Michael Ohm is a former managing partner of the Chicago office and a veteran environmental lawyer with nearly 30 years of experience. Mr. Ohm’s practice is highly diverse, ranging from brownfield redevelopment and traditional environmental counseling, permitting and defense to emerging areas of environmental, energy and natural resource law. His 26 years in private practice are founded upon prior public service, first with the United States Environmental Protection Agency at EPA’s Midwest Region 5 office followed by service as an environmental Assistant Attorney General to the Illinois Attorney General. Mr. Ohm’s clients include major real estate developers, REITs, private equity companies, municipalities, and manufacturers.
Since moving to private practice in 1988, Mr. Ohm has directed numerous cleanups under the so-called Superfund law. Furthermore, he served as lead defense counsel in one of the largest Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) enforcement actions in the United States, the resolution of which included a two year domestic TSCA audit of multiple chemical manufacturing facilities. Since the early 1990’s, Mr. Ohm has developed a national brownfield redevelopment practice and has served as lead environmental counsel to complex, multi-party brownfield projects, including a former Army ammunition plant, a former Air Force base, several former steel mills and other types of brownfields.
Mr. Ohm has assisted clients with ecosystem management and valuation including the certification and permitting of Endangered Species Act (ESA) conservation banks and Army Corps of Engineer wetland mitigation banks. His natural resources work includes assisting a client with the certification of one of the largest privately-held conservation banks in California.
Mr. Ohm’s practice also includes representation of parties either generating or procuring renewable energy. The work relating to brownfield redevelopment and renewable energy also involves "green building" compliance, use of "smart growth" principles and implementation of voluntary carbon footprint planning and greenhouse gases considerations.
In his Federal public service Mr. Ohm spent the majority of his time at EPA in the RCRA waste management area including rulemaking, acting as a public hearing officer and as the RCRA liaison between EPA and Indiana. As an Illinois environmental prosecutor, Mr. Ohm prosecuted criminal and civil actions under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.
An experienced public speaker, Mr. Ohm has addressed business and professional organizations on a variety of environmental, health and safety subjects, including brownfields, sustainable, development, environmental auditing, environmental insurance, environmental strategic and risk management, wetlands regulation CERCLA cost recovery, RCRA closure procedures, OSHA health and safety requirements and Clean Air Act permit planning.