CHAPTER 477

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 184

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 36 OF TITLE 24, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE REGISTRATION OF PROFESSIONAL GEOLOGISTS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 36 of Title 24, Delaware Code, by striking said Chapter 36 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new Chapter 36, which new Chapter shall read as follows:

"CHAPTER 36. GEOLOGISTS

§3601. Definitions

As used in this Chapter:

(1) 'Practice of geology' means any service or creative work, the adequate performance of which requires geologic education, training and experience in the application of the principles, theories, laws and body of knowledge encompassed in the science of geology. This may take the form of, but is not limited to, consultation, research, investigation, evaluations, mapping, sampling, planning of geologic projects and embracing such geological services or work in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, roads, buildings, processes, works or projects. A person shall be construed to practice who by verbal claim, sign, advertisement or in any other way represents himself to be a geologist, or who holds himself out as able to perform or who does perform geologic services or work.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed to apply to persons engaged solely in the practice of well drilling or persons engaged in the practice of engineering as registered professional engineers.

(2) 'Geologist' is a person qualified to practice professional geology including specialists in its various subdisciplines such as geophysics, environmental geology, and hydrology.

(3) 'Board' is the Delaware Board of Registration of Geologists.

(4) 'Responsible charge' means the individual control and direction, by the use of initiative, skill, and individual judgment, of the practice of geology.

(5) Nothing contained herein shall be construed to permit the practice of engineering as defined in Chapter 28 of Title 24, Delaware Code.

§3602. Requirement of registration

No person shall engage in the practice of geology within this State unless such person is duly registered with the Board, provided 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 activites; and

(c) non-residents practicing in the State pursuant to the provisions of §3604 (g); and

(d) persons engaged in the practice of geology as employees of the State, 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, which shall administer the provisions of this Chapter.

(b) 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. No more than two members of the Board shall be of the same political party. Board members may succeed themselves.

§3604. Powers and duties of the Board

(a) The Board shall meet at least once each calendar year and 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.

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

(d) The Board shall require from applicants for registration, evidence of their 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, by regulation, establish a Code of Ethics for the professional practice of geology.

(g) The Board may, by regulation, establish procedures by which a non-resident having no place of business in this State may practice in Delaware for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days in any one (1) calendar year, provided that such person is registered in good standing in another State and that that State has registration requirements substantially the same as those provided herein.

(h) The Board may issue, renew, deny, suspend and revoke certificates of registration as provided in this Chapter.

§3605. Qualifications for registration

In order to qualify for registration, an applicant must show that:

(1) He has graduated from an accredited college or university with a major in geology or he has completed thirty (30) credit hours of geology or its subdivisions of which 24 credits are third or fourth year courses or graduate courses;

(2) He has acquired ten (10) years of experience in geologic work satisfactory to the Board, a minimum of three (3) years of which must be in a position of responsible charge. In addition to time spent in responsible charge of geologic work, credit toward the experience requirement shall be allowed only as follows:

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

(b) teaching in the geological sciences at college level shall be credited year for year up to a maximum of two (2) years toward meeting the requirements in this category provided that the total teaching experience includes six (6) semester units per semester of third or fourth year or graduate courses; and

(c) an examination of a nature to be determined in regulations established by the Board may, if passed, be credited as three (3) years of experience; and

(3) He possesses experience, competency and integrity satisfactory to the Board.

§3606. Application; fees

Any persons wishing to register as a geologist shall make written application to the Board on a form prepared by the Board. Each application shall be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $25 to the Board. This fee shall be considered a charge for the processing of the application. All application and renewal 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.

In the event an examination is given pursuant to provisions of this Chapter, the Board may collect from each candidate for such examination, a fee not to exceed $30. The purpose of this fee shall be to cover the necessary expenses of the Board in preparing and administering the examination.

§3607. Certificates of registration

The Board shall issue a certificate of registration to any person whose application for registration has been approved by the Board under the provisions of this Chapter. A certificate issued or renewed under this Chapter shall authorize the practice of geology within this State.

§3608. Expiration and renewal of certificates

(a) Certificates of registration shall be valid for a period of two years whereupon they shall become invalid unless renewed. Failure to renew shall cause the geologist's registration with the Board to lapse; provided, however, that registration may be regained upon application to the Board in accordance with the provisions of Section 3606 of this Chapter.

(b) The Board shall, by regulation, establish a procedure by which renewal may be effected and may charge a renewal fee of $20.

§3609. Suspension, revocation; hearings

(a) The Board, after due notice and opportunity for hearing, may suspend or revoke the certificate of any registrant who is found by the Board to have violated any of the provisions of this Chapter, including the regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

(b) In all hearings which are conducted for the suspension or revocation of a certificate of registration, the registrant shall have the right to appear personally, to be represented by counsel, and to produce evidence and witnesses in his behalf. Testimony shall be taken either stenographically or by electronic means, and a full record of the proceedings shall be preserved. A transcript may be purchased by any person interested in such hearing upon payment to the Board of the cost of preparing such transcript. The Board shall notify the registrant of its decision in writing within 20 days after the conclusion of the hearing.

§3610. Penalties; jurisdiction

Any non-exempt person engaged in the practice of geology 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 suspended or revoked by the Board, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500.

The Superior Court of the State shall have original jurisdiction of any violation of this Chapter notwithstanding any provision of the Delaware Code to the contrary.

§3611. Appeals

Any person denied registration or whose registration has been suspended or revoked by the Board may appeal the decision of the Board to the Superior Court. 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. Appeals shall be taken by filing the action with the Court and serving upon the Chairman of the Board written notice of the appeal stating the grounds therefor.

§3612. Reapplication for registration; reinstatement

The denial by the Board of an application for registration shall be without prejudice and a person may reapply to the Board in accordance with the provisions of §3606.

Any geologist whose certificate of registration has been revoked by the Board may reapply under the provisions of §3606 after a period of at least one (1) year from the date of such revocation.

§3613. Severability clause

If any provision of this Chapter, or any regulation promulgated thereunder, or the application of any such provision or regulation to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, the remainder of this Chapter or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto or the application of such provisions and regulations to persons or circumstances other than those to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.

§3614. Short title

This Act shall be known as the 'Delaware Geologists Registration Act."

Section 2. This Act shall not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun prior to its effective date.

Approved July 11, 1978.