Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists
Regulations for the Geology Certification Program [18 VAC 145 ‑ 40]
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7/31/23  2:29 pm
Commenter: R. Drew Thomas, C.P.G.

In Support of Licensure of Geologists

I am writing this as a private citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia and a 31-year practicing geologist.  I am in favor of amending the statutes that created the certification of Geologists in Virginia to make licensure mandatory and linking geologists’ services to the support of public welfare and the safeguarding of life, health, property, and the environment.  Furthermore, I am in favor of adding a continuing education requirement for continued licensure. 

Geologists in Virginia are commonly employed in the energy, water resources, infrastructure, and mineral resource sectors.  As such, some of the common tasks that we perform include.

  • Prepare water supply studies for public and private water supplies.
  • Complete highway rock slope stability evaluations for roadway safety.
  • Perform geologic and geophysical surveys to locate and mitigate active karst conditions beneath the Commonwealth’s infrastructure.
  • Prepare mine safety studies to extract mineral resources safely and effectively.
  • Prepare dam and bridge foundation studies to support engineering design.
  • Evaluate mineral and aggregate resources to construct the Commonwealth’s infrastructure.
  • Assess and reclaim abandoned mine lands to revitalize Virginia’s natural resources.
  • Position and monitor landfills to manage Virginia’s solid waste the to protect groundwater resources.
  • Assess and clean-up contaminated groundwater and soil to protect human health and the environment.
  • Assess, clean-up, and redevelop brownfields to spur economic growth.
  • Respond to natural hazards and provide consultation aimed at mitigating the hazards identified.

It is important that the individuals that serve in these roles are properly trained and have demonstrated minimum competency.  Verifying minimum competency through examination is one key role of the Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetlands Specialists, and Geologists.  Ensuring that geologic services are provided by competent geologists protects the environment and safeguards the life, health, and property of all Virginians.

CommentID: 218212