ssc 470 570 wetland soils mark connolly 2 december 2008
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Certifications and licenses for (Wetland) Soil Professionals

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SSC 470/570 Wetland Soils Mark Connolly 2 December 2008. Certifications and licenses for (Wetland) Soil Professionals. Entities. Federal US Army Corps of Engineering Non-governmental organizations Society of Wetland Scientists Soil Science Society of America State

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entities
Entities
  • Federal
    • US Army Corps of Engineering
  • Non-governmental organizations
    • Society of Wetland Scientists
    • Soil Science Society of America
  • State
    • NC Board for Licensing Soil Scientists
us army corps of engineers
US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Permit dredging and filling of delineated wetlands
  • Certification seemed like a good idea
    • 1990 Water Resources Development Act directed US ACE to develop Wetland Delineator Certification Program
    • “The intent of the WDCP is 1) to improve the quality and consistency of wetland delineations submitted to the Corps and 2) to streamline the regulatory process by developing procedures for expediting review and consideration of delineations submitted by certified delineators. The Corps will give expedited review to wetland delineations submitted by certified wetland delineators. Participation in the program is optional.”
us army corps of engineers1
US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Certification program design included
    • Prerequisites (none unless you fail the test)‏
    • Validity (in your District Division, for five years)‏
    • Recertification (experience-based, every five years)‏
    • Revocation (District Engineer can unlist delineator for “history of substantial inaccuracies”)‏
    • Testing (written and practicum)‏
  • Three pilot programs in 1993
    • Washington, Maryland, Florida
us army corps of engineers2
US Army Corps of Engineers
  • No activity since 1997
    • On hold until publication of the final regulations.
    • The final regulations have not been published and
    • there is no proposed date for publication.
    • Therefore, there is no effective date of certification.
    • The previously published written test dates for the winter of 1997 were cancelled;
    • none have been rescheduled
    • Seem to be happy to let states worry about certification (or count on other certifications such as ...)‏
society of wetland scientists
Society of Wetland Scientists
  • International society of scientists and professionals
  • Lobbies for sound science in wetland policy
  • Communication and education through journal and programs
  • Professional Certification Program fills the gap at the national level left by US ACE
  • Intended to be international in scope
  • Interesting because the US ACE likely will treat certified scientists as credible
society of wetland scientists1
Society of Wetland Scientists
  • Professional Certification Program
    • Professional Wetland Scientist or Wetland Professional in Training
    • BA or BS
    • 15 hours biological sciences
    • 15 hours physical sciences
    • 6 hours in quantitative areas (math, comp sci, stats, etc)‏
  • PWS
    • Additional 15 hours in wetland-related courses
    • Five years experience
  • WPIT
    • Meet educational OR experience requirements
soil science society of america sssa
Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)‏
  • Not specifically wetland: more oriented towards agriculture
  • Certifications
    • Certified Professional Agronomist
    • Certified Crop Adviser
    • Certified Professional Soil Scientist/Classifier
  • Certified Professional Soil Scientist/Classifier
    • Requires exams and experience
    • Directory listing can be tagged with various “Professional Expertise” tags, including
      • Wetlands Identification
soil science society of america
Soil Science Society of America
  • Helps soil scientists in their states
    • Occupational licensing development advice
    • Licensing exam development and processing
    • Locals push the state legislature
nc board for licensing soil scientists
NC Board for Licensing Soil Scientists
  • Genesis from legislation passed in 1995
  • Wetland soils are in scope
  • This is the one that matters (legally speaking) in North Carolina
nc house bill 826
NC House Bill 826
  • 1995 North Carolina Soil Scientist Licensing Act (89F)‏
  • “...any service or work, the adequate performance of which requires education in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences, as well as soil science; training and experience in the application of special knowledge of these sciences to the use and management of soils by accepted principles and methods...”
  • “a licensed soil scientist will be in responsible charge for all practice of soil science by a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship in North Carolina, except when the organization does not offer its services to the public for hire”
nc house bill 8261
NC House Bill 826
  • Covers
    • Interactions of water, soil, nutrients, organisms
    • Waste disposal systems, including waste-water irrigation
    • Soil erosion and sedimentation
    • Identification of hydric soils and redoximorphic features‏
    • As of January 1, 1997, the licensing statue makes it a misdemeanor for any person to willfully practice as a soil scientist as defined in the Act or to use the title of soil scientist unless the person is licensed.
nc house bill 8262
NC House Bill 826
  • Created the North Carolina Board for Licensing of Soil Scientists
    • Administer and enforce provisions of the bill
    • Examine and license applicants with reasonable standards, including continuing education and renewal without examination
ncblss licensing qualifications
NCBLSS Licensing qualifications
  • \'good moral and ethical character\'
  • BSc (or higher)‏
    • 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours in agricultural, biological, physical, or earth sciences
  • at least 15 semester hours or an equivalent number of quarter hours in soil science.
  • Pass exam
  • Provable experience
ncblss exam
NCBLSS Exam
  • SSSA Fundamental Soil Science Exam (not specific to wetland soils)‏
  • Apply through NCBLSS
  • Test through SSSA Council of Soil Science Examiners
ncblss experience requirements
NCBLSS Experience requirements
  • at least three years of professional work experience as a soil scientist under the supervision of a licensed soil scientist, or a soil scientist who is eligible for licensure under this Chapter
  • OR a minimum of three cumulative years of professional work experience as a soil scientist in responsible charge of work satisfactory to the Board
  • OR applicant may substitute an advanced degree in soil science for a portion [or all] of the professional work experience requirement (15 years experience)‏
ncblss scientist in training
NCBLSS Scientist-in-training
  • Trained, needs experience
  • Can apply for a license upon completion of the professional work experience requirement
recap
Recap
  • US ACE wants to deal with competent people
  • State wants licensed professional involved in soil science evaluations and decisions
  • Society of Wetland Scientists and Soil Science Society of America certifications underscore credibility
  • NCBLSS license is credible and legal
    • DENR Aquifer Protection asks who the soil scientist was
    • Session Law 2006-136 explicitly allows licensed soil scientists to complete soil and site evaluations
    • Soils report for waste-water irrigation system must be performed by a soil scientist
references
References
  • US ACE
    • Wetland Delineator Certification Program
    • http://www.usace.army.mil/cw/cecwo/reg/wetcert.htm
  • Society of Wetland Scientists
    • http://www.sws.org/
    • http://www.sws.org/regional/southatlantic/
  • Soil Science Society of America
    • https://www.soils.org/
  • 1995 House Bill 826: An Act To Provide for the Licensing of Soil Scientists
    • http://www.ncblss.org/hbill826.html
  • NC BLSS
    • http://www.ncblss.org/
  • NC DENR (useful for searching for general statute documents concerning soil scientist requirements)‏
    • http://www.enr.state.nc.us/
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