Georgia Water/Laws/Surface Mining Act

Georgia Surface Mining Act, O.C.G.A. §§ 12-4-70

General Description


Georgia's Surface Mining Act regulates all surface mining in Georgia, including the coastal zone. Dredging or ocean mining of materials are not directly regulated by State authority, except that sand and gravel operations are subject to the Shore Protection Act.



Georgia’s Surface Mining Act was enacted with the following purposes:

  1. Assist in achieving and maintaining an efficient and productive mining industry and to assist in increasing economic and other benefits attributable to mining.
  2. Advance the protection of fish and wildlife, and the protection and restoration of land, water, and other resources affected by mining.
  3. Assist in the reduction, elimination, or counteracting of pollution or deterioration of land, water, and air attributable to mining.
  4. Encourage programs that will achieve comparable results in protecting, conserving, and improving the usefulness of natural resources.

Administration and Permitting


The act designates the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources to be the administering agency and to have several mandatory duties and powers, including the appraisal of permit applicants and revoking permits & denying renewals of those who refuse to carry out their plans of mining land use.