Jessica Mitchell Wicha is a senior associate in the Firm's North American Environmental Practice Group. She regularly counsels US and multinational companies on managing risks and liabilities arising under federal and state environmental, health and safety laws. Jessica strives to provide practical solutions to her client's environmental challenges, including routine compliance issues, emergency spills and releases, and enforcement matters. Her environmental transactional experience includes developing strategies to allocate environmental risk and liabilities, managing environmental consultants, and coordinating permit transfers.
Jessica’s practice focuses on environmental compliance counseling, enforcement defense, and environmental aspects of complex business transactions. She has particular expertise in solid and hazardous waste and water resource issues. A significant portion of her practice also concentrates on the federal and state environmental, health and safety laws regulating the manufacture, marketing and sale of products, including TSCA, FIFRA, California’s Proposition 65, and state chemical content and electronic waste laws.
Representative Legal Matters
- Regularly counsels on environmental compliance issues arising at industrial manufacturing facilities and coal mining and oil and gas exploration and production facilities, including issues related to NPDES compliance, Clean Water Act 404 permitting, the management and disposal of waste, financial assurance, and NEPA compliance.
- Represents buyers and sellers in post-transaction management of site assessment and remediation obligations pursuant to state property transfer laws, including the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) and Connecticut Property Transfer Act.
- Managed domestic and global permit transfer projects related to corporate restructurings of agriculture company and oil and gas company.
- Prepared comments on behalf of a large coal mining company regarding proposed state list of impaired waters under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.
- Prepared comments on behalf of a national trade organization regarding US Environmental Protection Agency proposed rulemaking on the regulation of coal combustion residuals under RCRA.
- Assisted in the defense of toxic tort lawsuit alleging air pollution and exposure to hazardous materials from now-defunct drum reconditioning facility.
- Emerging Lawyer – Environmental Law, Leading Lawyers, 2017
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Illinois State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois~United States (2009)
- Illinois~United States (2007)
- University of Michigan Law School (J.D. cum laude) (2007)
- University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (M.S.) (2007)
- University of Michigan (B.A. High Distinction) (2002)
Speaker, “The Emergence of Voluntary Programs and Tools to Assess Water-Related Risk,” Baker McKenzie International Environmental Conference, June 2012
Speaker, “Climate Change Disclosure Update,” Baker McKenzie International Environmental Conference, October 2010
Speaker, “Implications of Increased GHG Reporting Obligations: Beyond the GHG Reporting Rule, ” Baker McKenzie Presentation and Webinar, November 2009
Author, “Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems - Riding the P3 Wave," ABA Section Newsletter, July 2015
Author, Illinois Homeless Youth Handbook, 2015