CHAPTER 477

FORMERLY HOUSE BILL

NO. 700 AS AMENDED

BY HOUSE AMENDMENTS

NO. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, AND 6

AN ACT TO CREATE A STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR GEOLOGISTS, TO PROVIDE FOR REGISTRATION OF GEOLOGISTS AND REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF GEOLOGY, TO PROVIDE FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THIS ACT AND PENALTIES FOR ITS VIOLATION, AND TO PROVIDE FOR AN INITIAL REGISTRATION FEE.

WHEREAS, the protection and development of the natural resources of the State of Delaware require full and accurate knowledge of their bases in the State's geology; and

WHEREAS, the evaluation of the feasibility and impact of major works of man require assessment in the context of geology; and

WHEREAS, the evidence put forth by geologists will exert increasing influence upon the expenditure of public and private funds within the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the practice of the science of geology requires education, skills, and experience that cannot be readily evaluated by those requiring services in the field of geology; and

WHEREAS, the proper practice of geology directly or indirectly affects all the citizens of Delaware through decisions relating to water supply, mineral resources, land utilization, planning, geologic hazards, and construction practices; and

WHEREAS, there is need for legislation to provide for the registration of geologists and regulate the practice of geology in the State of Delaware;

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Title 24, Delaware Code, by adding thereto the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 36. GEOLOGISTS

§ 3601. Definitions

As used in this chapter —

"Geology" is that science that deals with the composition, organization, physical and chemical properties, and history of the earth and its life, equally as recorded in rocks, and the application of that science to the utilization of the earth and the location and use of rocks, minerals, waters and other fluids and earth materials, except that the profession of 'well-drilling' shall not be considered `geology' within the definitions of this chapter.

"Geologist" is a person qualified to practice professional geology including specialists in its various subdisciplines such as geophysics, environmental geology, and hydrology, except that a `well-driller' shall not be considered a geologist for purposes of this chapter.

"Board" is the Delaware Board of Registration for Geologists. § 3602. General provisions; exemptions

Every person practicing geology and offering geological services to others within the State of Delaware shall be registered as a professional geologist with the Board, except that:

(a) persons engaged solely in teaching the science of geology; and

(b) persons engaged in the practice of geology under the direct supervision of a professional geologist registered in the State of Delaware, who shall be responsible for their activities; and

(c) persons practicing well-drilling;

(d) persons engaged in the practice of engineering as Registered Professional Engineers; shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter.

§ 3603. Board of Registration of Geologists; appointment, qualifications; term of office

(a) There is created a State Board of Registration of Geologists, who shall administer the provisions of this chapter.

() The Board shall consist of three (3) qualified geologists, appointed by the Governor for two year terms, and shall include the State Geologist. Board members shall be citizens of the United States and residents of the State of Delaware, except that the State Geologist shall not be required to be a citizen of the United States or a resident of the State of Delaware. No more than two members of the Board shall be of the same political party. Board members may succeed themselves.

§ 3604. Duties of the Board

(a) The Board shall meet at least once each calendar year Ind shall meet at such other times as it deems necessary.

(b) The Board shall prepare and maintain a registration list of geologists qualified to practice geology in the State of Delaware.

(c) The Board shall pass upon the qualifications of applicants for registration.

(d) The board shall require from applicants for registration, evidence of these qualifications and shall judge each applicant on evidence of his professional competency and integrity.

(e) The Board may establish such regulations consistent with the provisions of this chapter as may be necessary to carry out its duties.

(f) The Board shall establish a Code of Ethics for the professional practice of geology.

§ 3605. Qualifications for registration

In order to qualify for registration, an applicant must:

(1) (a) be a graduate of an accredited college or university with a major in geology; or

(b) have completed 30 credit hours of geology of which 24 credits are third or fourth year courses or graduate courses.

(2) have acquired 12 years of experience in a responsible charge of geologic work, toward which:

(a) each year of undergraduate study may count as one-half year of experience up to a maximum of two years,

(b) each year of full-time graduate study may count as one year of experience to a maximum of four years.

(3) credit toward the experience requirement shall be subject to evaluation by the Board.

(4) documentation of experience, competency, and integrity may be required by the Board.

(5) registration may be provided to those registered or certified as geologists in another state having standards at least as rigorous as those provided herein.

§ 3606. Registration fee

An applicant for registration shall pay a nonrefundable fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) to the Board upon making an application for registration. This fee shall be considered a charge for the processing of the application. All fees received by the Board shall be paid to the General Fund of the State of Delaware and all expenses of the Board, within the limits of appropriations made to ' it, shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants signed by the proper officers of the Board.

§ 3607. Revocation of Registration; notice and hearing

Whoever violates any of the provisions of this chapter, unless exempted by the provisions of Section 3602, may have his registration revoked by the Board. However, such action shall be taken only after written notice has been given the person concerned and such person is afforded an opportunity of a hearing before the Board.

§ 3608. Penalties

Any person practicing as a professional geologist in the State of Delaware who fails to register under the provisions • of this chapter, or who continues to practice after his registration has been revoked by the Board, shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

§ 3609. Appeal

Any person denied registration or whose registration has been revoked by the Board may appeal the decision of the Board to the Superior Court within the County having jurisdiction. The decision of the Board shall be final if an appeal is not taken within thirty (30) days of the date of the Board's decision.

§ 3610. Reapplication for registration

Upon denial of, or revocation of registration any person may reapply to the Board after a time period set by the Board. However, such time period shall not exceed one (1) year.

§ 3611. Severability

If any section of this Act, or any part thereof, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication shall not affect, or impair or invalidate the remainder or any other section or part thereof.

§ 3612. Short Title

This Act shall be known as "The Delaware Geologist Registration Act."

Section 2. Further, provided, that a person practicing the profession of geology shall not be considered in violation of any provisions of this Act, whether registered or not, during the first 90 days subsequent to the day this Act becomes law.

Approved June 30, 1972.