TITLE 24

Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 36. GEOLOGY

Subchapter II. License


(a) No person shall engage in the practice of geology or hold himself or herself out to the public in this State as being qualified to practice geology; or use in connection with that person's name, or otherwise assume or use, any title or description conveying or tending to convey the impression that the person is qualified to practice geology, unless such person has been duly licensed under this chapter.

(b) Whenever a license to practice as a geologist in this State has expired or been suspended or revoked, it shall be unlawful for the person to practice geology in this State.

61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1.;

(a) An applicant who is applying for licensure as a geologist under this chapter shall submit evidence, verified by oath and satisfactory to the Board, that such person:

(1) Has received a degree from an accredited college or university with a major in geology; or has completed 30 credit hours of geology or its subdisciplines, of which 24 credits are third or fourth year courses or graduate courses;

(2) Has acquired 5 years of experience in geologic work satisfactory to the Board and as defined in its rules and regulations;

(3) Has achieved the passing score on all parts of the written, standardized examination administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG), or its successor;

(4) Shall not have been the recipient of any administrative penalties regarding that applicant's practice of geology, including but not limited to fines, formal reprimands, license suspensions or revocation (except for license revocations for nonpayment of license renewal fees), probationary limitations and/or has not entered into any "consent agreements" which contain conditions placed by a Board on that applicant's professional conduct and practice, including any voluntary surrender of a license; the Board may determine, after a hearing, whether such administrative penalty is grounds to deny licensure;

(5) Shall not have any impairment related to drugs, alcohol or a finding of mental incompetence by a physician that would limit the applicant's ability to undertake the practice of geology in a manner consistent with the safety of the public;

(6) Shall not have a criminal conviction record, nor pending criminal charge relating to an offense, the circumstances of which substantially relate to the practice of geology. Applicants who have criminal conviction records or pending criminal charges shall require appropriate authorities to provide information about the record or charge directly to the Board in sufficient specificity to enable the Board to make a determination whether the record or charge is substantially related to the practice of geology. However, after a hearing or review of documentation demonstrating that the applicant meets the specified criteria for a waiver, the Board, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum, may waive this paragraph (a)(6), if it finds all of the following:

a. For waiver of a felony conviction, more than 5 years have elapsed since the date of the conviction. At the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.

b. For waiver of a misdemeanor conviction or violation, at the time of the application the applicant may not be incarcerated, on work release, on probation, on parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence and must be in substantial compliance with all court orders pertaining to fines, restitution and community service.

c. The applicant is capable of practicing geology in a competent and professional manner.

d. The granting of the waiver will not endanger the public health, safety or welfare.

(b) Where the Board has found to its satisfaction that an applicant has been intentionally fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(c) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected and such applicant feels that the Board has acted without justification; has imposed higher or different standards for that person than for other applicants or licensees; or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.

61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 5; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 77; 75 Del. Laws, c. 374, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 436, § 40; 77 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 30; 78 Del. Laws, c. 44, §§ 58, 59.;

Upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission and acceptance of a written application on forms provided by the Board, the Board shall grant a license to each applicant who shall present proof of current licensure in good standing in another State, the District of Columbia, or territory of the United States; and who meets the following criteria:

(1) Has received a degree from an accredited college or university with a major in geology; or has completed 30 credit hours of geology or its subdisciplines, of which 24 credits are third or fourth year courses or graduate courses;

(2) The applicant's license is in good standing as defined in § 3608(a)(4)-(6), of this title;

(3) Has achieved the passing score on all parts of the written, standardized examination administered by the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG), or its successor; unless at the time the applicant became licensed in the State, District of Columbia, or territory of the United States, from which the applicant is applying, the examination prepared under the authority of ASBOG, or subsequent examination or examinations prepared under the authority of ASBOG was/were not required by the State of Delaware; and

(4) Shall have practiced for a minimum of 2 years after licensure in the jurisdiction from which that applicant is applying for licensure and acquired 5 years experience, or its equivalent, in geologic work satisfactory to the Board as defined in its rules and regulations; provided however, that the applicant meets all other qualifications for reciprocity in this section.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 3607; 58 Del. Laws, c. 477; 61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 374, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 436, § 41.;

The amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this chapter shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its service on behalf of the Board. There shall be a separate fee charged for each service or activity, but no fee shall be charged for a purpose not specified in this chapter. The application fee shall not be combined with any other fee or charge. At the beginning of each licensure biennium, the Division of Professional Regulation, or any other state agency acting in its behalf, shall compute, for each separate service or activity, the appropriate Board fees for the licensure biennium.

66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 8; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1.;

(a) The Board shall issue a license to each applicant who meets the requirements of this chapter for licensure as a geologist and who pays the fee established under § 3610 of this title.

(b) Each license shall be renewed biennially, in such manner as is determined by the Division of Professional Regulation, and upon payment of the appropriate fee and submission of a renewal form provided by the Division of Professional Regulation, and proof that the licensee has met the continuing education requirements established by the Board.

(c) The Board, in its rules and regulations, shall determine the period of time within which a licensed geologist may still renew that licensed geologist's license, notwithstanding the fact that such licensee has failed to renew on or before the renewal date.

(d) A person licensed pursuant to this chapter, upon written request, may be placed in an inactive status. Such person may reenter practice upon written notification to the Board of the intent to do so and completion of continuing education as required in the Board's rules and regulations. The Board may establish by regulation provisions for resuming active status.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 3609; 58 Del. Laws, c. 477; 61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 129, § 2.;

(a) A practitioner licensed under this chapter shall be subject to disciplinary actions set forth in § 3614 of this title, if, after a hearing, the Board finds that the geologist:

(1) Has employed or knowingly cooperated in fraud or material deception in order to acquire a license as a geologist; has impersonated another person holding a license, or allowed another person to use that practitioner's license, or aided or abetted a person not licensed as a geologist to represent himself or herself as a geologist;

(2) Has illegally, incompetently or negligently practiced geology;

(3) Has been convicted of a crime that is substantially related to the practice of geology;

(4) A copy of the record of conviction certified by the Clerk of the Court entering the conviction shall be conclusive evidence therefor;

(5) Has excessively used or abused drugs either in the past 2 years or currently; 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 the practitioner's ability to perform the work of a geologist;

(6) Has engaged in an act of consumer fraud or deception; engaged in the restraint of competition; or participated in price-fixing activities;

(7) Has violated a lawful provision of this chapter, or any lawful regulation established thereunder;

(8) Has had that practitioner's license as a geologist suspended or revoked, or other disciplinary action taken by the appropriate licensing authority in another jurisdiction; provided however, that the underlying grounds for such action in another jurisdiction have been presented to the Board by certified record; and the Board has determined that the facts found by the appropriate authority in the other jurisdiction constitute one or more of the acts defined in this chapter. Every person licensed as a geologist in this State shall be deemed to have given consent to the release of this information by the Board of Geologists or other comparable agencies in another jurisdiction and to waive all objections to the admissibility of previously adjudicated evidence of such acts or offenses;

(9) Has failed to notify the Board that the practitioner's license as a geologist in another state has been subject to discipline, or has been surrendered, suspended or revoked. A certified copy of the record of disciplinary action, surrender, suspension or revocation shall be conclusive evidence thereof; or

(10) Has a physical condition such that the performance of geology is or may be injurious or prejudicial to the public.

(b) Where a practitioner fails to comply with the Board's request that the practitioner attend a hearing, the Board may petition the Superior Court to order such attendance, and the said Court or any judge assigned thereto shall have the jurisdiction to issue such order.

(c) Subject to this chapter and subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked by the Board, and no practitioner's right to practice geology shall be limited by the Board until such practitioner has been given notice, and an opportunity to be heard, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29].

24 Del. C. 1953, § 3610; 58 Del. Laws, c. 477; 61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 262, § 79.;

(a) All complaints shall be received and investigated by the Division of Professional Regulation in accordance with § 8735 of Title 29, and the Division shall be responsible for issuing a final written report at the conclusion of its investigation.

(b) When it is determined that an individual is engaging, or has engaged, in the practice of geology, or is using the title "geologist" and is not licensed under the laws of this State, the Board shall apply to the Office of the Attorney General to issue a cease and desist order after formally warning the unlicensed practitioner in accordance with this chapter.

71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1.;

(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that one of the conditions or violations set forth in § 3612 of this title applies to a practitioner regulated by this chapter:

(1) Issue a letter of reprimand;

(2) Censure a practitioner;

(3) Place a practitioner on probationary status, and require the practitioner to:

a. Report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation;

b. Limit all practice and professional activities to those areas prescribed by the Board;

(4) Suspend any practitioner's license;

(5) Revoke any practitioner's license;

(6) Impose a monetary penalty not to exceed $500 for each violation.

(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.

(c) In the event of a formal or informal complaint concerning the activity of a licensee that presents a clear and immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare, the Board may temporarily suspend the person's license, pending a hearing, upon the written order of the Secretary of State or the Secretary's designee, with the concurrence of the Board chair or the Board chair's designee. An order temporarily suspending a license may not be issued unless the person or the person's attorney received at least 24 hours' written or oral notice before the temporary suspension so that the person or the person's attorney may file a written response to the proposed suspension. The decision as to whether to issue the temporary order of suspension will be decided on the written submissions. An order of temporary suspension pending a hearing may remain in effect for no longer than 60 days from the date of the issuance of the order unless the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance of the hearing date. If the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance, the order of temporary suspension remains in effect until the hearing is convened and a decision is rendered by the Board. A person whose license has been temporarily suspended pursuant to this section may request an expedited hearing. The Board shall schedule the hearing on an expedited basis, provided that the Board receives the request within 5 calendar days from the date on which the person received notification of the decision to temporarily suspend the person's license.

(d) Where a license has been suspended due to a disability of the licensee, the Board may reinstate such license if, after a hearing, the Board is satisfied that the licensee is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety.

(e) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this chapter.

24 Del. C. 1953, § 3611; 58 Del. Laws, c. 477; 61 Del. Laws, c. 477, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 8; 71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 2.;

(a) If a complaint is filed with the Board pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29, alleging violation of § 3612 of this title, the Board shall set a time and place to conduct a hearing on the complaint. Notice of the hearing shall be given and the hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(b) All hearings shall be informal without use of rules of evidence. If the Board finds, by a majority vote of all members, that the complaint has merit, the Board shall take such action permitted under this chapter as it deems necessary. The Board's decision shall be in writing and shall include its reasons for such decision. The Board's decision shall be mailed immediately to the practitioner.

(c) Where the practitioner is in disagreement with the action of the Board, the practitioner may appeal the Board's decision to the Superior Court within 30 days of service, or of the postmarked date of the copy of the decision mailed to the practitioner. Upon such appeal the Court shall hear the evidence on the record. Stays shall be granted in accordance with § 10144 of Title 29.

71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may reinstate such license if, after a hearing, the Board is satisfied that the licensee has taken the prescribed corrective actions and otherwise satisfied all of the conditions of the suspension and/or the probation.

(b) Where a license or registration has been suspended due to the licensee's inability to practice pursuant to this chapter, the Board may reinstate such license, if, after a hearing, the Board is satisfied that the licensee is again able to perform the essential functions of a geologist, with or without reasonable accommodations; and/or there is no longer a significant risk of substantial harm to the health and safety of the individual or others.

(c) Applicants for reinstatement must pay the appropriate fees and submit documentation required by the Board as evidence that all the conditions of a suspension and/or probation have been met. Proof that the applicant has met the continuing education requirements of this chapter may also be required, as appropriate.

(d) A new license to replace any license lost, destroyed or mutilated may be issued subject to the rules of the Board. A charge shall be made for such issuance.

71 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1.;