Board MeetingUpton Associates - Raleigh, NC
January 24, 2017
Meeting Minutes and Notes
North Carolina Board for Licensing of Geologists
January 24, 2017
Upton Associates, Raleigh, NC
The meeting was called to order at 9:11 am by Board Chair Richard Kolb. Mr. Kolb read the Conflict of Interest Statement. Other Board members present included Rick Garrett, Dr. Bill Miller, Steve Miller, John Stevens and Dr. Kenneth Taylor. Executive Director Barbara Geiger and Board Counsel Mary Lucasse were also present.
Dr. Taylor noted that as the State Geologist and an employee of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), he would refrain from participating in the deliberation or taking any action by the Board with respect to any matter involving an employee of NC DEQ.
Welcome and Introductions
Board members greeted each other.
Election of Board Officers
The Board Chair asked John Stevens if he wished to continue serving as the Board Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Stevens said he did not, and made a motion to nominate Dr. Taylor as Secretary-Treasurer. Dr. Miller seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Dr. Taylor made the motion that Dr. Miller continue to serve as Board Vice Chair and Mr. Kolb continue to serve as Board Chair. Rick Garrett seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the November 15, 2015 Board Meeting at East Carolina University were distributed to all members and Board Counsel prior to the meeting. Dr. Taylor made a motion to approve the Minutes of the November 15, 2015 Board Meeting as written. Dr. Miller seconded the motion and the motion carried
Board Chair Kolb noted that the issue of strategic planning, including what other geologists licensing boards are doing on that subject would be on the April meeting agenda.
John Stevens reviewed the December 31, 2016 Balance Sheet with the Board and pointed out the STIF Account decreased from $502,408.94 to $279,825.91 because funds were moved to the Suntrust SILC. Dr. Taylor moved to accept the Secretary-Treasurer’s Financial Report. Dr. Miller seconded and the motion and the report was accepted.
Ms. Geiger reported the current number of individual licensees is 1391 and the current number of corporate licensees is 242. She presented the ASBOG exam stats from the September 30, 2016 administration. Thirty candidates took the FG. Eighteen passed. 15 candidates received GIT status and 3 qualified for license. Twelve candidates did not pass the FG. Fifteen candidates took the PG. Thirteen passed, two failed and 12 qualified for license.
Board Counsel provided a legislative update. Ms. Lucasse informed the Board that the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee has met four times recently. Senator Andy Wells and Rep. Jonathan Jordan are Co-Chairs. Possible legislation moving forward during the upcoming legislative session include the following: 1) clarification on how to move forward with contested cases; 2) amendments to the periodic rules review process and possible changes to rules relating to declarative rulings; 3) revisions to the statute relating to occupation licensing including requiring additional training on anti-trust issues and changes to the Board immunity and unlicensed practice provisions.
Board training included a review of the different ways an applicant may be licensed in North Carolina. Ms. Lucasse reviewed the requirement for an individual license contained in 21 NCAC 21 .0301(a) – (d). The Board also discussed 21 NCAC 21 .0301(e), which sets the different requirements for an individual license by comity. Specifically, an applicant who is licensed in another State is not required to have taken and passed the ASBOG® Exam, but simply to have taken and passed an equivalent exam. Ms. Lucasse also reviewed with the Board the requirements in N.C.G.S. § 89E-7(b)(1) and (2), which allow for a provisional license and a license for a non-resident geologist who works in North Carolina for less than 90 days a year. The Board reviewed N.C.G.S. § 55B-10 which covers the requirements for the registration of a geology corporation. There was a discussion regarding exemptions from licensure in N.C.G.S. § 89E-6 including academics. The Board also discussed how to count the number of hours required for licensure. In closing, Ms. Lucasse advised the Board that every application is reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if the applicant has met the requirements of the North Carolina statutes and related rules.
Investigations Committee Report
The minutes of the final meeting of the Investigations Committee were distributed and reviewed. The members of the Investigations Committee approved the minutes from the November 2016 meeting unanimously. The Board acknowledged that the work of the Committee is concluded. The Investigations Committee reported that new contracts with cover letters had been sent to the Board’s peer reviewers and investigators to determine if these individuals were willing to continue to serve and whether they were available to attend the National Certified Investigation & Inspector Training Basic program provided by the Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (“CLEAR”). To date, seven persons have responded. Motion was made by Dr. Miller and seconded by Rick Garrett to approve the committee report. The Executive Director reported that the Board has signed up for CLEAR membership and that current Board members can attend any of the CLEAR training opportunities. The Executive Director will coordinate sign up for interested parties for the CLEAR training in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 13-15, 2017.
The Spring Council of Examiners Workshop is scheduled for April 6-7, 2017 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Dr. Bill Harris, Dennis LaPoint, and Dr. Spruill were suggested as possible attendees. Dr. Taylor made a motion to approve attendance of Rick Kolb and up to three other SMES, if they are willing to attend the workshop. Dr. Miller seconded the motion and the motion carried.
The Board Chair and Dr. Taylor will make a morning presentation to Dr. Fodor’s geology class at NC State University on March 15, 2017.
The Board Chair reported on his November 30, 2016 meeting with the NC DEQ Division of Waste Management (DWM). The Board Chair reported that unregistered companies are submitting work for review by DWM staff. The Board discussed looking into this issue.
Comments on the proposed revisions to the rules governing licensed geologists in North Carolina are still being received. The public comment period closes on February 13, 2017. The public hearing took place January 4, 2017. Dr. Taylor’s Hearing Officer’s Report will be posted on the website and provided to Board members in advance of the Board’s next meeting. It was noted that there is confusion among some licensees regarding the effective date of the proposed rule. The continuing education requirements would become effective on July 1, 2017. Licensees would be required to complete at least 12 hours of continuing education before July 1, 2018. The Board will begin to establish guidelines and definitions of continuing education during the April 2017 meeting. Board members should be contemplating issues such as how far back a licensee can go to report for the first period i.e. can education obtained during the 2016-17 license period be used for the first reporting date of July 1, 2018?
The Federation of Association of Regulatory Boards (FARB) is meeting in San Antonio, Texas from January 26th to 29th. Mary Lucasse and Barbara Geiger will attend along with other Upton staff members and counsel.
The Directors and Officers Liability Insurance was renewed on motion by Dr. Miller and second by Rick Garrett. The motion carried.
For the Board attendance at the Geological Society of America (GSA) Southeastern Section Meeting in Richmond, Virginia, Rick Garrett moved and Dr. Miller seconded that two board members would attend – Dr. Miller and Dr. Taylor.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has inquired if the Board is willing to assist in the auditing of private sector professionals involved in Engineered Option Permits. Ms. Geiger read the response to DHHS from the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors. Dr. Taylor made a motion and Steve Miller seconded that Board Counsel draft a letter to be submitted under the Chair’s signature regarding the issue. The motion carried.
The Board discussed issues relating to NC DOT’s Request for Letter of Interest for On-Call Engineering Services to hire a licensee to check the work of other licensees without being required to seal the report they produce. The Board had concerns relating the failure to require a seal and also had concerns to the extent that a licensee might be provided with confidential work product of competitors. Dr. Taylor moved and Dr. Miller seconded that a letter be sent under the Chair’s signature expressing the Board’s concerns with the issue. The motion carried.
Per NC GS § 143-318.11(6), motion was made by Dr. Taylor to move into closed session. The motion was seconded by John Stevens and carried.
Dr. Taylor moved to return to the open session and to approve action taken on applications reviewed during closed session. Dr. Miller seconded and the motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:04 pm.
Kenneth Belk Taylor