Jane brings an in-depth understanding of the dynamic legal landscape governing the use of air, water, and land. As climate change becomes an ever greater driver of investment and change, a deep understanding of the interplay of legal structures and technology development is essential to providing the best in environmental counseling and the “E” in ESG is Jane’s sweet spot. She has extensive experience representing energy companies, developers, lenders, and manufacturing companies in a broad range of environmental and renewable energy matters, and regularly counsels clients on day-to-day compliance issues, including those arising in air permitting and Clean Air Act Amendments, as well as solid and hazardous waste.

As one of the most versatile lawyers in the Environmental Practice Group, Jane regularly bridges the gap between engineers, business people, and regulators. She closely partners with clients to quickly resolve emergent problems as well as investigating root causes to develop procedures that keep issues from recurring.

Jane breaks down complex regulatory reform issues related to current environmental laws and rules. In responding to regulatory reform or development work, she aims to simplify and focus regulations on current problems. Recognizing from whence the regulatory structure came means that regulations can successfully build on the past without building in obsolete concepts. Since the beginning of the modern environmental era, environmental protection attitudes have evolved to respond to enormous changes in pollution prevention, technology, and manufacturing and so should environmental rules.

She brings extensive knowledge of greenhouse gases and climate change to everything from technology choices to public company disclosure obligations to strategies for companies to reduce emissions. Budding technologies and creating pathways to sustainable resource management are key areas of interest.  Jane also counsels clients on issues such as carbon sequestration, carbon pathways, and offset projects. She is adept at handling challenging elemental mercury, manufactured gas plant, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) issues. She is deeply involved in understanding emission calculations that companies use for both defensive and compliance purposes, and has worked extensively with consultants on these issues.

Jane has served as common counsel in Superfund matters, representing groups of parties alleged to be responsible for environmental remediation. She helps developers understand environmental issues at properties, and works with owners and planners to design contractual and remedial plans to mitigate environmental risks.

Jane also represents clients in a variety of civil and criminal enforcement actions, including responses to notices of violation or lawsuits, and in pre-enforcement efforts, such as agency requests for information. She works on numerous business transactions, and is well-versed in how a property’s environmental issues impact the resolution of a transaction to transfer property, sell assets, or sell entire businesses.

  • Experience

    Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Regulatory Programs

    • Work with clients to develop strategies to address climate change risk in their portfolios, including physical and transitional risks, and to optimize legal strategies as programs continue to develop to address climate change.
    • Worked on inventory issues for pipeline and electric generation, pipeline liquids, manufacturing processes, and numerous large facilities with combustion-related or process-related greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Works with clients to understand, develop comments on, and develop compliance approaches to the EPA’s GHG standards for new, modified, and existing power plants.
    • Develop responses to coal combustion residuals (CCR) rules, including advising on compliance and advising on state rule development to implement state CCR programs.
    • Developed comments regarding environmental regulatory reform priorities.
    • Working on CCUS (sequestration) issues for large power plant.

    Wind Power and other Renewable Energy Resources

    • Advising on utility scale battery storage facility siting and development.
    • Advising companies on local and state laws relating to wind and solar farm development, including preparing adequate documentation to withstand zoning and nuisance challenges.
    • Performed due diligence involving solar development on brownfield sites.
    • Represent company on litigation relating to siting of wind farm.
    • Negotiating contracts, including public facility contracts, for a biomethane project at a sewage treatment plant, including review of contracts regarding the sale of environmental attributes and renewable fuels.
    • A review for a lender of the safety and environmental issues surrounding a battery storage facility.
    • Resolved several notices of violation for ethanol plant.


    • Offered state and local permitting opinion letters for several transactions.
    • Led local-and-state due diligence review of a cutting edge gas plant.
    • Led due diligence efforts relating to the environment for the sale of a 100-year old manufacturing business and its numerous facilities.
    • Planning to collect documents for and respond to due diligence questions for the divestiture of several power plants.
    • Developed a review for an investor of issues concerning upcoming environmental compliance issues for a suite of electric generating facilities.
    • Wrote several reviews of either asset purchase agreements or construction contracts relating to ongoing environmental remediation.
    • Authored a review of numerous used auto facilities, including issues related to lease terms, underground storage tank liabilities, and asbestos or lead in building materials.

    New Source Review

    • Assisted several entities in extensive investigations by EPA of alleged Clean Air Act violations. Worked with companies to provide responses to EPA’s administrative information requests and worked with a team to develop defensive theories based on environmental practice, state law practice, contract law, and corporate successor law.

    Opacity Litigation

    • An NGO brought suit against a client for numerous opacity exceedances. The strategy was to show that the opacity exceedances were a small percentage of operating time and excellent control of particulate matter. Extensive development of the record occurred through discovery and expert reports. The matter was successfully settled upon an overwhelming demonstration of compliance. In addition to successful settlement, the state agreed to and did promulgate a rule change that exempts facilities subject to the MATS rule from the state’s opacity rule.

    Wetland Bank

    • Assisted a client in developing strategies to maximize the value of wetlands mitigation bank..

    Power Purchase Agreements

    • Assisted power purchasers in understanding how current, upcoming and potential environmental laws may affect the ability or cost of a generator to supply power according to agreement terms.

    Compliance Program Development

    • Assisted in the development of emergency procedures for mercury meter removal programs, and then assisted in the development of long-term training and removal programs.
    • After a Section 404 discharge into a wetland violation was discovered, developed a training program to engage and heighten awareness of environmental issues presented by large construction projects.
    • Assist routinely in developing and monitoring environmental health and safety audit programs and develop appropriate responses to issues uncovered through audits.

    Developers and Manufacturers

    • Assisted in the cleanup and redevelopment of sites contaminated with manufactured gas plant (MGP) residuals or other industrial sources of pollution.
    • Participated in legal and environmental diligence and site selection for a manufacturing facility in the southeast, including review of numerous site records, contracts, permits, and historic and cultural resources.
    • Worked with a shopping center in Oklahoma City that involved complicated contracts with numerous parties, remediation contracts, insurance contracts, and indemnities.
    • Assisted a residential development in a Chicago suburb with difficult solvent contamination and seller issues.
    • Prepared no further remediation letters for several large residential developments in Chicago (Illinois Site Remediation Program).

    Superfund Matters and Voluntary Remediation

    • Led the legal and technical team for the solvent contamination remediation at several industrial facilities.
    • Working with a client team to remediate a former MGP that lies adjacent to a creek. The process has included negotiating with EPA, researching PRP liability, and reaching a settlement with a co-liable party. Remediation evolved from site owner-led cleanup to a sale to another party and the remediation under Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program. Sediment remediation is expected at the site.
    • In Toledo, Ohio, represented an individual client and, later, a group of parties at the Stickney and Tyler landfill sites. Represented the common interests of multiple parties in dealing with federal and state regulators and pressed those interests to successful resolution of complex issues.
    • In another joint defense representation, was part of a team defending a similarly situated industry group in a cost recovery action filed in federal court. The matter involved resolution of difficult factual allocation issues.
  • Credentials


    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1990
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Secondary Education, 1980, with honors

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

        Professional Memberships

        • American Bar Association
      • Insights

        In The News
        News Release

        Schiff Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2022

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 51 attorneys have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2022.


        Clean Air Act Legal Updates

        AAPCA 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting


        Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) and Environmental Justice: Why Is It Important?

        Chemical Industry Council of Illinois May Environmental Justice Seminar


        Distributed Generation: The New Paradigm for Energy and Why It Matters to You

        Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance

        News Release

        Schiff Hardin Launches New Environmental, Social, and Governance Team

        Schiff Hardin LLP today launched its new Environmental, Social, and Governance team, which will help companies develop appropriate disclosures and institutional programs that incorporate ESG principles, including climate change, supply chain resiliency/disruption, water use, waste and recycling, environmental and energy justice, human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion, board composition, executive compensation, and anti-corruption.

        Blog Post

        Other Publications

        • “Chapter 11 – Climate Change,” (author) Distributed Generation Law: A Guide to Regulations, Policies, and Programs (Aug. 25, 2020)
        • “Trump targeting NEPA, NSR in push for energy reform in 2018,” (co-author) The Energy Daily (Jan. 8, 2018)
        • “EPA Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction Event Rules Are Changing,” Schiff Hardin Insight (Dec. 12, 2014)
        • “D.C. Circuit Orders USEPA to Respond to Petition to Stop Carbon Rulemaking,” Schiff Hardin Insight (Sep. 23, 2014)
        • “Methane Emissions Regulations on the Horizon for the Oil and Gas Industry,” Schiff Hardin Insight (Aug. 2014)
        • “Supreme Court Limits USEPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations‚ Refuses to Wave Goodbye to Separation of Power Principles,” Schiff Hardin Insight (Jun. 25, 2014)
        • “A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property,” chapter on Illinois law in Brownfields, American Bar Association (2010)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Clean Air Act Legal Updates,” AAPCA 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting, Webinar (Jun. 24, 2021)
        • “Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) and Environmental Justice: Why Is It Important?” Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, Webinar (May  20, 2021)
        • “Distributed Generation: The New Paradigm for Energy and Why It Matters to You,” Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance, Webinar (May 18, 2021)
        • “Climate Change: Local, State, and Federal Updates,” Chicago Bar Association (Mar. 21, 2018)
        • “Hot Topics,” (panelist) 2016 Air Quality Management Conference (Oct. 5, 2016)
        • “Are ISOs an Answer to Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions?” (co-presenter) 20th Annual FERC Briefing, Boston, Mass., and Chicago, Ill. (Apr. 4 and May 15, 2014)
        • “Coal on the Run?” (co-presenter) 19th Annual FERC Briefing, Chicago, Ill. (Jun. 13, 2013)
      • Awards & Honors

        • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers (2019-2022)
        • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2007-2021)
        • Top 100 Women Real Estate-Related Lawyers, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2015)
        • Top 100 Real Estate-Related Lawyers, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyer’s Network (2012)
        • Top 50 Women Real Estate-Related Lawyers, Law Bulletin’s Illinois Leading Lawyer's Network (2011-2012)
        • Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2006, 2009)
        • Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 2002)

      Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

      New Report Highlights Need for Coordinated and Consistent U.S. Policy to Address Possible Impacts to Financial Stability Due to Climate Change

      “Climate change is an emerging threat to the financial stability of the United States.” So begins a recently issued Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) Report, identifying climate change as a financial risk and threat to U.S. financial stability and highlighting a need for coordinated, stable, and clearly communicated policy objectives and actions in order to... Continue Reading


      "Jane Montgomery: Part Detective, Part Engineer, All Lawyer"

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      "Redeveloping any parcel of property in an older community comes with risks, not the least of which is identifying potential environmental contamination that must be abated before development can occur." Read Article