The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
August 27, 2018
The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has been undergoing its first sunset review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission (TSAC) and its recommendations were released the beginning of August. The TSAC Staff Report (https://www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports/agencies/texas-board-professional-geoscientists-tbpg) had only one recommendation, the elimination of Professional Geoscientist licensure in Texas. This recommendation was announced to the geoscientific community two weeks before the Sunset Commission’s August 16, ,2018 deadline for the TPBG, and everyone else, to respond to it.
As of August 18, 2018 433 comments, including the TBPG Executive Committee’s response, had been received by the Sunset Advisory Commission in response to their Staff’s recommendation to abolish Geoscience licensure in Texas ( www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports/agencies/comments/3082. Most of the comments are strongly in favor of the Board’s continued existence and are from the environmental field or government agencies. All of the responses against continuing the TBPG’s continued existence were from the Oil and Gas or mineral exploration fields, who are exempt in the first place.
There is an open stakeholder’s meeting scheduled for 9:00 am on August 30, 2018. The meeting will be held at Senate Finance Committee Room, E1.036, Capitol Extension, 1400 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas. The TBPG is the third item on their list. They will be taking testimony for and against the Staff Report. Even if you don’t plan on testifying, showing up to express support is encouraged. The TSAC’s final recommendation will be released November 14, 2018.
In response, the Texas Geoscience Council (TGC) has been formed to support the protection of health, safety and welfare of all Texans through public education of geoscientific work and advocacy for professional geoscientist licensure in the Lone Star State. Their mission is to unite the geoscientific community so we can work together to accomplish three goals:
Immediately protect geoscience licensure and the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists through the 2018 Sunset review process.
Long term campaign to educate the Texas public about the various practices of geoscience, and how they impact public health, safety and welfare.
Effective August 21, 2018, the TCEQ PST program has revised the Action Levels for Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank (LPST) releases. The revised Action Levels for soil and groundwater reflect the current PAH toxicity parameters as revised by United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in March 2017. The seven (7) affected PAH constituents are:
A new US Geological Survey groundwater model visualization tool is now available to help users visualize the inputs and outputs of complex groundwater models across the country. This new web-based mapping tool, called GWWebFlow, allows water managers and the public to visualize complex groundwater models in a more understandable way. GWWebFlow supports most MODFLOW-based groundwater models; new models will be added in the future with little modification or customization. Currently, there are six USGS groundwater models available for viewing from the USGS Texas Water Science Center, including a Houston-area groundwater model a San Antonio region Edwards aquifer brackish water model, and a Pecos Country region Edwards-Trinity and related aquifers model. You can find the model at: https://webapps.usgs.gov/gwwebflow.
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report