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 coal mining operations, aggregate quarries and, sand and gravel operations in the State. The Program administers the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Program and Abandoned Mines Lands Reclamation Program under the Department of Interior. The Mining Program is headquartered in the Energy and Environment Fort Smith Regional Office.