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 Joins Maine Justice Foundation for Racial Justice Fund

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote racial justice, Preti Flaherty has joined with the Maine Justice Foundation and other local businesses and philanthropists to create the Racial Justice Fund . Each of the 22 founders...

News

Twenty-Three Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in 2020 Super Lawyers

Twenty-three Preti Flaherty attorneys have been selected for recognition by Super Lawyers , including thirteen Rising Stars. Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers throughout the United States in more than 70 practice areas. Only five...

Publication

Legislative Alert: House Democratic and Senate Republican Leadership Elections

Senate Republicans held their leadership votes on Tuesday, November 10 th . As expected, Senator Jeff Timberlake was elected as Republican Leader. Both Senator Matt Pouliot and Senator Trey Stewart ran to be the...

Publication

Legislative Alert: 2020 Election and State House Update

(Current as of 11/4/20 at 2:30 PM EST) Presidential Maine is one of two states in the country that splits its electoral votes. As in 2016, this turned Maine’s more rural 2nd Congressional District...

Publication

Legislative Alert: Legislative Leadership Election Update

The Senate Democratic Caucus met on November 5 th and, as expected, re-elected their current leadership team. Thus Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby (D-Androscoggin), and Senate Majority Assistant Leader...

Press Coverage

Diverse Lawyers Matter: Maine’s Legal Community Tackles Racism in the Profession

Mainebiz surveys local attorneys on the ongoing lack of diversity in the legal profession, how public opinion has changed in the last few years in confronting the issue, some of the reasons this problem persists...

News

U.S. News – Best Lawyers Ranks Preti Flaherty Among 2021 Best Law Firms

Preti Flaherty has been named among the 2021 Best Law Firms by the U.S. News – Best Lawyers rankings. To be eligible for ranking, a law firm must have at least one attorney named...

Press Coverage

Trump Legal Team Pursues Contradictory Strategy

As the Trump campaign continues to present court challenges to electoral procedures, the Portland Press Herald interviews several Maine attorneys, including Matt Warner of Preti Flaherty, on the merits of the cases and their...

Publication

How to comply with Maine’s new paid leave law

Fittingly, “Vacation Land” is among a small contingent of states that have a paid leave law on the books.  Maine, however, is somewhat unique in that the paid leave afforded under the new law...

News

Preti Flaherty Adds Six to Environmental and Litigation Practice Groups

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the arrival of six new members to the firm: Katherine L. Oaks, Kevin C. Osantowski, Laura Lee Barry Wommack, Nicholas A. Dube, Martin C. Topol, and Allaina Murphy...