This law regulates all surface mining in Georgia, including the coastal zone. It includes provisions to “advance the protection of fish and wildlife and the protection and restoration of land, water, and other resources affected by mining.” It establishes authority with Georgia DNR’s Environmental Protection Division to issue mining permits consistent with the purposes of the Act. Prior to commencing any surface mining operation a mining operator shall be required to obtain a permit to conduct such surface mining operation from the director. The law also provides conditions for issuance of mining permits and gives the Environmental Protection Division authority to review, investigate, and revoke such permits, as well as to conduct research studies of mining land uses. The law also provides penalties for failure to comply with conditions of mining permits. Tunnels, shafts and dimension stone quarries are exempted from permit requirements.