TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 11. TEXAS BOARD OF NURSING

CHAPTER 211. GENERAL PROVISIONS

22 TAC §211.9

The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) adopts amendments to §211.9, relating to General Considerations. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text published in the August 31, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 5636). The rule will not be republished.

Reasoned Justification

During the 84th Legislative Session, Senate Bill (SB) 20 was enacted by the Texas Legislature and amended Chapter 2261 of the Texas Government Code. Among other things, SB 20 requires each state agency, by rule, to establish a procedure to identify each contract that requires enhanced contract or performance monitoring and submit information to the agency's governing body. The adopted amendments are necessary to implement these statutory requirements.

How the Sections Will Function. The adopted new subsection sets forth the Board's requirements for enhanced contract and performance monitoring.

Adopted §211.9(f)(1) specifies the types of contracts that will require enhanced contract or performance monitoring. These contracts include a contract for the purchase of goods or services that has a value exceeding $1 million and any contract with a value of less than $1 million that the Board's contract monitor determines is appropriate for enhanced contract or performance monitoring.

Adopted §211.9(f)(2) specifies the information that will be submitted to the Board by the Board's contract manager or other designated staff member for all contracts that require enhanced contract or performance monitoring. This information includes: the general purpose of the contract; the name of the vendor; the legal authority under which the contract was entered; the current cost of the contract; and the total cost of the contract, including contract renewals.

Finally, adopted §211.9(f)(3) provides that the Board's Executive Director will be immediately notified of any serious issue or risk that is identified with respect to a contract monitored under the proposed new subsection.

Summary of Comments Received. The Board did not receive any comments on the proposal.

Statutory Authority. The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and the Government Code §2261.253.

Section 301.151 addresses the Board's rulemaking authority. Section 301.151 authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce rules consistent with Chapter 301 and necessary to: (i) perform its duties and conduct proceedings before the Board; (ii) regulate the practice of professional nursing and vocational nursing; (iii) establish standards of professional conduct for license holders under Chapter 301; and (iv) determine whether an act constitutes the practice of professional nursing or vocational nursing.

Section 2261.253(c) provides that each state agency, by rule, shall establish a procedure to identify each contract that requires enhanced contract or performance monitoring and submit information on the contract to the agency's governing body or, if the agency is not governed by a multimember governing body, the officer who governs the agency. The agency's contract management office or procurement director shall immediately notify the agency's governing body or governing official, as appropriate, of any serious issue or risk that is identified with respect to a contract monitored under this subsection.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804436

Jena Abel

Deputy General Counsel

Texas Board of Nursing

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: August 31, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6822


PART 39. TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS

CHAPTER 850. TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS

SUBCHAPTER C. FEES

22 TAC §850.82

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) adopts an amendment concerning the licensure and regulation of Professional Geoscientists in Texas. This amendment to 22 TAC §850.82, concerning dishonored payment, is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the June 22, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 4013), and will be republished.

TBPG completed and adopted its four-year rule review in 2018 prior to this rulemaking. As a result of the review process, TBPG now adopts a change to its rules for refinement and clarity. Adopted amendment to §850.82 makes use of the defined term "licensee," adds the word "licensee," and removes the terms, "license, certification or registration holder" because a licensee is a defined term in §850.10. In §850.82, "licensee" is defined as, "An individual holding a current Professional Geoscientist license, GIT certificate, or firm registration."

The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the section includes the consistent use of terms defined in the rules, which adds to the clarity of the rule.

No public comments were received regarding the proposed amendment.

This amendment is adopted under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151, which authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, and the regulation of the practice of geoscience in this state; and Occupations Code §1002.154, which provides that Board shall enforce the Act.

It affects the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151 and §1002.154.

§850.82.Dishonored Payment.

(a) If a payment drawn to the TBPG for an initial license, certification or registration or the renewal of a license, certification, or registration is dishonored by a payor, the TBPG shall take the following actions:

(1) Notify the applicant or licensee of the issue and request resolution of the payment, plus the insufficient funds fee in §851.80 of this title within 30 days;

(2) Invalidate any new or renewed license, certification, or registration that was processed based on the payment that was dishonored, if the payment has not been resolved within 30 days of the sending or receipt of the notice, as applicable.

(b) If any other payment to the TBPG is dishonored by a payor, the TBPG will take appropriate steps as determined by the Executive Director.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804443

T. Wesley McCoy

Interim Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: June 22, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-4405


CHAPTER 851. TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT RULES

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) adopts new rules and amendments concerning the licensure and regulation of Professional Geoscientists in Texas. TBPG adopts new rules 22 TAC §851.22, regarding Waivers and Substitutions: Policy, Procedures, and Criteria; and §851.85, regarding Contingent Emergency/Disaster Response Actions. TBPG also adopts amendments to 22 TAC §§851.10, 851.20, 851.21, 851.23 - 851.25, 851.28, 851.30, 851.32, 851.40, 851.41, 851.43, 851.80, 851.101, 851.103, 851.104, 851.106, 851.109, 851.111 - 851.113, 851.156, 851.158, 851.203, and 851.204, concerning clarification and refinement of its rules, as a result of its recent four-year rule review, which TBPG completed and adopted prior to this rulemaking. These rules are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 29, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 4363) and will not be republished. TBPG also adopts amendments to 22 TAC §§851.20, 851.22, 851.29, 851.106, and 851.158 with changes to the proposed text as published in the June 29, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 4363). These sections will be republished.

New rule 22 TAC §851.22 is adopted to establish guidelines for applicants requesting a waiver or substitution of a licensing requirement. New subsection (a) provides an introduction; cites the authority of the TBPG to grant certain waivers in Texas Occupations Code, §1002.259; specifies that an applicant seeking a waiver must submit a copy of "REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF LICENSING REQUIREMENT; BOARD POLICY AND PROCEDURES", along with supporting documentation; and specifies that the complete waiver request will be scheduled for review at the next available Committee meeting. New subsection (b) provides guidance that in accordance with TOC §1002.259, an approval of a waiver request requires a vote of 2/3 of the TBPG Appointed Board (6 affirmative votes), regardless of the number of Board members in attendance and that a request for the substitution of experience for education (provided by TOC 1002.255(b)) requires a simple majority vote of a quorum of the TBPG Appointed Board to be approved. New subsection (c) describes elements of the TBPG's Application Review and Continuing Education Committee's review of a request for a waiver or substitution, detailing that the Committee will review the request and supporting documentation and recommend to the full TBPG Board whether or not to grant the requested waiver; that an applicant should provide a written justification, along with supporting documentation; that an applicant may also appear before the Committee and the full Board to provide testimony to support the request; that all requests the Committee recommends for approval will be scheduled for review by the full Board; and that requests the Committee does not recommend for approval will not be submitted to the full board for review, unless the applicant requests review by the full Board in writing. New subsection (d) provides that TBPG's Appointed Board will review requests the Committee recommends for approval and supporting documentation and will determine whether or not to approve the request (grant the requested waiver). New subsection (d) also provides that an applicant whose request for a waiver or substitution was denied and who believes that there is additional information that was not available to the Board when it reviewed the request, may submit additional information to staff regarding the current application, along with a written request that the Board reconsider the request; that if staff determines that new information has been submitted that may be relevant to the Board's review of an application/request, then staff will schedule the application/waiver request for reconsideration; and that in the review of a request to reconsider its decision on an application/waiver request, the Board will first determine by a simple majority vote whether to reconsider the application/waiver request, based on whether relevant new information has been submitted; that if the Board were to determine by vote that the new information warrants reconsideration of an application/waiver request, the Board would then reconsider the waiver request, including all of the new information available at that time; that an applicant may appear before the Board and present information related to the request; and, that the Board will reconsider its decision on a waiver request only once. New subsection (e) outlines the specific Examination Waiver Requirements and Criteria. New subsection (f) provides minimum requirements for an applicant requesting a Substitution of Work Experience for Educational Requirements. New subsection (g) provides criteria for the Waiver of Education Requirement. New subsection (h) provides specific guidelines for an Education Waiver for a license in the Geology discipline as it relates to a request to sit for the ASBOG® Fundamentals examination and specifies that an individual who plans to apply for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geology who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology examination as long as the applicant meets the specified requirements. New subsection (i) provides specific criteria for an Education Waiver for a license in Geology discipline as it relates to a request to sit for the ASBOG® Practice Examination and specifies that an applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geology who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the ASBOG® Practice of Geology examination as long as the applicant meets the specified requirements. New subsection (j) provides for an Education Waiver for a license in the Geophysics discipline as it relates to a request to sit for the Texas Geophysics Examination and an applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geophysics who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the Texas Geophysics Examination as long as the applicant meets specified requirements.

TBPG adopts new rule 22 TAC §851.85, which provides for the Executive Director to implement one or more temporary actions in an emergency or disaster situation, when an emergency or disaster has been proclaimed by the Governor, and when such temporary actions are warranted. The Executive Director is required to consult with the Board Chairman before implementing any measures. Actions that may be implemented include extending the expiration dates of certain license types, the temporary suspension of certain fees, temporarily suspending continuing education requirements or extending the deadline for those requirements, and issuing emergency non-renewable Professional Geoscientist licenses, valid for no more than a year, to qualified individuals. The adopted rule specifies that any actions taken under this provision would be communicated to all members of the Board, all affected license holders, and the general public, as soon as it is feasible to do so. Additionally, such actions taken under this rule are effective only until the next regular or special meeting of the Board, at which time, the Appointed Board will review all actions taken and act to either continue the actions for a specified amount of time, with or without modifications, or to discontinue such actions taken under this section.

TBPG adopts an amendment to 22 TAC §851.10 to clarify definitions. The change to §851.10(4) clarifies that the term, "Advertising or Advertisement" refers to any non-commercial or commercial message, including, but not limited to verbal statements, bids, web pages, signage, provider listings, and paid advertisements that promotes "geoscience services," as opposed to "the services of a licensee," which, sometimes may not be "geosciences services." An added definition for "meritless complaint" is adopted as new §851.10(30), defining "meritless complaint" as "a complaint in which the allegations are unfounded or groundless (no legitimate basis for the allegation) or the allegations are unsubstantiated or unverified (no determination could be made as to whether there was any basis for the allegation). An added definition for "non-jurisdictional complaint" is adopted as new §851.10(31), defining "non-jurisdictional complaint" as "a complaint in which the TBPG has no jurisdiction over the alleged conduct. Current §851.10(30) - 851.10(41) are reordered as necessary by the above changes.

Adopted amendments to 22 TAC §851.20 provide clarification to the existing requirement in §851.20(d)(7) that applicants must submit verification of every license, current or expired, in any regulated profession related to the public practice of geoscience in any jurisdiction by adding, in parenthesis, examples of such licenses, "(for example, Professional Engineer, licensed Water Well Driller, etc.)". Adopted changes elsewhere in §851.20 address the use of the terms "license certificate expiration cards" and "wallet license expiration cards" for consistency in the use of words to identify the two cards, removing or adding words, as necessary to accurately refer to each these items in the context in which the terms are used. Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.20(l) substitutes the term "new" for "original" when referencing the period of time that a new license is valid.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.21(f) specifies that an applicant requesting a waiver from any examination(s) must complete a Waiver Request (Form VI) and must comply with §851.22 regarding waivers and substitutions. Adopted amendment to §851.21(g)(2)(B)(i) removes the term "initial" in reference to an application for PG licensure because the rule applies to any application for PG licensure. Adopted amendment to §851.21(g)(3)(B)(i) improves language by removing the term "both" and replacing it with the word "an," in reference to the items an applicant for licensure in the discipline of geophysics must submit under the procedures described in that section. §851.21 (h), (i), and (j), describing the processes for applicants who do not fully meet the education requirement, are deleted from §851.21 (and added to new §851.22, pertaining to Waivers and Substitutions), because the processes are better organized in new §851.22.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.23(g) clarifies that qualifying experience includes, "research in or the teaching of a discipline of geoscience at the college or university level as qualifying work experience if the research or teaching, in the judgment of TBPG, is comparable to work experience obtained in the practice of geoscience." Adopted new subsection (h) reflects the Board's view that the experience requirement for licensure should not be waived. The Board has determined that experience is an important component of licensure that is not easily gauged through alternative methods, as education and examination can be. Experience also provides the means for a new geoscientist to gain the necessary training to be able to apply his or her knowledge to actual situations.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.24 clarifies the wording related to the requirement that Professional Geoscientists who provide references that are licensed in a jurisdiction other than Texas shall include a copy of the "wallet license expiration card," substituting the term "wallet license expiration card" for "pocket card." Adopted language removes the word "initial" when referring to the Application for P.G. Licensure (Form A) because the word is unnecessary.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.25 changes the title of the section from "Education" to "Education Requirements and Equivalents." The amendment adds the words "Educational Equivalent" at the beginning of subsection (b) to serve as a subsection heading.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.28 adds a close parenthesis in subsection (g).

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.29(b)(3)(D) adds the requirement of "verification of having met the education requirement for licensure" to the list of required verifications listed in the subsection that an applicant requesting licensure by recognition of licensed experience in another jurisdiction must submit in order to be deemed to have met the examination requirement. It also re-numbers the subsequent subsections of the rule accordingly.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.30 removes the words "an initial" when referring to the Firm Registration Application (Form C) in subsection (d)(6) because the term "an initial" does not apply; it also adds the word "expiration" when referring to the portable firm registration expiration card in subsection (g) for clarity; and in subsection (i), the amendment removes the phrase "unless certain allegations of misconduct are present," because a geoscience firm would normally be renewed even if a complaint was pending because TBPG would only deny a geoscience firm renewal by a Board order.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.32 improves language and clarifies the requirements of the continuing education program. Adopted changes remove the outdated graphic in subsection (k); add language in subsection (m)(2) to clarify current procedures such that if Board staff find that the activities cited by the licensee do not fall within the bounds of qualifying activities related to the practice of geoscience, staff shall determine that the continuing education audit was not passed and refer the issue to the Enforcement Coordinator for appropriate action, which may include opening a complaint against the licensee for potential violations. Adopted language also clarifies subsection (o) by referring to professional development hours earned by the defined term "PDH" instead of "units" or "hours."

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.40 removes the word "initial" when referring to the Application for P.G. Licensure because the term does not apply, and corrects punctuation used in the sentence.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.41 removes the word "initial" when referring to the GIT Certification Application because the term does not apply, and adds new subsection (c), which states that an applicant who has been granted an exemption from an examination described by §851.41(a) does not meet the qualifications to become certified as a GIT. The Board is authorized by statute to waive any requirement for PG licensure other than fees. The Board regularly reviews requests for waiver of a licensing requirement upon receipt of an application for PG licensure, but the Board customarily does not consider, review or approve waivers of a licensing requirement for a GIT certification.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.43 replaces the word "Personal" with "Professional" when referring to Professional Development Hours in subsection (b)(2), and adds new subsection (c) to provide that the GIT is exempt from the continuing education requirement for his/her first renewal of a GIT certification. GIT's are exempt from the continuing education requirement for the first renewal because the Board has determined that preparation for and passage of the fundamentals exam, which is required in order to become a GIT, are sufficient to meet the continuing education requirements to renew the certification the first time.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.80 removes the word "initial" when referring to the P.G. application and license fee because the term is not applicable. The adopted amendment provides clarification that the fee specified in subsection (e) is for issuance of a revised or duplicate license "wall certificate." The term "initial" is removed from new subsections (l) and (o) because the term is not applicable.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.101 removes the "Authorized Official of a Firm (AOF)" from the list of individuals or entities who are responsible for understanding and complying with the Act, or TBPG rules, or any other law or rule pertaining to the practice of professional geoscience. Adopted changes also replace "AOF" with "a Geoscience Firm" in subsections (c) and (d) to clarify that the requirements to cooperate with the TBPG and respond to inquiries from the TBPG apply to a registered Geoscience Firm, rather than the "Authorized Official of the Firm." This change is made because the AOF is not required to be a licensed Professional Geoscientist, and it is the firm that holds the registration, and not the AOF. Adopted changes to §851.101 adds to the current requirement that licensees shall respond to all requests and inquiries concerning matters under the jurisdiction of the TBPG, adding that licensees shall do so "timely." Subsection (g) removes "a Geoscientist-in-Training" from the list of licensees who may donate geosciences services to charitable causes because certification as a Geoscientist-in-Training does not authorize the non-exempt public practice of geoscience or the provision of professional geoscience services.

TBPG adopts an amendment to 22 TAC §851.103(b)(2) and (b)(3). The current rule provides in subsection (b)(2), that recklessness shall include the practice of, "Knowing failure to exercise ordinary care and attention toward the intended result when a procedure, technique, material, or system is employed as a result of a decision made by the Professional Geoscientist or Geoscience Firm and such failure jeopardizes public health, safety, or welfare." The adopted amendment adds that such knowing failure is recklessness if it jeopardizes or has the potential to jeopardize public health, safety, or welfare. Similarly, subsection (b)(3), provides that recklessness shall include the practice of, "Action which demonstrates a conscious disregard for compliance with a statute, regulation, code, ordinance, or recognized standard applicable to the design or construction of a particular project when such disregard jeopardizes public health, safety, or welfare." The adopted amendment adds that such action described in the paragraph is also reckless if it has "the potential to jeopardize public health, safety or welfare."

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.104 specifies in subsection (c) that a Professional Geoscientist, a Geoscientist-in-Training, or Geoscience Firm shall not directly or indirectly solicit, offer, give, or receive anything or any service of significant value as an inducement or reward to secure any specific "government" funded geoscience services, replacing the word "publicly" with "government" to provide clarification to the rule. Also, in subsection (g) the word "which" is replaced by "that" to improve wording.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.106 adds to the current requirement that a reference provider must respond to the TBPG in writing regarding an applicant's qualification when requested to do so, adding that the reference provider must do so "timely."

TBPG adopts an amendment to 22 TAC §851.109, which provides that a Professional Geoscientist's abuse of alcohol or a controlled substance that results in the impairment of the P.G.'s professional skill so as to cause or "potentially cause" a threat to property, safety, health, or welfare of the public may be deemed as "Gross Incompetency," and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

TBPG adopts an amendment to 22 TAC §851.111, which provides that, "A Professional Geoscientist, Geoscientist-in-Training, or Geoscience Firm may reveal confidences and private information only with a fully informed client's or employer's consent, or when required by law, rule or court order; or when those confidences, if left undisclosed, would constitute a threat or a potential threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public."

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.112 substitutes in subsection (a)(2) the term "Geoscientist-in-Training," for the current "Geologist in Training" because "Geologist in Training" is not the correct term.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.113 adds the word "Appointed" when referring to the Appointed Board and its duties, in subsection (d). Adopted changes in subsection (e), in two instances, would substitute the word "Board" with the defined term "TBPG," when it refers to an action that the agency, generally, or agency staff may perform.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.156 clarifies the section. Subsection (b) is revised to indicate that the Professional Geoscientist seal shall be of the design "shown in this subsection," followed by an image of the required design of a P.G.'s seal. The rule no longer refers to the Texas Geoscience Practice Act (Act), §1002.251. In addition, adopted changes clarify that computer-applied seals may be of a reduced size provided that the Professional Geoscientist's full name and license number are clearly legible and that the Professional Geoscientist's name on the seal shall be the same name on the license certificate issued by the TBPG. In subsection (g)(2)(A), the word "FONT" in all caps is replaced with "font" in lower case letters to improve grammar.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.158(a)(1)(I) reflects the current agency practice that staff "may" dismiss complaints that are "meritless, non-jurisdictional (with or without advisement), or that do not involve a threat or potential threat to public health or safety," with the exception of complaints that involve violations of the continuing education requirement as opposed to complaints that are "administrative." Changes to subsection (a)(2) provide that a Complaint Review Team reviews complaints and investigations with the possible outcomes of, A) Recommending to the Appointed Board that a complaint be dismissed (with or without non-disciplinary advisory or warning), as opposed to actually dismissing a complaint under the current rule; (B) Referring the complaint back to staff for further investigation; or (C) Issuing a notice alleging violation(s) occurred, proposing the finding of such of violation(s) and proposing specific disciplinary action(s). Adopted changes also replace the word "Board" with "TBPG" when it refers to the agency, generally, and to actions performed by agency staff, and add the word "Appointed" before the word "Board" where actions are taken by TBPG's governing body, the Appointed Board.

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.203 replaces the word "Board" with "TBPG" when it refers to the agency, in general, or to actions performed by agency staff, and adds the word "Appointed" before the word "Board" to show actions taken by TBPG's Appointed Board. The adopted amendment also adds the words "or remanding the case back to TBPG" in subsection (c), so it now reads: "If the administrative law judge grants a default but does not issue a default proposal for decision and instead issues an order dismissing the case or remanding the case back to TBPG and returning the file to the TBPG for informal disposition on a default basis in accordance with section 2001.056 of the Texas Government Code, the allegations in the notice of hearing will be deemed as true and proven, and the Appointed Board will issue a final order imposing a sanction requested in the notice of hearing."

Adopted amendment to 22 TAC §851.204 replaces the word "Board" with "TBPG" when it refers to the agency, generally, or to actions performed by agency staff, and in other places adds the word "Appointed" before the word "Board" to show actions taken by TBPG's governing body, the Appointed Board.

The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the sections includes (1) the consistent use of terms defined in the rules, which adds to the clarity of the amended rules, (2) reorganization of various sections, making certain provisions easier for the reader to find, and (3) addition of emergency provisions that allow for quicker action in the event of a natural disaster.

No public comments were received regarding these proposed new rules and amendments.

SUBCHAPTER A. DEFINITIONS

22 TAC §851.10

This section is adopted under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151, which authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, and the regulation of the practice of geoscience in this state; and Occupations Code §1002.154, which provides that the Board shall enforce the Act. Other statutes that authorize the adoption of these rules more specifically include Occupations Code §1002.351, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules relating to the public practice of geoscience by a firm or corporation; and §1002.352, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules related to GITs.

These rules affect the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §§1002.151, 1002.153, 1002.154, 1002.156, 1002.253, 1002.256, 1002.259, 1002.302, 1002.351, and 1002.352.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804444

T. Wesley McCoy

Interim Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: June 29, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-4405


SUBCHAPTER B. P.G. LICENSING, FIRM REGISTRATION, AND GIT CERTIFICATION

22 TAC §§851.20 - 851.25, 851.28 - 851.30, 851.32, 851.40, 851.41, 851.43, 851.80, 851.85

These sections are adopted under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151, which authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, and the regulation of the practice of geoscience in this state; and Occupations Code §1002.154, which provides that Board shall enforce the Act.

These sections affect the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §§1002.151, 1002.152, 1002.154, 1002.259, 1002.302, and 1002.351.

§851.20.Professional Geoscientist Licensing Requirements and Application Procedure.

(a) Requirements for licensure:

(1) Passing score on an examination or examinations required by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) covering the fundamentals and practice of the appropriate discipline of geoscience documented as specified in §851.21 of this chapter;

(2) A minimum of five years of qualifying work experience during which the applicant has demonstrated being qualified to assume responsible charge of geoscience services documented and verified through professional references as specified in §851.23 of this chapter and Texas Occupations Code (TOC) §1002.256:

(A) A total of one year of qualifying work experience credit may be granted for each full-time year of graduate study in a discipline of geoscience, not to exceed two years;

(B) The Appointed Board may accept qualifying work experience in lieu of the education requirement as provided in TOC §1002.255;

(3) Good moral character as demonstrated by the submission of a minimum of five reference statements submitted on behalf of the applicant attesting to the good moral and ethical character of the applicant as specified in §851.24 of this chapter or as otherwise determined by the Appointed Board;

(4) Academic requirements for licensure as specified in TOC §1002.255 and §851.25 of this chapter; and

(5) Supporting documentation of any license requirement, as determined by Board staff or the Appointed Board, relating to criminal convictions as specified in §851.108 of this chapter; relating to substance abuse issues as specified in §851.109 of this chapter; and relating to issues surrounding reasons the Appointed Board may deny a license as specified in the Geoscience Practice Act at TOC §1002.401 and §1002.402.

(b) An applicant may request a waiver of any licensure requirement by submitting a Waiver Request (Form VI) and any additional information needed to substantiate the request for waiver with the application. If the Appointed Board determines that the applicant meets all the other requirements, the Appointed Board may waive any licensure requirement except for the payment of required fees.

(c) An application is active for one year including the date that it is filed with the Appointed Board.

(d) Professional Geoscientist application procedure. To be eligible for a Professional Geoscientist license under this chapter, an applicant must submit or ensure the transmission (as applicable) of the following to the TBPG:

(1) A completed, signed, notarized application for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist;

(2) Documentation of having passed an examination as specified in §851.21 of this chapter;

(3) Documentation of having met the experience requirements as specified in §851.23 of this chapter;

(4) A minimum of five (5) reference statements as specified in §851.24 of this chapter;

(5) Official transcript(s), as specified in §851.25 of this chapter;

(6) The application/first year licensing fee as specified in §851.80(b) of this chapter;

(7) Verification of every license, current or expired, in any regulated profession related to the public practice of geoscience in any jurisdiction (for example, Professional Engineer, licensed Water Well Driller, etc.); and

(8) Any written explanation and other documentation as required by instructions on the application or as communicated by Board staff, if applicable.

(e) Any transcripts, evaluations, experience records or other similar documents submitted to the TBPG in previous applications may be included in a current application provided the applicant requests its use in writing at the time the application is filed and the Executive Director authorizes its use.

(f) An application may be forwarded to the Appointed Board at the Executive Director's discretion.

(g) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud or false misrepresentation is grounds for an administrative sanction and/or penalty.

(h) An applicant who is a citizen of another country and is physically present in this country shall show sufficient documentation to the TBPG to verify the immigration status for the determination of their eligibility for a professional license in accordance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. In most cases, a copy of a current visa or something equivalent will be sufficient. For applicants from countries that have a standing trade agreement with the US that specifically and adequately addresses professional licensure, such as NAFTA or AUSFTA, a copy of a visa is not required; however, the applicant must identify the trade agreement under which the applicant would be working in the US, and must establish the applicant has the required legal status to work in Texas.

(i) Applications are not reviewed until the application and fee have been received in the TBPG office. Applicants are initially notified of any deficiencies in the application within approximately thirty (30) days after the receipt of the application and fee.

(j) An applicant should respond to a deficiency notice within forty-five (45) days from the date of notification for applicants to correct deficiencies. If an applicant does not respond to a deficiency notice or does not ensure that necessary documents are provided to the TBPG office, the application will expire as scheduled one year after the date it became active.

(k) Upon receipt of all required materials and fees and satisfying all requirements in this section, the applicant shall be licensed and a unique Professional Geoscientist license number shall be assigned to the license. A new license shall be set to expire at the end of the calendar month occurring one year after the license is issued. Board staff shall send a new license certificate, license certificate expiration card, and a wallet license expiration card as provided in subsection (p) of this section.

(l) A new license is valid for a period of one year from the date it is issued. Upon the first timely renewal of a license, the renewal period shall be from the date the license is renewed until the last day of the next birth month for the licensee. A license that is renewed late (one day after the expiration date of the license through the end of the 36th month past the expiration date of the license) is renewed in accordance to the rules set forth in §851.28 of this chapter.

(m) A license number is not transferable.

(n) Any violation of the law or the rules and regulations resulting in disciplinary action for one license may result in disciplinary action for any other license.

(o) Altering a license wall certificate, license certificate expiration card, or wallet license expiration card in any way is prohibited and is grounds for a sanction and/or penalty.

(p) The Professional Geoscientist license is the legal authority granted the holder to actively practice geoscience upon meeting the requirements as set out in the Act and this chapter. When a license is issued, a license wall certificate, the first license certificate expiration card, and the first wallet license expiration card are provided to the new licensee.

(1) The license wall certificate shall bear the name of the licensee, the licensee's unique Professional Geoscientist license number, the discipline in which the individual is licensed, and the date the license was originally issued.

(2) The license wall certificate is not valid proof of licensure unless the license certificate expiration card is accompanying the license certificate and the date on the license certificate card is not expired.

(3) The license certificate expiration card shall bear the name of the licensee, the licensee's unique Professional Geoscientist license number, and the date the license will expire, unless it is renewed.

(4) The wallet license expiration card shall bear the name of the licensee, the licensee's unique Professional Geoscientist license number, the discipline in which the individual is licensed, and the date the license will expire, unless it is renewed.

(q) Once the requirements for licensure have been satisfied and the new license and license certificate have been issued, within sixty (60) days of notification the new licensee must then:

(1) Obtain a seal and submit TBPG Seal Submission (Form X) to the TBPG; and

(2) Register as a Geoscience Firm, if appropriate, as described in §851.30 of this chapter.

(r) An applicant who is a military service member, military veteran or a military spouse is directed to TBPG rule §851.26 of this chapter for additional licensing provisions.

§851.22.Waivers and Substitutions: Policy, Procedures, and Criteria.

(a) Introduction: The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists is charged with the responsibility of issuing a license to engage in the public practice of geoscience in the state of Texas only to those individuals who meet the qualifications for licensure, as provided by Texas law. The successful completion of the required examination for the specific discipline is an essential element in the Professional Geoscientist licensure process and, to date, the Board has found extremely limited circumstances that would cause the Board to consider waiving this requirement.

(1) The Texas Geoscience Practice Act (TGPA) (Occupations Code, Chapter 1002), §1002.259 provides that "Except for the payment of required fees, the board may waive any of the requirements for licensure by a two-thirds vote of the entire board if the applicant makes a written request and shows good cause and the board determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for a license."

(2) An applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist may request a waiver by submitting a copy of "REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF LICENSING REQUIREMENT-BOARD POLICY AND PROCEDURES", along with supporting documentation. Only an applicant for licensure may request a waiver. An applicant must have submitted a complete application, supporting documentation (such as transcripts and references), and applicable fees in order for a waiver request to be considered.

(3) Once a request for a waiver and all relevant documents and information supporting the request have been received, subject to scheduling logistics, the request will be placed on the next available meeting of the TBPG's Application Review and Continuing Education Committee.

(b) Guidance Policy: The following policy was developed by the TBPG Board and is intended to be guidance for the Application Review and Continuing Education Committee and the Board in consideration of a request for waiver. In accordance with TOC §1002.259, an approval of a waiver request requires a vote of 2/3 of the TBPG Appointed Board (6 affirmative votes), regardless of the number of Board members in attendance. A request for the substitution of experience for education (provided by TOC 1002.255(b)) requires a simple majority vote of a quorum of the TBPG Appointed Board to be approved.

(c) TBPG's Application Review And Continuing Education Committee Review: TBPG's Application Review and Continuing Education Committee will review the request and supporting documentation and recommend to the full TBPG Board whether or not to grant the requested waiver. An applicant should provide a written justification, along with supporting documentation. An applicant may also appear before the Committee and the full Board to provide testimony to support the request. All requests the Committee recommends for approval will be scheduled for review by the full Board. Requests the Committee does not recommend for approval will not be submitted to the full board for review, unless the applicant requests review by the full Board.

(d) TBPG's Board Initial Review: TBPG Appointed Board will review requests the Committee recommends for approval and supporting documentation and will determine whether or not to approve the request (grant the requested waiver). An applicant whose request for a waiver or substitution was denied and who believes that there is additional information that was not available to the Board when it reviewed the request, may submit additional information to staff regarding the current application, along with a written request that the Board reconsider the request. If staff determines that new information has been submitted that may be relevant to the Board's review of an application/request, then staff will schedule the application/waiver request for reconsideration. In the review of a request to reconsider its decision on an application/waiver request, because new information has been submitted, the Board will first determine by a simple majority vote whether to reconsider the application/waiver request, based on whether relevant new information has been submitted. If the Board were to determine by vote that the new information warrants reconsideration of an application/waiver request, the Board would then reconsider the waiver request, including all of the new information available at that time. An applicant may appear before the Board and present information related to the request. The Board will reconsider its decision on a waiver request only once.

(e) Examination Waiver Requirements and Criteria.

(1) For TBPG's Appointed Board to waive an examination, an applicant must:

(A) Meet all other qualifications for licensure (qualifying work experience, references, education, documentation relating to criminal, disciplinary, and civil litigation history);

(B) Meet the criteria in the policy for the specific examination that is the subject of the waiver request; and

(C) Have not failed the examination that is the subject of the waiver request.

(2) Work experience an applicant submits pursuant to the following examination waiver policies must meet the criteria for qualifying work experience under TBPG rule §851.23 regarding qualifying experience record.

(3) ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology Examination Waiver. An applicant must have acquired one of the following combinations of education and work experience:

(A) B.S. and 15 years qualifying work experience;

(B) M.S. and 13 years qualifying work experience; and

(C) Ph.D. and 10 years qualifying work experience.

(4) ASBOG® Practice of Geology Examination Waiver. An applicant must meet Minimum Criteria (a person may qualify for a waiver by meeting either "Generalized" Practice Experience or "Specialized" Practice Experience):

(A) Generalized practice experience (must meet all four criteria):

(i) Twenty (20) years of geosciences work experience;

(ii) Ten (10) years of supervisory experience (three or more individuals under supervision);

(iii) Coursework in six of the eight following ASBOG® task domains:

(I) Field geology;

(II) Mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry;

(III) Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and palentology;

(IV) Geomorphology, surficial processes, and quaternary geology;

(V) Structure, tectonics, and seismology;

(VI) Hydrogeology;

(VII) Engineering geology; and

(VIII) Economic geology and energy resources.

(iv) Demonstrate the ability to plan and conduct geosciences investigations considering human health and safety.

(B) Specialized practice experience: The applicant demonstrates twenty years or more of specialized work history in only one or two of the ASBOG® task domains. One factor TBPG will consider is whether the examination is irrelevant or largely beyond the scope of the applicant's specialized experience and the applicant's intended field of practice.

(5) Council of Soil Science Examination (CSSE) - Fundamentals of Soil Science Waiver. An applicant must have acquired one of the following combinations of education and work experience:

(A) B.S. and 15 years qualified work experience;

(B) M.S. and 13 years of qualified work experience; and

(C) Ph.D. and 10 years of qualified work experience.

(6) Council of Soil Science Examination (CSSE) - Professional Practice. No waiver is available.

(7) Texas Geophysics Examination (TGE). No Waiver is available.

(f) Substitution of Work Experience for Educational Requirements. Before the Appointed Board considers an application for substitution of work experience for an education requirement, the applicant seeking approval of the substitution must meet all of the following minimum criteria:

(1) The applicant must pass, within three (3) attempts, the appropriate qualifying licensing examination (or a substantially similar examination), depending on the discipline in which the applicant seeks to be licensed, as follows:

(A) Geology discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®);

(B) Geophysics discipline: the Texas Geophysics Examination (TGE); or

(C) Soil Science discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by the Council of Soil Science Examiners (CSSE);

(2) The applicant must have at least 15 years of qualifying work experience;

(3) The applicant must demonstrate the following:

(A) Ability to work with others;

(B) Ability to apply scientific methods;

(C) Ability to solve problems;

(D) Honest and ethical behavior;

(E) Ability to communicate effectively; and

(F) Relevant continuing education activities that advance knowledge throughout the applicant's professional career.

(4) The applicant is highly encouraged to appear before the Application Review and Continuing Education Committee for presentation of qualifications.

(g) Waiver of Education Requirement - Generally. Before the Appointed Board considers an application for education waiver, the applicant seeking a waiver of the education requirement must demonstrate mastery of a minimum required knowledge base in geoscience by meeting the following criteria:

(1) The applicant must demonstrate both of the following:

(A) A four-year degree in a field of basic or applied science that includes at least 15 hours of courses in geosciences from an accredited institution of higher education or the equivalent of a total of at least 15 hours of courses in geoscience from an accredited institution of higher education and/or other educational sources, as determined by the Appointed Board;

(B) An established record of continuing education and workshop participation in geoscience fields; and

(C) The Appointed Board may also determine that an individual applicant has satisfactorily completed other equivalent educational requirements after reviewing the applicant's educational credentials.

(2) The applicant must have at least eight years of qualifying geoscience work experience;

(3) The applicant must pass the appropriate qualifying examination, depending on the discipline in which the applicant seeks to be licensed, as follows:

(A) Geology discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG®);

(B) Geophysics discipline: the Texas Geophysics Examination (TGE); or

(C) Soil Science discipline: both the Fundamentals and Practice examinations administered by the Council of Soil Science Examiners (CSSE).

(h) Education Waiver for License in Geology Discipline - Fundamentals. An individual who plans to apply for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geology who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology examination as long as the applicant:

(1) Submits two acceptable personal references;

(2) Has submitted any other necessary forms, documents, and fees; and

(3) Has acknowledged that the Appointed Board must approve an education waiver request or approve the substitution of experience for education before the applicant may be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist and that the Appointed Board will not consider an education waiver or a request to substitute experience for education until after both the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology and Practice of Geology examinations have been passed.

(i) Education Waiver for License in Geology Discipline - Practice. An applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geology who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the ASBOG® Practice of Geology examination as long as the applicant:

(1) Meets or is within six months of meeting the qualifying experience requirement for licensure;

(2) Submits the required number/type of acceptable references required for licensure verifying the qualifying work experience claimed (or has verified qualifying work experience claimed through an alternate means, as provided by TBPG rules);

(3) Has submitted a request for an education waiver or a substitution of experience for education;

(4) Has submitted any other necessary forms, documents, and fees; and

(5) Has acknowledged that the Appointed Board must approve the education waiver request or a request to substitute experience for education before the applicant may be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist and that the Appointed Board will not consider an education waiver or a request for substitution of experience for education until after both the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology and Practice of Geology examinations have been passed.

(j) Education Waiver for License in Geophysics Discipline. An applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in the discipline of geophysics who does not fully meet the education requirement for licensure may take the Texas Geophysics Examination as long as the applicant:

(1) Meets or is within six months of meeting the qualifying experience requirement for licensure;

(2) Submits the required number/type of acceptable references required for licensure verifying the qualifying work experience claimed (or has verified qualifying work experience claimed through an alternate means, as provided by TBPG rules);

(3) Has submitted a request for an education waiver or a substitution of experience for education;

(4) Has submitted any other necessary forms, documents, and fees; and

(5) Has acknowledged that the Appointed Board must approve the education waiver request or a request to substitute experience for education before the applicant may be licensed as a Professional Geoscientist and that the Appointed Board will not consider an education waiver or a request for substitution of experience for education until after the Texas Geophysics Examination has been passed.

§851.29.Endorsement and Reciprocal Licensure.

(a) Endorsement.

(1) Endorsement is the process whereby TBPG, based on review of evidence of having completed a requirement for licensure for an equivalent license in another jurisdiction, determines that the applicant has met a requirement for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist.

(2) An applicant for a Professional Geoscientist license who is currently or has been licensed or registered in the last ten years to practice a discipline of geoscience in Texas or another United States jurisdiction (state, commonwealth, or territory, including the District of Columbia) or another country may be eligible to demonstrate having met all or some of the qualifications for licensure through endorsement.

(3) The Board staff will only consider documentation provided to the TBPG directly from a licensing authority that has issued a license to the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the licensing authority provides information to the TBPG and pays any associated costs.

(4) In order for the Board staff to consider evidence supporting the endorsement of a licensing qualification, the applicant must ensure that his or her licensing authority provides:

(A) Verification that the license is current or was held in the past ten years from the date of application; and

(B) Verification of the specific requirements that were met in order to become licensed.

(5) Verification may be in the form of:

(A) A document signed by an authorized agent of the jurisdiction indicating the specific qualifications that were met in order to become licensed; and/or

(B) Copies of specific documents that were submitted to the licensing authority to document having met a specific requirement.

(6) The TBPG may accept, deny or grant partial credit for requirements completed in a different jurisdiction.

(b) Reciprocal Licensure.

(1) Licensure by reciprocity agreement.

(A) Licensure by reciprocity agreement is the process whereby an applicant for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist in Texas who is currently licensed as a Professional Geoscientist (or equivalent license) in another United States jurisdiction (state, commonwealth or territory, including the District of Columbia) or another country becomes licensed in Texas and the process whereby an applicant currently licensed as a Professional Geoscientist in Texas applying for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist (or equivalent license) in the other jurisdiction becomes licensed in the other jurisdiction under the terms of a formal reciprocity agreement between the two jurisdictions.

(B) An applicant who holds a current license in a jurisdiction with which the TBPG has a reciprocity agreement may apply for licensure under the terms of the specific reciprocity agreement between the two jurisdictions.

(C) The TBPG shall maintain a list of each jurisdiction in which the requirements and qualifications for licensure or registration are comparable to those established in this state and with which a reciprocity agreement exists.

(2) Licensure by similar examination. An individual who is licensed or registered to practice a discipline of geoscience in another United States jurisdiction (state, commonwealth, or territory, including the District of Columbia) or another country who has applied for licensure as a Professional Geoscientist under this subsection may meet the licensing examination requirement by submitting proof of passage of examination(s) that is/are substantially similar to the applicable examination(s) as specified in §851.21 of this chapter.

(3) Licensure by recognition of licensed experience in another jurisdiction. An applicant for a Professional Geoscientist license who is currently licensed or registered to practice a discipline of geoscience in another United States jurisdiction (state, commonwealth, or territory, including the District of Columbia) or another country who was licensed without examination, i.e. "grandfathered", with regard to a licensing examination or who was licensed based on a licensing examination that is not recognized as substantially similar to the current licensing examination required for licensure under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be deemed to have met the examination requirement upon verification of the following:

(A) Verification of a valid licensure in the other jurisdiction. The applicant requesting licensure under this subsection must be in good standing with the jurisdiction in which that individual holds their current license as a professional geologist or geoscientist;

(B) Verification of at least five (5) years of responsible professional geoscience work experience since the date of their initial licensure;

(C) Verification that licensure was maintained continuously (including sequential licensure, if a license was held in more than one jurisdiction) during the five (5) years prior to application with the TBPG;

(D) Verification of having met the education requirement for licensure; and

(E) Verification that no complaint is pending against the applicant, that no complaint against the applicant has been substantiated, and no disciplinary action has ever been taken against the applicant.

(4) The applicant seeking licensure under this subsection shall be responsible for contacting the jurisdiction(s) in which the applicant is currently licensed and all jurisdictions in which the applicant has ever been licensed and cause to have verification of information in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of paragraph (3) of this subsection submitted to TBPG.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804445

T. Wesley McCoy

Interim Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: June 29, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-4405


SUBCHAPTER C. CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

22 TAC §§851.101, 851.103, 851.104, 851.106, 851.109, 851.111 - 851.113

These sections are adopted under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151, which authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, and the regulation of the practice of geoscience in this state; and Occupations Code §1002.154, which provides that the Board shall enforce the Act.

These sections affect the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §§1002.151, 1002.152, 1002.154, 1002.259, 1002.263, 1002.302, and 1002.351.

§851.106.Responsibility to the Regulation of the Geoscience Profession and Public Protection.

(a) Professional Geoscientists, Geoscientists-in-Training, and Geoscience Firms shall be entrusted to protect the public in the practice of their profession.

(b) A Professional Geoscientist, a Geoscientist-in-Training, or Geoscience Firm shall not:

(1) Knowingly participate, directly or indirectly, in any plan, scheme, or arrangement having as its purpose the violation of any provision of the Act or the rules of the TBPG;

(2) Aid or abet, directly or indirectly:

(A) Any unlicensed person in connection with the unauthorized practice of professional geoscience;

(B) Any business entity in the practice of professional geoscience unless carried on in accordance with the Act and this chapter; or

(C) Any person or any business entity in the use of a professional seal or other professional identification so as to create the opportunity for the unauthorized practice of geoscience by any person or any business entity.

(3) Fail to exercise reasonable care or diligence to prevent his/her partners, associates, shareholders, and employees from engaging in conduct which, if done by a Professional Geoscientist, a Geoscientist-in-Training, or Geoscience Firm, would violate any provision of the Act or the rules of the TBPG.

(c) A Professional Geoscientist or a Geoscientist-in-Training possessing knowledge of an Applicant's qualifications for licensure shall cooperate with the TBPG by timely responding in writing to the TBPG regarding those qualifications when requested to do so by the TBPG.

(d) A Professional Geoscientist shall be responsible and accountable for the care, custody, control, and use of his/her Professional Geoscientist seal, professional signature, and other professional identification. A Professional Geoscientist whose seal has been lost, stolen, or otherwise misused shall report the loss, theft, or misuse to the TBPG immediately upon discovery of the loss, theft, or misuse. The Executive Director may invalidate the license number of the lost, stolen, or misused seal upon the request of the Professional Geoscientist if the Executive Director deems it necessary.

(e) A Professional Geoscientist, a Geoscientist-in-Training, or an Authorized Official of a Firm shall remain mindful of his/her obligation to the profession and to protect public health, safety, and welfare and shall report to the TBPG known or suspected violations of the Act or the rules of the TBPG.

(f) A Professional Geoscientist or Geoscience Firm shall keep adequate records of geoscience services provided to the public for no less than five (5) years following the completion and final delivery of the service. Adequate records shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Documents that have been signed and sealed or would require a signature and a seal;

(2) Relevant documentation that supports geoscientific interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations;

(3) Descriptions of offered geoscience services;

(4) Billing, payment, and financial communications; and

(5) Other relevant records.

(g) Professional Geoscientists, a Geoscientists-in-Training, and Geoscience Firms must adequately examine the environmental impact of their actions and projects, including the prudent use and conservation of resources and energy, in order to make informed recommendations and decisions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804446

T. Wesley McCoy

Interim Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: June 29, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-4405


SUBCHAPTER D. COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT

22 TAC §851.156, §851.158

These sections are adopted under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151, which authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, and the regulation of the practice of geoscience in this state; and Occupations Code §1002.154, which provides that the Board shall enforce the Act.

These sections affect the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §§1002.151, 1002.152, 1002.154, 1002.259, 1002.263, 1002.302, and 1002.351.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804447

T. Wesley McCoy

Interim Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: June 29, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-4405


SUBCHAPTER E. HEARINGS--CONTESTED CASES AND JUDICIAL REVIEW

22 TAC §851.203, §851.204

These sections are adopted under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §1002.151, which authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, and the regulation of the practice of geoscience in this state; and Occupations Code §1002.154, which provides that the Board shall enforce the Act.

These sections affect the Texas Geoscience Practice Act, Occupations Code §§1002.151, 1002.152, 1002.154, 1002.259, 1002.263, 1002.302, and 1002.351.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on October 11, 2018.

TRD-201804448

T. Wesley McCoy

Interim Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists

Effective date: October 31, 2018

Proposal publication date: June 29, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-4405