2025: New “Beneficiary Centric” Registration Process and Increased Fees

USCIS has recently announced a series of changes that will impact the FY2025 H-1B registration system and cap filing season. H-1B Registration Period and Organizational Accounts As in prior years, under this process, prospective petitioners...

Publication

Important Updates to American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Rules and Mediation Procedures

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) updated its Construction Industry Rules and Mediation procedures (AAA Rules), effective March 1, 2024, marking the first update since 2015. The updates are important because the AAA Rules are...

Publication

Helping Employers Navigate the New Independent Contractor Rule and Compliance Challenges

On March 11 th , the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) new Independent Contractor Rule goes into effect.  As your organization readies itself for compliance, it’s imperative to scrutinize your independent contractor classifications...