Hopping Green & Sams

Post Office Box 6526
Tallahassee, Florida 32314

Our Team

Winston K. Borkowski

A native Floridian from Daytona Beach, Winston has spent his entire life on, near or in the water.
His connection to Florida’s waters has influenced his career from his days as a student collecting water samples for his graduate research, to his first career as a state fisheries biologist, to his present of-counsel role as one of the firm’s water law specialists. Winston helps guide public and private sector clients as they navigate the maze of state and federal regulations that make up Florida water law. As a member of the firm’s water law team, Winston routinely handles matters involving NPDES discharge permits, TMDLs and state and federal water quality standards. Winston’s affinity for water does not limit his practice. Winston has helped clients obtain land use approvals from residential neighborhoods to coal-fired power plants. He has handled real estate transactions from residential closings to multi-million dollar commercial projects. He has litigated real estate issues from quieting title to several square miles of land to cure an error in an 1854 government survey to litigating his client’s statutory right to filled lands in the Florida Keys. Winston has defended clients facing state and federal enforcement actions and federal citizens’ suits initiated by advocacy organizations. Having practiced in Florida for over 32 years, Winston has litigated cases in state and federal court from Pensacola to Key West. When not practicing water law, Winston prefers to be on the water, fishing, kayaking and, more recently, attempting the elusive art of fly fishing.
  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D. (with honors)
  • University of Central Florida, M.S., Biological Sciences
  • University of Central Florida, B.S., Biological Sciences – Limnology
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court (Middle District, Northern District, Southern District)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (Eleventh Circuit)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit)
Professional Affiliations
  • Florida Bar (Environmental and Land Use Section, Administrative Law Section)
  • Authorized Agent of First American Title Insurance Company
Legal Experience
Winston has litigated a variety of cases for clients in state trial courts (criminal and civil), state appellate courts, federal trial courts and federal courts of appeal. He has litigated complex environmental cases before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings and has many years experience representing his clients’ interests before various federal agencies, state agencies and before numerous county and municipal councils and commissions.
Prior to joining Hopping Green & Sams, and after thirteen years in private practice, Winston served as a Senior Assistant General Counsel with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as program attorney for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program; Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program, and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) element of the Everglades Program.
After four years with an environmental and land use boutique firm in his hometown of Daytona Beach, Winston enjoyed approximately ten years as a solo practitioner practicing environmental and land use law, real estate law, commercial litigation, and labor and employment law.
Winston served as General Counsel to the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association from 1995 to 2000 while maintaining his private practice. As General Counsel, he represented police officers, deputies and correctional officers during Internal Affairs investigations and disciplinary actions and during certification proceedings before the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Winston also represented the PBA during labor negotiations and litigated labor related issues before the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC).
During his years as a sole practitioner, Winston served as adjunct faculty teaching environmental law in the paralegal program for Rollins College in Winter Park and environmental law and real estate law for the paralegal program at Daytona Beach Community College.
Having had the opportunity to obtain extensive experience in land use law early in his legal career, Winston was privileged to serve as a part-time municipal hearing officer for the City of Orlando presiding over zoning and land use cases on an as-needed basis.
Prior to practicing law, Winston served as an Assistant Regional Fisheries Biologist for the former Florida Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission and was designated as a certified Fisheries Scientist by the American Fisheries Society.
Publications & Presentations
A Cautionary Tale: Florida’s Federally Imposed Numeric Nutrient Criteria, StormCon, Denver, Colorado (August 2012).
Florida’s EPA-Approved NPDES Stormwater Program, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law, June 2006.
Total Maximum Daily Loads in Florida – The New Millennium, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law, June 2007.
Who’ll Stop the Rain, Regulating Irreversible Conditions, the NPDES Stormwater Program, University of Florida, Public Interest Environmental Conference, February 2012.
Florida’s TMDL Program, A Brief History, TMDLs in Florida, Law Seminars International, April 2011 (served as co-chair, moderator and speaker).
EPA’s Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Florida, Why All Florida Citizens Should Be Concerned, Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Update, August 2010.
After the Storm, EPA’s Final Rule Adopting Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Florida Freshwaters, Florida Stormwater Association, Winter Conference, December 2010.
Stormwater Harvesting, Stormwater as a Resource, Florida Stormwater Association, Annual Conference, June 2009.
Overview of TMDL Law and Litigation for the Stormwater Professional, Southeast Stormwater Association, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 2008.
When the 400 LB Gorilla Comes Calling, EPA Administrative Enforcement In Region 4 States with Approved NPDES Stormwater Programs, Southeast Stormwater Association, Atlanta, Georgia, January 2007.
Representative Published Decisions
Florida Wildlife Federation, Inc. v. Jackson, —-F. Supp. 2d—-, WL 537529 (N. D. Fla. 2012) (counsel for CF Industries, Inc.)
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. Department of Environmental Protection, DOAH Consolidated Case No. 03-2872RP (June 17, 2004) affirmed July 19, 2005 (co-counsel for the Department, briefed appeal, affirmed without opinion)
Jacqueline Lane v. Department of Environmental Protection, DOAH Consolidated Case No. 01-1332RP (May 13, 2002) affirmed May 20, 2003 (co-counsel for the Department, briefed and argued appeal)
Williams v. Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association, 765 So.2d 908 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000) (briefed and argued appeal)
American Multi-Cinema, Inc. v. C. G. Gulf Property Associates, L. P., 595 So.2d 142 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992) (briefed and argued appeal for owner of theater)
State v. Davis, 566 So.2d 1104 (Fla. 1990) (prepared amicus filing in support of Marine Fisheries Commission rule)
In the News
Apr 20, 2021
HGS a 50th Anniversary Legal Leader for American Bar Association Spring Environmental Law Conference
Winston Borkowski mentioned
Jul 15, 2019
Twelve HGS Attorneys among Environmental Permitting Summer School Faculty
Winston Borkowski mentioned
Contact Winston K. Borkowski