The Wise Report

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G
February 7, 2009
February 25, 2008 TCEQ Commissioner's meeting is scheduled to discuss proposed rule making to remove the applicability of Chapter 350, Texas Risk Reduction Program from the remediation of Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank (LPST) sites and it reinstate the applicability of Chapter 334.  For more information, go to:
The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) proposes an amendment to 22 TAC §851.30, regarding firm registration. The proposed amendment clarifies procedures for renewing an expired firm registration.  For more information, go to:
The Texas Legislature is in session and, as usual, there are moves to either get rid of the PG board entirely or put PG under the Texas Department of Licensing, along with other professionals like beauticians and pro wrestlers.  The arguments against the PG board are restraint of trade and an unnecessary expense.  The TBPG is aware of this effort and once again trying to educate those in favor that the TBPG is necessary for the protection of the public from improperly conducted geologic studies.  Many of these studies are required, by federal and state law, to be signed by a professional engineer or geologist.  If you take away the Texas PG registration, only professional engineers will be deemed qualified to conduct geological studies.  In addition, the TBPG brings in more funds to the State of Texas than it uses, so it's not an expense to the State of Texas.  The Texas Department of Licensing, on the other hand, is looking to expand their sphere of influence for both political and funding purposes.
I understand that there's a movement building amongst the various Texas Geological Societies to get together and help to fund a lobbying effort to help prevent future incidences such as discussed above.  Efforts to get rid of the Texas PG comes up every two years and will continue until we become more willing to defend it ourselves.  The PG board isn't allowed to lobby congress on our behalf, so we need to do this ourselves.  Why don't the engineers have this problem?  Because they are well organized, have an effective lobbying effort, and understand the need to protect their interests.  We need to do the same.  I suggest you get involved by discussing what you can do to help your local geological society get involved.  I know that the Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists and the Houston Geological Society are looking into this.
The following is a list of new legislation that may be of interest to Texas geologists.  Those bills listed with an "*" are new listings, otherwise, there have been no changes in the list to date.
S.B. 483 (also H.B. 469).  1/15/09 - Received by the Secretary of the Senate.  Authors:  Seliger, Carona, and Duell, relating to the establishment of incentives by this state for the implementation of certain projects to capture and sequester in geological formations carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.  60% of carbon emissions from clean coal will be sequestered.  Sequestration will be monitored by the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT Austin, and there will also be tax incentives for sequestration used by O&G for enhanced oil recovery.  Full details can be found at:
H.B. 469 (same as S.B. 483, above).  12/22/08 - Filed.  Authors:  Phil King, Anchia, and Hughes.  Full details can be found at:
S.B. 274 (same as H.B. 178).  11/12/08 - Received by the Secretary of the Senate. Author:  Nichols, relating to limitation on the location of injection wells.  Prohibits injection wells near faults, in recharge zones, and within 0.5 miles of water supply wells, residences, schools, churches, etc.  Doesn't say what type of injection wells and therefore has the potential to shut down ISR mining.  Full details can be found at:
H.B. 178 (same as S.B. 274, as above).  12/22/08 - Filed.  Author:  Creighton.  Full details can be found at:
S.B 136.  11/10/08 - Received by the Secretary of the Senate.  Relating to the Texas Global Warming Solutions Act; imposing a fee and providing a penalty.  Full details can be found at:
*S.B.273 (same as H.B. 177).  11/12/2008-Received by the Secretary of the Senate.  Relating to testing requirements for certain commercial injection wells.  This bill allows for additional soil testing and groundwater monitoring.  Full details can be found at:
*H.B.177 (same as S.B. 273, above).&n
Henry M. Wise
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Government Update