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The Texas Geoscience Practice Act How We Got Here & What to Expect. by AIPG - Texas Section. States Regulating the Public Practice of Geology – as of September 2001. Statutory Definition: CO, OK - Title Act: AK, IN, TN, VA - Practice Act: TX + 23 other states. A Very Long Time Coming:.

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The texas geoscience practice act how we got here what to expect

The Texas Geoscience Practice Act How We Got Here & What to Expect


AIPG - Texas Section

States regulating the public practice of geology as of september 2001
States Regulating the Public Practiceof Geology – as of September 2001

Statutory Definition: CO, OK - Title Act: AK, IN, TN, VA - Practice Act: TX + 23 other states

A very long time coming
A Very Long Time Coming:

  • Five legislative sessions between 1993 and 2001.

  • Previous failures caused by

    • Internal disagreements

    • Power struggles

    • External opposition.

2001 united geologists front
2001 - United Geologists Front

  • AIPG-Texas Section

  • AEG-Texas Section

  • AAPG-Division of Professional Affairs

  • TAPG-Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists

Organizations submitted one bill
Organizations Submitted ONE Bill

  • Senate Sponsors – Buster Brown, Lake Jackson; Jeff Wentworth, San Antonio

  • House Sponsor – Tony Goolsby, Dallas

  • Lobbyist – Billy Clayton

Strategies for success
Strategies For Success

  • Write to ALL legislators

  • Meet with key legislators

  • Testify at conference committee hearings

  • Disseminate internally produced publication on the need for and value of licensure

  • Negotiate bill language acceptable to past and potential opponents

Senate bill 405 77th session
Senate Bill 405 (77th Session)

  • Filed on January 25th, 2001

  • First reading in Senate on January 29th

  • Passed by the Senate on February 22nd

  • First reading in House on February 27th

  • Passed by the House on April 26th

  • Signed by Governor Perry on May 11th

  • Act in Effect on September 1st, 2001

What is licensure
What is Licensure?

  • A means of assigning legal responsibility to professionals whose work involves matters of public health, safety, and welfare.

  • Engineers, Attorneys, Architects, Surveyors, Geologists, etc.

  • A Jobs Act? NO!!!

What does the texas act do
What Does the Texas Act Do?

  • Limits the public practice of geoscienceto professionals who meet educational and experience requirements.

  • Assigns penalties to unlicensed practitioners and malpractitioners.

  • Assures some safeguards to Texans employing or affected by the practitioners.

Requirements for licensure
Requirements for Licensure

  • Degree in a Board-recognized geoscience discipline with a minimum of 30 semester hrs or 45 quarter hrs in the discipline, including 20 semester hrs or 30 quarter hrs of upper division credits.

  • Satisfactory completion of other educational requirements determined by the Board

  • Five years of qualifying experience. Can include up to two years of fulltime graduate study in a recognized geoscience discipline.

  • Professional references.

  • Examination (possibly ASBOG exam)

Are there any exemptions
Are There Any Exemptions?

  • Geologists in Universities and Academic Research

  • Employees of the Federal Government (e.g., USGS, Bureau of Reclamation)

  • Oil and Gas, and Mining Geologists

  • Geologic work by subordinate to responsible license holder

  • Incidental geoscience work in other disciplines (archeology, geography, etc.)

Grandfathering provision
Grandfathering Provision

  • All geoscientists, in Board-recognized disciplines, with required education and experience as specified by the Board

  • Submit application requesting licensure under grandfather provision

  • Pay required application fee and annual licensure fee

  • Grandfathering “window” closes 8/31/03

After grandfathering period
After Grandfathering Period?

  • Meet education & experience requirements and pass the required examination


  • Board may waive ALL requirements, except fee payment, and grant license IF acceptable qualifications demonstrated and good cause shown

How many will grandfather
How Many Will Grandfather?

  • An estimated 40 percent of the approximate 10,000 geologists in Texas

  • Probably 1,000 or more from other states

When will licenses be issued
When Will Licenses Be Issued?

  • Must establish the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (gubernatorial appointments)

    • 6 license-eligible geoscientists (initial Board)

    • 3 representatives of the public

    • Appointments by November 1, 2001

  • Board must develop rules

  • Rules must be reviewed and adopted by 9/1/02

  • First licenses issued after 9/1/02

Board tasks
Board Tasks

  • Hire Executive Director

  • Oversee development of admin. structure

  • Draft, hold hearings on, and finalize rules

  • Determine recognized disciplines*

  • Oversee application review process

  • Establish fees

  • Develop/adopt exams and grading standards

*Disciplines or specialties (e.g: hydrogeology, engineering geology, geophysics, etc.), such as recognized in CA, NE, OR


  • The Board will negotiate reciprocity agreements with other states

    • Licensure does NOT guarantee reciprocity

  • Reciprocity generally requires licensure via examination

Key dates
Key Dates

  • Act in effect - 9/1/01

  • Board appointed by - 11/1/01

  • First Board meeting by - 1/1/02

  • Board adopts rules by - 9/1/02

  • License required after - 8/31/03

  • Grandfathering period - 9/1/02 to 8/31/03

Initial board members as of 11 19 01
Initial Board Members (as of 11/19/01)


    • Sheila Hall; Lubbock; SW Geologic & Engineering Services; Environmental Geology; BS, UT-Austin; 2/1/07

    • Murray Milford, Ph.D.; College Station; TAMU Faculty (retired); Soil Science; Ph.D., Univ. of Wisconsin 2/1/07

    • Kevin Coleman; Dallas; Reed Engineering; Engineering & Environmental Geology; MS, TX A&M; 2/1/05

    • Ed Miller; San Antonio; Pape-Dawson Engineers; Engineering Geology & Hydrogeology; BS, TX A&M; 2/1/05

    • Kelly Krenz Doe; Friendswood; Turner, Collie & Braden; Geology & Geophysics; MS, Northern Illinois Univ; 2/1/03

    • Gordon Ware; Corpus Christi; Reiss Remediation/Koch Industries; Environmental Geology; BA, Abilene Christian Univ; 2/1/03


    • René Peña; El Paso; CPA; BA, UTEP; 2/1/03

    • Kimberley Robinson; Houston; Attorney; LLD, TX Southern Univ; 2/1/05

    • Other-TBA

Note: Term-expiration dates are shown after educational info.

How to obtain information on geological licensure

  • Texas Professional Geologists Board: Should have web site up by mid-2002

  • ASBOG (info on all states w/links to individual states:

  • AEG-Texas

  • AIPG-Texas website: www.aipg-tx.orgSee Web Site Home Page Also See Web Site GeoForum Page

Web resources portal http www ela iet com resources
Web Resources Portal