§ 3601 Objectives.
The primary objective of the Board of Geologists, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.
The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency; and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board; shall adjudicate at formal hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions where necessary against licensed practitioners.
§ 3602 Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) "Board" shall mean the State Board of Geologists established in this chapter.
(2) "Excessive use or abuse of drugs" shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs a person's ability to perform the work of a geologist.
(3) "Geologist" shall mean a person who is qualified to practice professional geology including specialists in its various subdisciplines.
(4) "Person" shall mean a corporation, company, association and partnership, as well as an individual.
(5) "Practice of geology" shall mean any service or creative work, the adequate performance of which requires geologic education, training and experience in the application of the principles, theories, laws and body of knowledge encompassed in the science of geology. This may take the form of, but is not limited to, consultation, research, investigation, evaluations, mapping, sampling, planning of geologic projects and embracing such geological services or work in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, roads, building, processes, works or projects. A person shall be construed to practice geology, who by verbal claim, sign, advertisement or in any other way represents himself or herself to be a geologist, or who holds himself or herself out as able to perform or who does perform geologic services or work.
(6) "Responsible charge" shall mean the individual control and direction, by the use of initiative, skill and individual judgment, of the practice of geology.
(7) "Substantially related" means the nature of the criminal conduct, for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the practice of geology.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to apply to persons engaged solely in the practice of well-drilling or persons engaged in the practice of engineering as registered professional engineers.
§ 3603 Board of Geologists; appointments; composition; qualifications; term; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.
(a) There is created a State Board of Geologists, which shall administer and enforce this chapter.
(b) The Board shall consist of 7 members, appointed by the Governor, who are residents of this State: Four shall be geologists licensed under this chapter, 1 of whom shall be a member of the Delaware Geological Survey, either the State Geologist, or the State Geologist's designee if the State Geologist declines the appointment, and 3 public members. The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, geologists, nor members of the immediate family of a geologist; shall not have been employed by a geologist or a company engaged in the practice of geology; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to geologists; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to geology. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each member shall serve a term of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor.
(d) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed for 2 consecutive terms. No person who has been twice appointed to the Board or has served on the Board for 6 years shall again be appointed until an interim period of at least 1 year has expired since the person last served. This section shall not apply to the State Geologist or the State Geologist's designee who shall be appointed by the Governor to serve at the pleasure of the Governor with no term limits.
(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.
(f) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetency or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.
(g) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold elective office in any professional association of geologists; this includes a prohibition against serving as head of the professional association's Political Action Committee (PAC).
(h) Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Board.
(i) Any member, who is absent without adequate reason for 3 consecutive meetings, or fails to attend at least 1/2 of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall be guilty of neglect of duty.
(j) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel according to Division of Professional Regulation policy; and in addition shall receive not more than $50 for each meeting attended but not more than $500 in any calendar year. After 10 meetings have been attended, the member shall not be compensated for any subsequent meetings attended in that year.
24 Del. C. 1953, § 3603; 58 Del. Laws, c. 477; 61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 368, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 404, §§ 1, 2.;
§ 3604 Organization; meetings; officers; quorum.
(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such times as the President deems necessary, or at the request of a majority of the Board members.
(b) The Board annually shall elect a President, Vice-President and Secretary. Each officer shall serve for 1 year, and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than 2 consecutive terms.
(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 4 members of the Board.
(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded, and copies shall be maintained by the Division of Professional Regulation. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.
§ 3605 Records.
The Division of Professional Regulation shall keep a register of all approved applications for license as a geologist, and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.
§ 3606 Powers and duties.
(a) The Board of Geologists shall have authority to:
(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29] of this State. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter;
(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants, and to process all applications;
(3) Designate the written, standardized examination administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) to be taken by all persons applying for licensure; applicants who qualify for licensure by reciprocity shall have achieved a passing score on all parts of the ASBOG examination or a comparable, alternative national or regional examination, if a national examination is not available;
(4) Establish minimum education, training and experience requirements for licensure as geologists;
(5) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license to practice geology in Delaware, in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this chapter;
(6) Grant licenses to, and renew licenses of, all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure;
(7) Require all technical submissions to be stamped with the impression of the state-licensed geologist's seal;
(8) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal;
(9) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure, who previously has been licensed, certified or registered in another jurisdiction to practice geology, has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicant for such acts or offenses;
(10) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning licensed geologists, or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession, to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29; and assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint;
(11) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established pursuant to this chapter and Chapter 101 of Title 29. Where such provisions conflict with this chapter, this chapter shall govern. The Board shall determine whether or not a geologist shall be subject to a disciplinary hearing, and if so, shall conduct such hearing in accordance with this chapter and the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29];
(12) Where it has been determined after a hearing, that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.
(b) The Board of Geologists shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of geology.