The Wise Report

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
October 6, 2009
They say it could never happen, but it has.  Alison Steele Manadi, P.G., with Steele Environmental Services, LLC in Houston, Texas, informs me that the State of California has abolished the California Board of Geologists and Geophysicists (BGG), effective October 23, 2009.  The Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (BPELS) will then assume "…all the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction previously vested in the Board…" along with "…two personnel years…for performance of the board’s responsibilities..." under the Geologist and Geophysicist Act.
According to the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists - Southern California Section (AEGSC), "This action was taken by legislators under pressure to reach a budget compromise in the form of assembly bill AB 4X 20. This transfer, which had no impact whatsoever on the budget, was not accompanied by the resources or structure necessary for BPELS to fulfill its new mission. As it stands now, there will be no geologists or geophysicists on BPELS, there will be no name change to reflect its new mission, and BPELS will not have the manpower to perform its new functions - only two personnel years were reallocated from BGG. Early discussions with BPELS personnel indicated that none of the standing committees, including the Exam Committee, will be continued. BPELS has since declined to meet with us until after the October 23 elimination date to discuss the many serious issues that have not been addressed. The net effect of all this is that geologists will soon be regulated by an agency that is ill equipped to handle the responsibility and arguably hostile to its new licensees.
"The good news is that there is something that can be done - we can seek an injunction against implementation of AB4X 20. The BGG was abolished suddenly and without due process, eliminating any open, fair and transparent review of the potential consequences."
The AEGSC is requesting donations for their legal fight to re-institute the BGG.  The estimated cost for this is $15,000 to get through filing the initial complaint and up to $100,000 to see it through to the end.  If you would like to contribute, send it to:

AEGSC-Political Action Fund
1772-J E. Avenida De Los Arboles, PMB #304
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 

This sets a very bad precident and shows how quickly things can change.  It appears that California Professional Geologists and Geophysicists may have just lost control of their profession.  This is why we need an organization here in Texas to protect our interests, or it could happen here.
To view the official California announcement of the BGG's abolishment go to:
For the AEGSC Call For Action Announcement go to:
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report

Henry M. Wise
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Government Update