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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8/21/23  10:20 am
Commenter: James F Bernard

Professional Geology Licensure
I am a practicing Licensed Professional Geologist in Virginia having worked in the Environmental Geology and Industrial Hygeine industries for the past 36 years as a regulator in the VADEQ and as a private consultant.  I now operate my own business.  I assisted in the research and authoring of Former Governor Bob McDonnell's "Uraninum Minning in Virgina" report which included PG's from eight states and the NRC.  I strongly support continuing PG certification in Virginia.  I also recommend making licensure mandatory for providing certain professional geological services.  Geologists provide essential services protecting public safety and health including:
  • Solid Wate Landfill Construction/Monitoring and Regulation
  • Groundwater Regulation and Protection 
  • Groundwater Usage and the Assured Continued use of Groundwater.
  • Underground Storage Tank Monitoring and Regulation
  • Green Energy including Solar and Wind
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Brownfield's
  • CO2 Sequestration
  • Pipeline Installation
  • Building Foundation Research
  • Mapping, Zoning, Road Building, Dam Construction & Safety
  • Earthquake Research 
  • Unexploded Ordinance Exploration
  • BRAC - very important in Virginia!
  • PFOA's
  • PCB's
  • The next new toxin! - Just to name a few.   

Professional Geologists licensure in in Virginia is difficult and demanding, requiring extensive education, experience under the supervision of a licensed geologist, and successful passage of two challenging exams.  Virginia originally instituted these requirements as an acknowledgement of the importance of Geologist's role in protecting Health & Safety & the Environment.  Allowing this licensure to lapse would result in an inevitable hazard to the public and to industry in general.

Virginia requires licensure for asbestos, radon & lead sampling and the Board wants to remove requirements for drinking water/groundwater safety, characterization of toxins in the groundwater, dam and bridge safety, mining safety and many other issues our vibrant economy have posed.

Respectively yours, James Bernard  

CommentID: 219518