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

Event

From Augusta: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

On March 13, 2020, Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Sara Gideon issued a joint statement to the 129th Maine Legislature signifying their intention to suspend the remainder of the...

Event

Understanding and Navigating the She-cession

New employment data shows that women are 1.8 times more likely to have left or lost their job due to COVID-19. Between remote schooling, daycare closures, and lost support systems, women have been forced...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Updates from the WCB February Monthly Business Meeting

The WCB met remotely on February 9, 2021, for its monthly business meeting. Following are some developments with respect to an appeal accepted by the Maine Supreme Court and claims related to Covid-19. COVID-Coded...

News

Racial Justice Fund Seeks Applications for Inaugural Round of Grants

The Maine Justice Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural grant cycle for its Racial Justice Fund. The Foundation will accept applications for grants of up to $10,000 until the deadline on Wednesday, March...

Publication

Answering Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Questions

As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available, employers are faced with big questions. Can we mandate vaccines for employees ? How do we manage a return to work ? Preti Flaherty's Peter Callaghan breaks...

Press Coverage

Maine Newspapers Challenge Rule Concealing Electronic Court Records

A Maine court committee in December established a 90-day blackout period rule on public access to newly filed electronic court records, a move which has been challenged by Maine's newspapers as a violation of the First Amendment. Paper...

Publication

The Role of the Additional Insured

Insurance is an important and effective tool for reducing and allocating risks. However, insurance terms can be confusing which may lead to a misunderstanding of a policy's protections, particularly when dealing with "named insureds,"...

Press Coverage

Sabattus Family's Bat Woes Prompt Bill To Force Real Estate Pest Disclosure

Event

From Concord: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, all legislative activities in the state of New Hampshire, with a couple of exceptions, will be handled remotely. Several employment-related bills will be considered and voted on during this...

News

Preti Flaherty Partnership Announces Promotion of Moppin, Rideout, White to Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named three new partners: Sara N. Moppin, Laura A. Rideout, and Emily T. White.  Each attorney stands out as a distinguished practitioner within...