Surface Mining and Reclamation
DEQ's Surface Mining and Reclamation group regulates the mining of coal and other mineral resources to ensure that the environment isn't harmed during mining. It also works to ensure that mined properties are returned to beneficial use after operations shut down.
Staff, which includes geologists, engineers and inspectors, issues permits and authorizations to mining operations and quarries. Most of the employees are in DEQ's headquarters in North Little Rock. Five are in the Russellville area office, closer to coal mining sites in the Arkansas River Valley in west Arkansas. Non-coal resources currently mined in Arkansas are soil, clay, shale, gravel, stone, limestone, sand, gypsum, bauxite, and novaculite.