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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has announced that the director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Jud Turner, has stepped down from his role effective June 1.

Turner was appointed director by Deal in January 2012. He will continue to serve as a member of the state’s water litigation team as a Special Assistant Attorney General.   

“Under Jud’s leadership, EPD has made great strides in protecting Georgia’s most valuable environmental resources,” said Chris Riley, Chief of Staff to Gov. Nathan Deal. “In his ongoing role on the state’s water litigation team, I am confident Jud will continue protecting Georgia’s water rights. Jud’s institutional knowledge and historical perspective are crucial to Georgia’s efforts. The governor is thankful to have him remain on our legal team.”

Under his direction at EPD, Turner shepherded the passage of substantive revisions to the Flint River Drought Protection Act in 2014 to preserve the environment while enhancing the agriculture industry. In addition to his role at EPD, Deal appointed Turner to spearhead the newly established Governor’s Office of Interagency Coordination and Management of Water Resources. In that role, Turner helped manage the state’s defense of the case filed by Florida seeking judicial apportionment of the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. In addition to litigation coordination and support, Turner was responsible for the oversight and management of the state’s multipronged efforts to increase water supply while also developing and implementing policies for the sustainable and reasonable use of the state’s water resources.

In an effort to improve the quality of air in Georgia’s counties, Turner successfully brought several into compliance with the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). He worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to phase out the requirement for a special blend of summer gasoline in 45 metro counties, a past component of Georgia’s plan to help attain the Ozone NAAQS.  Additionally, Turner led Georgia’s efforts to amend the president’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations so that nuclear generation from Plant Vogtle counts toward compliance with federal requirements.

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