Our Team
Print

Peter C. Cunningham

Peter, a founding member of Hopping Green and Sams, is currently Of Counsel to the firm.
He has over forty years of experience in Environmental and Administrative Law in Florida, including participation in the legislative process, rulemaking, permitting, litigation, and appellate work. In recent years, his practice has focused on the siting and licensing of power plants and other energy facilities. He has served as lead outside counsel in the successful licensing of more than 16,000 megawatts of new and modernized electrical generation in Florida, usually as a key member of multi-disciplinary teams comprising project developers, engineers, environmental and land use professionals, biologists, hydrologists, expert witnesses and other lawyers. These complex endeavors involve a broad range of environmental, planning, land use, and public policy considerations, including air quality regulation, air pollution control, water supply and wastewater discharge issues. Peter particularly appreciates the opportunity to bring his experience to bear in creatively assessing strategic options and developing innovative solutions. The final State approval for many new power plants is granted by Florida’s Governor and Cabinet acting as the Siting Board in a public hearing, which adds an important political dimension to the process. Peter grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University before attending law school at the University of Michigan. Peter and his wife Stephanie enjoy travel, sailing, listening to music and attending concerts, collecting art, and New England. He also appreciates vintage British and Italian sports cars, wooden boats, naval history, and Labrador Retrievers.
Education
  • University of Michigan, J.D.,
  • Harvard University, A.B., cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (5th Circuit, 11th Circuit)
  • U.S. District Court (Northern District of Florida)
Professional Affiliations
  • Florida Bar Association, Sections on Environmental and Land Use Law, and Administrative Law
  • Air and Waste Management Association
  • Florida Small Business Compliance Advisory Panel, Member
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Small Business Assistance Program
  • National Compliance Advisory Council, Member, 2002-2005
  • Leadership Florida, Class VII
Awards & Recognition
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, for Environmental Law, 2004-2021 editions
  • Listed in the annual publication of The Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2018 editions
  • Listed in Corporate Counsel, Top Lawyers for Environmental Law, May 2008
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal for Environmental Law in Florida, 2008
  • Listed in Chambers USA, 2004-2008 editions
  • Listed in Florida Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite,” 2004-2006 editions
  • Has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards
Legal Experience
Represents clients before local, regional, State and Federal government officials, agencies, courts and elected bodies, including county commissions, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida’s Governor and Cabinet, the Florida Legislature, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on a variety of environmental, energy, and regulatory matters.
Advises and represents clients on the siting and licensing of complex energy infrastructure, including electric power plants, transmission lines and pipelines. Has served as lead outside counsel in the successful licensing of more than 16,000 megawatts of new and modernized electrical generating capacity.
Extensive experience in air quality management and regulation, including legislation, rulemaking, permitting, compliance and enforcement. Has represented a wide range of clients in these areas, including investor-owned, municipally-owned and cooperatively-owned electric utilities, manufacturers of coffee, sugar, boats, pulp and paper, phosphate, cement, asphalt, steel, glass and chemical products, as well as municipal solid waste authorities and recycling companies.
Represented Florida’s Electric Utilities on energy policy issues in connection with Governor Bush’s Energy 2020 Study Commission, and before the Florida Legislature.
Publications & Presentations
Chapter on Air Quality Regulation and Permitting in Florida Bar’s Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise (Co-Author).
Air Quality Regulation, Power Plant Siting and Energy Policy at numerous Statewide and Southeast U.S. conferences, seminars and workshops at events sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Air and Waste Management Association and the Florida Bar (Speaker).
Representative Published Decisions
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition v. Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection, 14 So.3d 1076 4th DCA ( 2009)Fla. Power & Light Co. v. State, 693 So.2d 1025 1st DCA (1997)
Fla. Power Corp. v. State Dep’t of Envitl. Reg., 431 So.2d 684 1st DCA (1983)
Fla. Power & Light Co. v. Costle, 683 F.2d 941 5th Cir. (1982)
Fla. Power & Light Co. Riviera Beach Energy Center, Application No. PA09-54, 32 F.A.L.R. 1436, 2009 WL 5848995 Fla. Dep’t Envtl. Protection Final Order of Certification (Nov. 24, 2009)
Fla. Power & Light Co. Cape Canaveral Energy Center, Application No. PA08-53, 32 F.A.L.R. 1107 (Fla. Dep’t Envtl. Protection Final Order of Certification (Oct. 9, 2009)
Fla. Power & Light Co. West County Energy Center Unit 3 Power Plant Siting Application No. PA05-47SA1, 31 F.A.L.R. 2030, 2008 WL 5206183 Fla. Dep’t Envtl. Protection Final Order of Certification (Nov. 15, 2008)
Fla. Power & Light Co. West County Energy Center Power Plant Siting Application No. PA 05-47, 29 F.A.L.R. 2596, 2006 WL 3868922 Fla. Siting Bd. Final Order of Certification (Dec. 21, 2006)
Fla. Power & Light Turkey Point Unit 5 Power Plant Siting Application No. PA03-45, 2005 WL 1317531 Fla. Siting Bd. Final Order of Certification (Feb. 07, 2005)
Fla. Power & Light Co. Martin Unit 8 Power Plant Siting Application No. PA89-27A, 2003 WL 21207103 Fla. Siting Bd. Final Order of Certification (Apr. 11, 2003)
Fla. Power & Light Co. Manatee Unit 3 Power Plant Siting Application No. PA02-44, 2003 WL 21207102 Fla. Siting Bd. Final Order of Certification (Apr. 11, 2003)
Lauderdale Repowering Project, Power Plant Site Certification Application, Fla. Power & Light Company, PA89-26, 1991 WL 441709 Fla. Siting Bd. ( Jan. 10, 1991)
Transgulf Pipeline Co. v. Bd. of County Comm’rs of Gadsden County, et al., 1985 WL 306209 Final Order (Jan. 28, 1986)
Samole, et al. v. Fla. Power & Light Co. & Dep’t of Envtl. Reg., 1985 WL 26129, Final Order (Feb. 22, 1985)
In the News
Aug 20, 2020
Hopping Green & Sams attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021
Peter Cunningham mentioned
Aug 15, 2019
HGS attorneys recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020
Peter Cunningham mentioned
Contact Peter C. Cunningham