Michael G. Cooke

  • Of Counsel at Greenberg Traurig, LLP (2131 Attorneys)
  • 101 East Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 1900, Tampa, FL 33602
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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.


•Federal and State Air Regulation
•Permitting and Enforcement
•Utility and Rate Regulation
•Land Use & Zoning
•Carbon Credits
•Climate Change

Recognition & Leadership

Awards & Accolades

•Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers , Best Law Firms Edition, Law Firm of the Year, Environmental Law, 2016
•Listed, Florida Trend Legal Elite, Environmental & Land Use, 2015
•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

AV , AV Preeminent , Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Areas of Practice (4)

  • Environmental
  • Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation
  • Public Utilities
  • Land Use

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
813.318.5728  Phone
813.318.5900  Fax
University Attended:
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 School Attended:
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., Associate Editor, Catholic University Law Review, 1985
Year of First admission:
1985, Michigan; 1993, Florida

Professional & Community Involvement

•Member, The Florida Bar
•Member, Administrative Law Section
•Member, Administrative Law Executive Council
•Public Utilities Co-Chair
•Member, Environmental & Land Use Law Section
•Member, Government Lawyer Section
•State & Federal Government & Administrative Practice Committee
•Member, State & Federal Government & Administrative Practice Certification Committee, 2016 - 2019
•Member, Hillsborough County Bar Association

Birth Information:
Reported Cases:
Experience: Environmental: Advised agricultural processing facilities in Florida in connection with New Source Review compliance issues, and; 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.; Represented a mid-Atlantic gas pipeline company when an environmental group appealed the company's air permit related to greenhouse gas emissions at new installation.; Federal & State Air Regulation: Served 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.; Permitting & Enforcement: Frequently advise electric utilities, industrial facilities, and; Advised a manufacturing corporation with obtaining major source air construction permit for manufacturing facility at a greenfield site in Tennessee.; Defended marine transportation facility in Florida against noncompliance allegations by EPA and State with air permit.; Represented electric utility to secure permitting for a major modification of a coal-fired generation facility.; Utility & Rate Regulations: Represent corporate parent of Florida utilities in rate case and other proceedings before state commission.; Represented trade association intervenor in electric utility rate case.; Land Use & Zoning: Represented a national metal and plastic pipe manufacturing company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the lead land use attorney in the rezoning and construction of a $6 million pipe manufacturing facility in Sumter County Florida. Working with a land use consultant hired by the company, he interacted with county staff to secure rezoning approvals within a very short period of time that was dictated by a real estate purchase agreement closing deadline.; Lead land use attorney for the siting of a new wall board manufacturing facility in Hillsborough County, Florida. In this matter he planned and managed a rezoning petition for the company and successfully dealt with significant neighborhood opposition involving concerns about increased traffic and environmental impacts to Tampa Bay. He also negotiated a major reclaimed water agreement with the county on behalf of the company.; Represented Grosvenor Group Holdings, Inc., in connection with various land use matters in the City of Tampa involving the expansion and reconfiguring of WestShore Plaza. Assisted in oral argument for a certiorari petition involving an adverse decision by the City of Tampa and he drafted and filed a second tier certiorari petition for review by the Second District Court of Appeal.; Energy: Assisted with representation of a major source natural gas-fired merchant power plant in Florida regarding 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.; Government Experience: Division Director, Air Resource Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (2003-2006); Information Policy and Legislation Specialist, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy; Previous Experience: General Counsel, Florida Public Service Commission (2006 through 2008); Environmental Attorney, Office of General Counsel, General Motors Corporation (1985 - 1992); Assistant Professor, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
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    • 5.0/5.0
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