HunterMaclean congratulates Andrew H. “Drew” Ernst on his recent retirement. Drew had a stellar forty-three-year career, all of which he spent with HunterMaclean.
Drew started his HunterMaclean career four days after graduating from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1977, and he became a partner in 1981. Through the years, Drew developed his expertise in environmental law, commercial real estate, and industrial development, handling complex permitting applications and regulatory compliance with the EPA and USACE Regulations Laws of the Clean Water Act. A highlight of Drew’s career was on behalf of what is now known as Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA), when Drew was instrumental in the creation of a unique Section 404 Permit for the development of 1,800 acres, now Crossroads Business Park. This entailed developing a master plan for a multi-use/industrial park, which the Corps of Engineers had never done before for a tract of land over 200 acres. The permitting reconciled the many environmental and wetland concerns before the final uses of the park were identified. There was a press conference held in Washington, D.C., at which General Henry Hatch, then Chief of Engineers and Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, personally issued the permit. This permitting concept has become the basis for large industrial developments across the nation.
“Drew is a well-respected member of the community and highly regarded throughout the state. His extensive knowledge and experience in representing clients in wetland issues and coastal development have been invaluable, and his expertise has been greatly appreciated by his long-time clients and colleagues,” said HunterMaclean managing partner Brad Harmon. “He has been a dedicated and appreciated member of HunterMaclean, and his collegial good spirit will certainly be missed.”
HunterMaclean’s collaborative working model ensures that more than one attorney is familiar with client matters; therefore, the attorneys who have worked closely with Drew look forward to continuing to serve clients with environmental law needs.