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 Attorney Jeffrey Thaler to the Firm

In a move that significantly expands its pioneering Climate Strategy Practice Group, Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, LLP is pleased to announce that it has hired Jeffrey Thaler, a leading climate and clean energy...

Publication

Maine Supreme Court Affirms Decision in Workers’ Compensation Case Regarding Notice Requirements

In  Desgrosseilliers v. Auburn Sheet Metal  (2021 ME 63 [December 16, 2021]), the question presented is whether an employee is required to give notice of his occupational disease claim to his former employer’s insurer...

Publication

What Do the Supreme Court's Vaccination Rulings Mean for Your Business?

Reflecting the deep rift in public opinion concerning the government’s role in dictating how businesses, health care entities and public sector employers ought to act to stem the spread of COVID-19, a divided U.S. Supreme...

Publication

Legislative Alert: Convening of the 2nd Regular Session of the 130th Legislature

The Second Regular Session of the 130 th Legislature will convene next Wednesday, January 5 th at 10 a.m. This is intended to be an in-person session of both the House and Senate with...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorney Sigmund D. Schutz Named to AAA Roster of Arbitrators

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that attorney Sigmund Schutz was recently named to the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Roster of Arbitrators. AAA is a not-for-profit organization in the field of alternative dispute resolution...

Press Coverage

Preti Flaherty Attorneys Walker and Sedlack Provide Counsel in Portland Recount Battle

After two days, hours of discussions, reported discrepancies in voting machines, and a hand recount of ballots, Roberto Rodriguez emerged as the winner of Portland’s at-large city council election. The hotly contested race was the first ranked-choice...

Press Coverage

Maine Newspapers Fight Anonymous Testimony in Lawsuit Challenging Vaccine Mandate

A group of newspapers in Portland, Lewiston, Augusta, and Waterville, represented by Preti Flaherty attorney Sigmund Schutz, have filed a motion in federal court requesting the identity of nine healthcare workers seeking religious exemption from the state's...

Publication

EPA Makes History With First-Ever Addition of Hazardous Air Pollutant

After a decade-long back-and-forth with states, NGOs and industry groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally announced that it will add a powerful dry cleaning solvent, 1-bromopropane, or “1-BP” to its list of...

News

Preti Flaherty Partnership Announces Promotion to Partner of Kristin Collins and John Cronan, III

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named two new partners: Kristin M. Collins and John J. Cronan, III. Both attorneys stand out as distinguished practitioners within their respective fields...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorneys Mariana Baron and Nelson Larkins Honored by Maine Supreme Judicial Court for Pro Bono Service

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that attorneys Mariana Baron and Nelson Larkins have been honored by the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program for their 2021 contributions to pro bono legal aid in the state...