CHAPTER 105

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 48

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 24 AND 29, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE BOARD OF REGISTRATION OF GEOLOGISTS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three—fifths of all members of each House concurring therein):

Section I. Amend §3602 (4), Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety.

Section 2. Amend §3603, Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§3603. Board of Registration of Geologists—Anointment: Composition: Oualifications: Term_of Office' Suspension or Removal: Compensation

(a) There is created a State Board of Registration of Geologists, which shall administer this Chapter.

(a) The Board of Registration of Geologists shall consist of 5 members appointed by the Governor: Three professional members, one of whom shall be the State Geologist; and two public members. Said public members shall not be nor ever have been a geologist; shall not have been employed by a company engaged in the practice of geology; shall not be a member of the immediate family of a geologist; shall not have had a material financial interest in the providing of goods and services to persons engaged in the practice of geology; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to geology. Such public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.

(b) Each member of the Board shall serve for a term of two years and members may succeed themselves. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member.

(c) No more than 3 members of the Board shall belong to the same political party.

(d) A member of the Board shall be removed or suspended by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance. A member subject to disciplinary

proceedings shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated, or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(e) Board members shall be reimbursed $50 for each meeting attended provided, however, that no Board member shall receive more than 5500 in any given calendar year."

Section 3. Amend §3605 (2), Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(2) He has acquired five years of experience in geologic work satisfactory to the Board, a minimum of which must be in a position of responsible charge."

Section 4. Amend §3606, Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said §3606 in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§3606. Application

Any person 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 nonrefundable fee payable to the Board pursuant to §3613 of this chapter. All application and renewal fees received by the Board shall be paid to the General Fund."

Section 5. Amend §360B (b), Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(b) The Board shall, by regulation, establish a procedure by which renewal may be effected. A renewal fee will be charged pursuant to §3613 of this chapter."

Section 6. Amend §3609 (b), Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking said subsection in its entirety.

Section 7. Amend §3611 Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by striking §3611 in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§3611. Disciplinary Procedures: Complaints. Hearings Appeals

(a) Any practitioner or member of the public who has a question or complaint concerning any aspect of the practice of geology may, during the regular business hours of a business day, contact the Board or the Division of Professional Regulation or voice such question or complaint at a business meeting of the Board.

The Board shall investigate any complaint, including oral and anonymous complaints, and follow through on those complaints which, upon investigation, appear to be valid and well—founded. In cases where the complainant is known to the Board it shall, within six weeks after receipt of the complaint, notify the complainant whether or not it will take any action in the matter. If the Board decides to take no action it shall, by letter, state its reasons therefor. A record shall be kept of each complaint, formal or informal, for a period of five years.

(a) Upon receipt of a complaint against a practitioner, the Board shall
determine what action, if any, it shall take. Where the Board has determined to take further action, the matter shall be heard by the Board within three months from the date on which the complaint was received, unless circumstances surrounding the complaint warrant a lengthier investigation.

The Board shall fix the time and place fixed for the hearing, to be personally delivered or served upon the practitioner at least thirty days before the date fixed for the hearing. In cases where the practitioner cannot be located or where personal service cannot be effected, substitute service will be effected in the same manner as with civil litigation.

(a) All hearings shall be informal without the rules of evidence. If the Board finds, by a majority vote of all members, that the complaint has merit, the Board shall take such action permitted under this Chapter as it deems necessary. The Board's decision shall be in writing and shall include its reasons for such a decision. A copy of the decision shall be mailed immediately to the complainant and to the practitioner. The Board's decision shall become effective on the
thirtieth day after the date it is mailed or served on the practitioner, unless there is an appeal to the Superior Court within that time.

(a) Where either the complainant or the practitioner is in disagreement with the action of tke Board, either person may appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court within thirty days of service, or of the postmarked date of the Board's decision. Upon such appeal, the Court shall hear the evidence de novo, and the filing of an appeal shall act as a stay of the Board's decision, pending final determination of the appeal."

Section 8. Amend §3613, Chapter 36, Title 24 of the Delaware Code, by redesignating said subsection as §3614 and by creating a new §3613 to read as follows:

"§3613. Fees

The amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this chapter shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Business and Occupational Regulation in Its services on behalf of the Board. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity, but no fee shall be charged for an activity not specified in this chapter. The application fee shall not be combined with any other fee or charge. The Division of Professional Regulation, or any other state agency acting in its behalf, shall compute for each separate service or activity, the appropriate fee. Said fees shall be calculated no less frequently than once every two years."

"(19) Board of Registration of Geologists."

Section 9. Amend §8810 (b), Chapter 88, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding

thereto the following:

Section 10. Amend §10161, Chapter 101, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new subsection thereto to read as follows:

"(25) Board of Registration of Geologists."

Section 11. The three persons constituting the Board of Registration of Geologists on the effective date of this Act shall continue in office as members of the Board until the expiration of the terms for which they were appointed.

Section 12. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Approved July 8, 1987.