Something to celebrate: Last month, a long-suffering bill finally passed in both the New York State Assembly and Senate. The bill recognizes “geologist” as a professional occupation in New York on the same order as engineers, surveyers, et al—complete with the requisite state licensure requirements.
The official Senate wording regarding the purpose of the bill reads like this:
Establishes the profession of geology; defines the profession of geology; establishes requirements for a license as a licensed geologist; regulates the practice of such profession; authorizes geologists to engage in professional business enterprises with engineers, land surveyors, architects and landscape architects.
This bill was decades in the making, fueled by a hard-fought battle won by various professional geological associations. Brad Gill, Executive Director of New York’s Independent Oil & Gas Association (IOGANY), had this to say about the significance of the bill in an email to IOGANY members:
[The bill] follows suit with other states who have already adopted such licensure requirements. This is generally viewed as a positive step by the professional geologists in New York as it places them on an even playing field with engineers and others who provide critical professional scientific services to many industries, including oil and gas.
John Nadeau, President of the New York State Council of Professional Geologists (NYSCPG), discusses the bill in more depth, first recognizing the longstanding efforts that were contributed by many stakeholders behind the scenes:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have worked behind the scenes to make passage of the bill happen this year. This has been a collaborative effort that is the result of work done over many years. […] There have been substantial costs for lobbying efforts over the years.
Nadeau then highlighted some key points about the bill’s passing:
Any New York business owned by geologists and/or offering geologic services will be required to become professional corporations. More info at: thttp://www.op.nysed.gov/corp
- Those currently working in the field with geology-related degrees will need to obtain a license and pay a license fee to the state. Nadeau suggests referring to AIPG and ASBOG to get a general idea of the potential course requirements for licensure.
- The bill stipulates that persons without a geology-based degree are required to work under a qualified professional for 12 years to qualify for licensure. There may be some leniency in this area during the bill’s initial grandfathering period.
- There will be a four-year window for people to gather the required experience to obtain a license. For students: “This can allow a bachelor’s student graduating in the spring of 2013 or a master’s student graduating in the spring of 2014 to potentially meet the experience requirement for a licensure by the end of the grandfathering period.”
If you have additional questions about the consequences of the new geology bill, please contact us!