Michael G. Cooke

Of Counsel
Tampa,  FL  U.S.A.

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Practice Areas

  • Environmental
  • Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation
  • Public Utilities
  • Carbon Credits
  • Climate Change
Contact InfoTelephone: 813.318.5728
Fax: 813.318.5900
University George Mason College of the University of Virginia, B.S., Biology, with distinction, 1974; George Mason College of the University of Virginia, M.S., Biology, 1977
Law SchoolThe Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., 1985 Associate Editor, Catholic University Law Review
Admitted1985, Michigan; 1993, Florida
Memberships The Florida Bar; Michigan Bar.


Michael G. Cooke concentrates his practice in administrative law, including environmental, utility, and land use law. He represents industrial, agricultural, banking, government, and developer clients on matters involving clean air, climate change, electric generating facilities, renewable energy, telecommunications, utility plant and transmission line siting, water, and wastewater issues.

From 2003 to 2006, Michael was the Director of the Division of Air Resource Management for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In this position, he managed the air quality program for the State of Florida, interacting with federal and local agencies and over-seeing permitting and enforcement matters and the development of state air regulations. Michael also served as General Counsel for the Florida Public Service Commission in Tallahassee from 2006 through 2008. His responsibilities at the Public Service Commission included conduct of rate cases, rulemaking, enforcement proceedings, and decision-making involved with policy issues regarding nuclear facility site cost recovery and renewable energy.

Michael has represented clients in connection with numerous environmental regulatory matters, particularly in air permitting and compliance issues. He has represented electric utilities, manufacturing, and agricultural entities in connection with various Title V and New Source Review matters. He is well versed in CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, water, and solid waste matters.

Areas of Concentration

•Federal and State Air Regulation
•Permitting and Enforcement
•Utility and Rate Regulation
•Land Use & Zoning

Associated News & Events

Press Releases

12.02.15 Greenberg Traurig's Michael G. Cooke to Speak at Power Magazine's Navigating Legal Implications of Power Industry Regulations Event
11.03.15 Greenberg Traurig Named 'Law Firm of the Year' for Environmental Law
10.28.15 Greenberg Traurig's Michael G. Cooke to Moderate Panel at the 51st Annual Florida Section Conference of the Air & Waste Management Association
06.29.15 Five Greenberg Traurig Tampa Attorneys Named to 2015 Florida Trend Legal Elite
06.23.15 13 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Named 2015 Florida Trend Legal Elite
03.18.15 Five Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Named to Law360 Editorial Advisory Boards
03.16.15 Greenberg Traurig's Michael G. Cooke Named to Law360 Environmental Editorial Advisory Board
01.22.15 Greenberg Traurig's Michael G. Cooke moderating panel at 42nd Annual Public Utility Research Center Conference
11.14.14 Greenberg Traurig's Environmental Practice Receives Top Tier Rankings in U.S. News - Best Lawyers 2015 'Best Law Firms' List
10.28.14 Greenberg Traurig's Michael G. Cooke to Speak at 2014 Florida Section Air and Waste Management Association Conference

Published Articles

09.01.14 The Intersection of the Clean Air Act and Energy Policy: EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for Existing Power Plants
08.01.14 U.S. Supreme Court Limits EPA's Greenhouse Gas Permitting Authority


06.19.15 Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Under the Newly Issued Clean Water Rule
07.02.12 U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations: Is a NAAQS in the Offing?
03.09.12 Judicial Review of EPA's Cross State Air Pollution Rule - What to Expect Next

Articles, Publications, & Lectures


•Quoted, Fuzzy Lines in Battle Over Clean Power Plan, energybiz, August 18, 2015
•Quoted, Companies Should Plan Ahead for Clean Power Plan, Corporate Counsel, August 5, 2015
•Co-Author, Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Under the Newly Issued Clean Water Rule, GT Alert, June 19, 2015
•Co-Author, The Intersection of the Clean Air Act and Energy Policy: EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for Existing Power Plants, Trends, ABA, Vol. 46, No. 1, September/October 2014
•Author, U.S. Supreme Court Limits EPA's Greenhouse Gas Permitting Authority, EPA Administrative Law Reporter, August 2014
•Quoted, EPA Carbon Regs put Pressure on Fla. to Embrace Renewables, Law360, June 6, 2014
•Author, U.S. Supreme Court To Consider Challenge to Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Decisions, National Law Review, October 15, 2013
•Author, Helping Electric Utility Clients Manage New Climate Change Issues and Concerns, Inside the Minds, The Legal Impact of Climate Change, Thomson Reuters/Aspatore, 2011
•Author, Chapter 35: Florida, Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property, Second Edition, American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, 2002
•Author, An Evolving Model for Judicial Review of Environmental Safety and Health Rulemaking: Small Refiners Lead Phase-Down Task Force v. EPA, 33 C.U.L.R. 1027, 1984

Speaking Engagements

•Instructor, Florida's Renewable Energy Projects: Updates on Financing, Environmental Licensing, and Construction, 28th Annual Florida Chamber Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 2014
•Instructor, Federal Regulatory Implications For New Alternative Fuel And Waste To Energy Projects, 26th Annual Florida Chamber Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 2012
•Speaker, Florida Chamber's 26th Annual Growth Management, Energy, Climate Change and the Environment Short Course
•Speaker, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Central District's 13th Annual Power Generation Conference

Other Experience

•Information Policy and Legislation Specialist, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy
•Assistant Professor, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

Reported CasesSignificant Representations; Frequently advise electric utilities, industrial facilities, and other sources on Title V permitting issues. Advised a manufacturing corporation in connection with obtaining major source air construction permit for manufacturing facility at a greenfield site in Tennessee. Represented a gas pipeline company in mid-Atlantic in connection with appeal by environmental group of air permitting issues involving greenhouse gas emissions at new installation. Assisted with representation of a major source natural gas-fired merchant power plant in Florida with respect to a request for refinancing. Provided various legal opinions touching on a broad range of matters, including real estate, utility regulations, and environmental matters, including current and prospective compliance with air permitting issues. Advised agricultural processing facilities in Florida in connection with New Source Review compliance issues, and affirmatively resolved potential enforcement matters. Represented marine transportation facility in Florida in connection with alleged noncompliance by EPA and State with air permit. Represented electric utility in connection with the permitting of a major modification of a coal-fired generation facility. Representation as lead counsel to Michigan manufacturing trade association regarding adoption of environmental regulations and legislation to implement 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments; drafted proposed legislation and appeared before Michigan legislature on behalf of association. Managed Florida Air Division and directed air permitting, compliance, and rulemaking, including development of state regulations implementing the federal Clean Air Interstate Rule, Clean Air Mercury Rule, Clean Air Visibility Rule, and New Source Review reform programs. Advised a U.S. manufacturer regarding environmental requirements applicable to its facilities located in Mexico and, in particular, assisted the company in developing its program for ensuring compliance with RCRA disposal requirements and other transborder issues.

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

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Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Under the Newly Issued Clean Water Rule
Kerri L. Barsh,John V. Chibbaro,Michael G. Cooke,H. Hamilton Hackney,Hayley E. Neal, June 25, 2015
More than 40 years after Congress passed the landmark Clean Water Act, the jurisdictional reach of that statute remains a contentious legal and political issue. By prohibiting the discharge of pollutants to “navigable waters” without a permit, the Act expressly limits its protections to...

UN Releases Negotiating Text for December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement Meeting
Michael G. Cooke, April 2, 2015
On March 19, 2015, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released negotiating text for a new climate change agreement that will be considered for adoption at the December 2015 meeting of the UNFCCC in Paris.

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Office Information

Michael G. Cooke

625 East Twiggs Street, Suite 100
TampaFL 33602


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