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  10:56 am
Commenter: John Voorhees, PG

In Support of Professional Geologist Certification in Virginia

Establishing minimum requirements for competency and ethics for those working in the applied geosciences is a well established policy adopted by the majority of states in the U.S., including Virginia, for good and obvious reasons: geologists are vital to construction, property development, and management of natural resources with critical positive impacts to human health, the environment, and economy. 

While the importance of certification and licensing requirements is best understood as essential for public safety, I will also highlight it's importance and benefit in controlling and reducing costs of construction and development.  Sustainable groundwater use and development, identification of hazards and remediation of legacy impacts from prior land use, and appropriate characterization of geologic engineering hazards are a few of the many aspects of land development and infrastructure projects where geologists provide expertise that reduces delays and cost overruns and mitigates potential unanticipated impacts.  Establishing competency, training, and ethical standards for practitioners does not increase costs to the public or private sector, it significantly reduces them.  Removing certification requirements erodes public safety while creating a greater potential for increased construction and development costs and delays.  

Please continue to require certification of professional geologists in Virginia through DPOR.   

CommentID: 219524