RRC Names Joe Parks as the New Director of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division

August 02, 2023

The Railroad Commission is excited to announce Joe Parks as the new Director of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division (SMRD). Parks joined the RRC in October 2016 as an Engineering Specialist and was most recently the Assistant Director for SMRD.

SMRD oversees coal exploration, mining, and mine reclamation in Texas to ensure operators follow Commission rules and regulations established to protect public safety and natural resources.

Before coming to the RRC, Parks held positions such as plant manager, environmental supervisor, and technician at various mining operations, as well as being an Adjunct Instructor at Navarro College.

“I began my career in the mining industry in 1983 working on one of the first RRC lignite mining permits submittals. I feel I have come full circle within the Texas mining industry with an understanding in both the regulatory and operational aspects of the industry,” said Parks.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology with a minor in General Business from Sam Houston State University. He also attended the University of Texas at Austin where he studied at the McCombs School of Business in Executive Education and Leadership.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.