The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G
July 13, 2007
The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists Compliance and Envorcement Committee met in Houston, Texas on Monday, July 9, 2007 and I was able to attend. There were two items of interest discussed at this meeting.
The first was the discussion and possible action over a complaint of a non-licensed person practicing geology in the State of Texas. The names really don''t matter, rhe fact is that the TBPG is taking the PG law seriously and following up on all complaints. The person in question pleaded ignorance of the law, but did say that he had removed all references to geology from the website in question and has stopped taking new work. In addition, he plans on getting his PG so that he''s in full compliance. He also said that he knew of several other geologists who didn''t know the law and that he''s since informed them that they need to get into compliance as well. The Compliance Committee asked if he had begun the process of applying for the PG. He said no because his lawyer said he needed to settle the enforcement action first. The Committee said that he could, and should begin the process immediately and he said he would. The Committee took all of his testimony as a good-faith effort to comply and will take this into consideration for their recommendations for legal actions.
What I took away from this was that:
- If you don''t have a PG and need one, don''t wait, even if you''re under an enforcement action.
- If you know of anyone practicing geology in the public sector who isn''t registered, let him know that he needs to register ASAP. Voluntarily coming into compliance is much cheaper than getting caught.
- Be cooperative if you do get caught and you''ll probably have an easier time than putting up a fight and loosing.
The second item of interest discussed was in regards to a letter from the Houston Geological Society regarding the SEC inquiry. The HGS was concerned that the TBPG didn''t issue a strong-enough statement to the SEC that oil, gas, and mineral companies are exempt from the law. I was told that the TBPG didn''t issue a written response because the SEC was inquiring via telephone and they only issue written responses to written complaints. As of the time of this Committee meeting the TBPG hadn''t heard from the SEC. The TBPG is well aware that oil, gas, and mineral companies are exempt and have no intention of regulating them. I was told that Lynn Clark has answered the HGS''s letter, but I also noticed that this subject was on the agenda for the TBPG meeting for today, July 13, 2007, so perhaps what they ment was that Lynn Clark will answer the letter.
I will review the video of todays TBPG meeting when it becomes available and will report anything of interest, as usual.
- Henry M. Wise, P.G.
- The Wise Report