Press Release

Burns & Levinson Partner John F. Shea Receives the William H. McGinnis Award from the Massachusetts Water Works Association

November 8, 2022


Boston, MA, November 8, 2022 – Burns & Levinson is pleased to announce partner John F. Shea has received the prestigious William H. McGinnis Award from the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA) in recognition of his knowledge in water law and many contributions to the public water supply profession. He received the award on November 4 at the organization’s annual meeting where he addressed nearly 200 attendees. Shea and others were also recognized and thanked for their military service.

Shea has been an active member of MWWA for almost 20 years, serving on the Legislative Committee which provides advice and advocacy on proposed statutes and regulations impacting public water suppliers. His former firm, which merged into Burns & Levinson on September 1, 2022, represented MWWA in the production of electronic documents in PFAS manufacturer litigation in federal court. Shea lectures frequently to the membership and supports the Summer Expo.

At Burns & Levinson, Shea’s practice is focused on permitting and appeals for water (drinking, wastewater, stormwater), wetlands, air emissions, and hazardous waste cleanup. With over 40 years of experience, he is known for his work securing approvals for complex and controversial projects, developing environmental compliance plans for pro-active and troubled companies, and successfully defending permits and enforcement actions in administrative and court appeals. He has been a Hearing Officer in over 40 solid waste site assignment proceedings.

“It is an honor to receive this award from MWWA,” said Shea. “With over 1,700 public water supply systems in Massachusetts, MWWA plays a critical role in ensuring our residents have access to a safe and sufficient supply of drinking water. I’m proud of the work I have done with MWWA over the years, and with the water industry clients I represent on various compliance, enforcement, cost recovery, and water rights matters. I am pleased Burns & Levinson is supporting my water work by agreeing to be a Vice-Presidential Sponsor of MWWA.”

Shea is ranked in Best Lawyers in America (Environmental Law), Chambers USA (Environmental Law), Massachusetts Super Lawyers, and as a Martindale-Hubbell, AV Pre-eminent Lawyer. He regularly chairs professional programs and lectures on environmental topics for lawyers, engineers and business groups. He received his J.D. from the University of Maine Law School, his Master of Law in Environmental Law, cum laude, from Vermont Law School, and his B.S., cum laude, from Holy Cross College.

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