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
Awards & Recognition
· Associate Editor, Catholic University Law Review
· Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Federal & State Government and Administrative practice
· Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5
· 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.
· Environmental Attorney, Office of General Counsel, General Motors Corporation (1985 - 1992)
· Information Policy and Legislation Specialist, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy
· Assistant Professor, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
Publications & Presentations
Articles, Lectures & Publications
· 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
· 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