Sara J. Peterson

Sara J. Peterson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Environmental Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Parkway Law
 | 1925 Innsbruck Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55421
Phone: 763-226-6168
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2004, 2008 - 2009, 2014
Licensed Since: 2000
Practice Areas:
  • Environmental (90%),
  • Real Estate: Business (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    Sara Peterson has been advising and representing clients on environmental regulatory compliance issues and environmental and regulatory aspects of transactions for over fifteen years. After working in a large Minneapolis law firm for ten years, Sara founded Parkway Law in 2011. Sara has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine in 2008, 2009, and 2014, and as a “Super Lawyer” in 2015-2018 for her environmental law practice.

    To complement her legal practice, Sara also teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she has taught the Environmental Capstone Course in collaboration with Professor Alexandra Klass since 2009. She has also taught the Law School’s Sustainability Law Clinic and its first year practical skills course called Law in Practice. Sara was awarded the Stanley V. Kinyon Adjunct Teacher of the Year Award in 2013.

    Sara is also active with several non-profit organizations. She has served as President of Minnesota Brownfields, a non-profit dedicated to facilitating efficient re-use of contaminated land, Chair of the Board of Directors for CornerHouse Interagency Child Abuse Evaluation and Training Center, and as Chair for the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Section.

    Sara represents and counsels clients on matters such as:

    • environmental and other aspects of corporate, real estate and commercial transactions
    • regulatory compliance, permitting and enforcement matters
    • legacy environmental liabilities, and
    • sustainability and environmental reporting matters.

    Sara’s environmental and regulatory expertise covers a wide range of substantive issues. She commonly assists clients on matters related to:

    • cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated property
    • chemical regulation
    • sustainability issues
    • hazardous and solid waste
    • hazardous substance release reporting
    • wastewater discharge
    • stormwater permitting and compliance
    • environmental review
    • environmental insurance, and
    • occupational safety and health.

    Representative Work

    • Counsel and represent private company client in negotiations with U.S. EPA, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and potentially responsible parties in conducting cleanup and allocating costs and responsibilities at federal and state Superfund site for purposes of commercial redevelopment.
    • Counsel public company client on environmental risks of acquiring manufacturing facility with known solvent contamination migrating off-site. Oversee environmental due diligence, negotiate environmental agreements and insurance policy to mitigate risks.
    • Represent and advise chemical company on compliance with Toxic Substances Control Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and related regulations; advise on U.S. contracting aspects of and coordinate with European Union counsel on U.S.-headquartered company’s compliance with the European Union’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (“REACH”).
    •  Advise and represent manufacturer conducting environmental audit of its facility under state self-audit program.
    • Represent metal finishing client in responding to notices of violation issued by federal, state and local regulators for alleged hazardous waste management and wastewater discharge non-compliance, negotiate settlement agreement resolving same.

    Professional Activities

    • Past Chair, Board of Directors, Minnesota Brownfields

    • Past Chair, Minnesota State Bar Association Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Section

    • Past Chair, Board of Directors, CornerHouse Child Abuse Evaluation & Training Center

    •  Admitted to the Minnesota State Bar, State Courts of Minnesota, and U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

    • Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota Law School

    • Elected to Lambda Alpha International, a global land economic society, in 2015


    • J.D., 2000, Duke University School of Law, James A. Bell Scholar

    • B.S., 1995, University of Michigan, Angell Scholar

    About Sara Peterson

    Admitted: 2000, Minnesota

    Professional Webpage:

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Minnesota Brownfields Board of Directors
    • 2011-2012 Chair, MSBA Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Section Council. Council member 2008 to present.

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Board Chair, CornerHouse Child Abuse Evaluation and Training Center, 2012. Board member from 2009 to present. Board Chair, Minnesota Brownfields, 2013-2015. Treasurer 2011-2012, board member from 2009 to present.

    Representative Clients:

    • Advise and represent Hyde Development on environmental aspects of its redevelopment of a 120-acre federal Superfund site into a thriving, modern commercial/industrial campus, adding $112 million to the property tax base, increasing employment in the City of Fridley, MN, and receiving an award from U.S. EPA for excellence in re-use of property.

    Educational Background:

    • University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment, B.S., 1995

    Industry Groups

    • Chemical And Waste Regulation
    • Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions
    • Real Estate Development
    • Regulated Industries
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    Office Location for Sara J. Peterson

    1925 Innsbruck Parkway
    Minneapolis, MN 55421

    Sara J. Peterson:

    Last Updated: 3/18/2020

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