About Us

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is the state's main environmental protection agency, charged with protecting, enhancing, and restoring the environment for Arkansans.

ADEQ Overview

We are headquartered in North Little Rock and have offices and inspectors throughout the state.

ADEQ's staff of around 400 covers a wide range of duties, from investigating the cause of a massive fish kill to conducting a teacher workshop on how to begin a school recycling program. We oversee the training and standards for various licensed environmental professionals and enforce safe environmental limits for activities affecting our air, land, and water. In short, our job is to ensure chemical emissions and waste discharges are within safe limits, waste is transported and disposed of safely, and communities are protected from the adverse effects of pollution.

ADEQ has three regulatory program offices - air, land, and water that enforce regulations and issue permits. Employees of these offices inspect permitted facilities. When a facility is out of compliance with its permits, ADEQ urges voluntary compliance or, if that fails, takes formal enforcement action against the violator to achieve compliance. Severe violations may result in fines or be referred to the state attorney general or local prosecutor for civil or criminal action.

ADEQ has two support offices: the Office of Law and Policy and the Office of Operations and Outreach. The first handles legal matters; the second oversees finance and purchasing, personnel, building and grounds maintenance, information technology services, and the lab.

The department also offers educational opportunities to teachers, students, and community groups. We maintain partnerships with other agencies and stakeholders, sharing knowledge and expertise to solve problems. We depend on and respond to the concerns of citizens, who are often the first to witness environmental problems.

Legal Authority

Federal environmental laws set environmental policy and standards for the nation. Arkansas-specific environmental laws are made by the Arkansas Legislature. Most of Arkansas's environmental laws are found in the Arkansas Code Title Eight. ADEQ is responsible for developing specific rules, called regulations, based on state laws and federal laws like the Clean Air and Clean Water acts.

Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology (APC&E) Commission approves these regulations with guidance from the governor, the Legislature, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and others. Regulations can be viewed elsewhere on this website.

The APC&E Commission has 13 members - seven appointed by the governor and six who represent the Arkansas Department of Health, the Forestry Commission, the Geological Survey, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Game and Fish Commission, and the Natural Resources Commission.