Michael G. Cooke



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

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

•Co-Chair, Moderator, Carbon Dioxide Regulation, Air & Waste Management, Florida Section 52nd Annual Conference and Exposition, Tampa, FL, October 26, 2016
•Speaker, Navigating Legal Implications of Power Industry Regulations, POWER Legal Affairs Conference, Las Vegas, NV, December 7, 2015
•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

Associated News & Events

Press Releases

11.15.16 Greenberg Traurig's Environmental Practice Receives First-Tier Ranking in U.S. News - Best Lawyers 2017 'Best Law Firms' Edition

10.31.16 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Participate in Panel at Air & Waste Management Association Conference in Tampa

07.18.16 6 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys to Present at the Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School

06.24.16 20 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Named 2016 Florida Trend Legal Elite

06.16.16 Greenberg Traurig's Michael G. Cooke Appointed to Florida Bar Practice Certification Committee

06.08.16 Greenberg Traurig Environmental Practice Again Recognized Nationwide in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

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

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

Other Experience

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

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Environmental
  • Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation
  • Carbon Credits
  • Climate Change
  • Public Utilities

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
The Florida Bar; Michigan Bar.

Birth Information:
Reported Cases:
Significant 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.

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

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