Gilbert Harrell Sumerford & Martin, PC

Judson "Jud" H. Turner

of Counsel - Judson (“Jud”) H. Turner joined the firm on January 1, 2017 after 10 years of public service to the State of Georgia in various senior legal and management posts. Mr. Turner’s practice is focused primarily in the areas of environmental litigation, regulatory compliance and permitting, and government relations. Having spent over 4 years as Director of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), the state’s chief environmental regulator, Mr. Turner is well-versed in a broad array of environmental matters involving water, waste and air regulation at both the state and federal levels. Mr. Turner is also considered one of the state’s top experts in environmental policy - in particular, policy related to sustainable water supply development in the state. While Director, Mr. Turner was active in the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) and served as Region IV Representative on the Executive Committee, the governing body of ECOS. Mr. Turner is also a guest professor at the University of Georgia School of Law where he will teach Water Law during the Spring 2017 term.

In addition to his time as Director of GA EPD, Mr. Turner also served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Interagency Coordination and Management of Water Resources, a position newly established to coordinate and manage activities related to the state’s defense of the original action matter filed by the state of Florida against the State of Georgia in the United States Supreme Court seeking an equitable apportionment of the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin. Florida v. Georgia, Original Action No. 142. Since September 1, 2016, Mr. Turner has served as Special Assistant Attorney General in Florida v. Georgia and in other matters involving the state’s shared river basins.

In between stints of government service, in 2008 Mr. Turner founded the law firm of Turner, Bachman & Garrett LLC, specializing in administrative and regulatory law, governmental affairs and litigation, with a particular focus on water resources law, environmental and education law. Mr. Turner was also a founding partner of Georgia360 LLC, a multidisciplinary government relations firm previously associated with Gilbert Harrell Sumerford & Martin, P.C. Both firms transitioned to different entities upon Mr. Turner’s return to public service.

From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Turner served initially as Deputy and then Executive Counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue. His practice included counsel to the Governor on wide array of executive branch legal matters, including issues related to the state budget process, judicial appointments, government procurement, education policy, retirement pensions and other post-employment benefits, ethics and litigation. Prior to service as Counsel to Governor Perdue, Mr. Turner served as General Counsel to the Georgia Department of Education. He began his law practice as an associate at Bradley Arant Rose & White LLP in Birmingham, Alabama.

Mr. Turner was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in economics and political science from the University of Georgia and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. While at UGA, Mr. Turner served as President of the Student Government Association.

In recognition of his broad experience in the areas of environmental regulation and policy, in 2016, Georgia Trend Magazine named Mr. Turner one of its 100 Most Influential Georgians. Mr. Turner was also selected as one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 in 2008 and named one of the UGA Alumni Association’s Inaugural 40 Under 40 in 2011. Mr. Turner has testified before Congress on matters of water use and management in the Southeastern United States and was recognized as a Distinguished Lecturer at the Jones Ecological Center in 2013.

Mr. Turner is active in the Walk to Emmaus, a 3-Day Christian renewal movement, and Chrysalis, the primary outreach of the Walk to Emmaus ministering to youth ages 15-18, having served on its board of servants for the past 5 years. Mr. Turner presently serves on the UGA, Griffin Campus, Board of Visitors and served for a number of years on UGA’s Honors Program Young Alumni Board. He is a native of Albany, Georgia and resides in Griffin with his wife Courtney and two children.

Additional Relevant Experience

  • Developed the state’s strategy to secure its water supply for municipal, industrial and agricultural water use through 2050, including the state’s response to the proposed Army Corps’ Water Control Manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin
  • Amended state’s partnership agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers related to 404 permitting under the Clean Water Act for regional multi-purpose, water supply reservoirs.
  • Served as liaison to the state’s Congressional delegation for issues related to interstate basins and other water supply matters
  • Revised and implemented the state’s new drought protection regulatory framework and rule-making regarding water loss from aging infrastructure
  • Architect of key revisions to the Flint River Drought Protection Act during the 2013 legislative session and designed options for future regulatory management of water resources in the Lower Flint Basin.
  • Resolved contentious issues related to the Savannah River Basin
    • Saltwater Intrusion: Developed bold regulatory approach that established moratorium on further Floridan Aquifer withdrawals and implemented targeted, economically sustainable reductions to be phased in over ten years
    • TMDL: Negotiated and finalized with EPA and the State of South Carolina a novel approach to over-allocated waste loads to the river that will provide the means to bring the river back into compliance for water quality
    • Harbor Deepening: Ensured existing environmental mitigation plans related to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project would not be negated by consumptive loss from withdrawals for the new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle by requiring targeted mitigation for dissolved oxygen impacts as a condition of the companys’ withdrawal permit
  • Developed the state’s successful strategy in response to the President’s Clean Power Plan to allow for crediting of new nuclear power generation in the final federal rule.
  • Architect of the state’s approach to coastal marshland buffers under the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, including successful passage of a revised buffer statute and state rule-making establishing clear and enforceable vegetated buffers around state marshlands. See Turner v. Georgia River Network, et. al., 297 Ga. 306 (2015) (confirming director’s interpretation of the statute and validating the need for revisions to the statute in order to provide enforceable vegetated buffers around state marshlands where vegetated buffers are lacking).

Presentations

  • Special Presentation: Georgia Environmental Protection Division Water Law Update, 15th Annual Georgia Water Law and Regulation, the Seminar Group, (March 22, 2016)
  • Key Water Issues in the State of Georgia: Update and Future Issues, (Tri-State Water Issues; Water Control Manuals in the ACF and ACT Basins; Georgia’s Erosion and Sedimentation Act; EPA and the Corps’ Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking; Status of the Savannah River TMDL; Georgia’s Anti-deg Guidance; Nutrient Management Issues; Status of the State Water Plan and Updates to the Regional Council Plans), 14th Annual Georgia Water Law and Regulation, the Seminar Group, (February 27, 2015)
  • Congressional Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, “Oversight of Army Corps of Engineers Water Management in Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Systems,” (July 22, 2013)
  • Distinguished Lecture, Jones Ecological Center, (August 28, 2013)

Publications

  • Tweaking river’s flow, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 14, 2015
  • Unfounded concerns, rumors surround revision of the Flint River Drought Protection Act, Albany Herald, March 9, 2014
  • Discharge levels may vary, but they still protect, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 2, 2013

Brunswick Office

777 Gloucester Street, Suite 200
Post Office Box 190
Brunswick, Georgia 31521-0190
(912) 265-6700
(912) 264-0244 Facsimile

Atlanta Office

50 Hurt Plaza SE
Suite 1450-A
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-2915
(912) 265-6700
(912) 264-0244 Facsimile

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