Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 3008Primary Sponsor: RhoadCommittee Number: 20Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Hydrologists, Board of RegistrationResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental AffairsDate Tabled: 19940119Computer Document Number: 436/12800AC.93Introduced Date: 19930112Last History Body: HouseLast History Date: 19940119Last History Type: Tabled in CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: RhoadType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 3008 House 19940119 Tabled in Committee 20 3008 House 19930112 Introduced, read first time, 20 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND TITLE 40, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 80 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION FOR HYDROLOGISTS, TO DEFINE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES, TO REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF HYDROLOGY, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 40-80-10. As used in this chapter:
(1) `Board' means the State Board of Registration for Hydrologists.
(2) `Hydrologist' means a person with special knowledge of the science of geology, hydrology, geophysics, and related earth sciences and principles and methods of hydrological analysis acquired by professional education and practical experience.
(3) `Hydrologist-in-training' means a person who possesses the qualifications prescribed in Section 40-80-100 and who has been certified as a hydrologist-in-training.
(4) `Hydrology' means an earth science that deals with the occurrence of water, its physical and chemical reaction with the rest of the earth, and its relation to life of the earth. It includes the study of the circulation of water from the sea to the atmosphere, from the atmosphere to the land, and the numerous routes over and under the surface of land back to the sea.
(5) `Registered professional hydrologist' means a person who meets the requirements of this chapter and is registered as a professional hydrologist by the board.
(6) `Responsible charge of work' means the independent control and direction by the use of initiative, skill, and independent judgment of hydrological work or the supervision of hydrological work. Responsible charge of hydrologic teaching or research may be construed as responsible charge of important hydrological work.
Section 40-80-20. There is created the State Board of Registration for Hydrologists which shall administer this chapter. The board consists of four registered professional hydrologists of varied hydrological backgrounds and one lay member who is not a hydrologist. At least one member of the board must be an academic hydrologist, one member must be a salaried company hydrologist, one member must be an independent or consultant hydrologist, and one member must be a hydrologist from a state agency. Each member must be appointed by the Governor for a term of five years and until a successor possessing the same qualifications is appointed and qualifies. A vacancy on the board must be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
Section 40-80-30. A hydrologist member of the board must have been engaged in the practice of hydrology for at least twelve years and must have been in responsible charge of important hydrologic work for at least five years. Responsible charge of hydrologic teaching or research may be construed as responsible charge of important hydrologic work.
Section 40-8-40. The board shall hold at least two regular meetings each year. Special meetings may be held at times as the bylaws of the board may provide. The board shall elect annually a chairman, vice-chairman, and a secretary. A quorum of the board consists of three members. Members of the board shall receive per diem, subsistence, and mileage provided by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions when actually attending to the work of the board.
Section 40-8-50. The board may promulgate regulations for the administration and enforcement of this chapter and shall adopt an official seal.
Section 40-80-60. The board may employ clerical and other assistants necessary for the proper performance of its work and make expenditures for any purpose it considers necessary for performing its duties.
Section 40-80-70. (A) For the purposes of this chapter a person is engaged in the public practice of hydrology when performing hydrological service or work in the nature of consultation, investigation, surveys, evaluations, planning, mapping, and inspection of hydrologic work required for or supporting compliance with municipal, county, state, or federal regulations. This definition does not include or allow the practice of engineering as defined in Chapter 21, Title 40. A person is considered to practice or offer to practice hydrology within the meaning and intent of this chapter who:
(1) practices in any branch of the profession of hydrology;
(2) by verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card, or in any other way represents to be a registered professional hydrologist or through the use of some other title implies that the person is a professional hydrologist; or
(3) holds out as able to perform or does perform hydrological service or work or any other professional service designated by the practitioner or recognized by educational authorities as hydrology.
(B) The practice of hydrology does not include the work ordinarily performed by persons who practice engineering as defined in Chapter 21, Title 40.
Section 40-80-80. In order to safeguard life, health, and property and to promote the public
welfare, a person engaged in the public practice of hydrology or offering to engage in the public practice of hydrology is required to submit evidence that the person is qualified to practice and must be registered. It is unlawful for a person to offer or engage in the public practice of hydrology in this State or to use in connection with the person's name or otherwise assume, use, or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that the person is a registered professional hydrologist, unless the person is registered under this chapter.
Section 40-80-90. To be registered as a professional hydrologist, a person must:
(1) have graduated in an approved hydrologic or related science curriculum of four or more years from a school or college approved by the board and furnish a specific record of an additional five years or more of full-time experience as a hydrologist-in-training in hydrologic work or at least five years of hydrologic work germane to public practice satisfactory to the board indicating that the applicant is competent to practice hydrology and have passed the either unassembled or written examinations required by the board. In counting years of experience the board may give credit, not in excess of one year, for each graduate degree in hydrology; or
(2) have graduated in hydrology or a related science curriculum approved by the board of four years or more in a school or college other than those approved by the board, furnish a specific record of eight years or more of experience on hydrologic work of a character satisfactory to the board indicating that the applicant is competent to practice hydrology, and must have passed a written or oral examination designed to show knowledge and skill approximating that attained through graduation in an approved four-year hydrologic curriculum, and pass the examinations required of applicants in item (1).
Section 40-80-100. The minimum evidence that an applicant is qualified for registration as a hydrologist-in-training is:
(1) graduation from an accredited hydrologic curriculum of four scholastic years or more from a school or college approved by the board and passing a written examination required by the board; or
(2) graduation in a hydrologic or a related science curriculum of four scholastic years or more from a school or college other than those approved by the board in item (1) with a specific record of five years or more of experience in hydrological work of a character satisfactory to the board or passing written examinations in hydrologic subjects designed to show knowledge and skill approximately that attained through graduation in an approved hydrologic curriculum and passing the written examination as required in item (1).
Section 40-80-110. (A) In addition to registering as a professional hydrologist, a person may be eligible for recognition in a specialty. Specialties may be established by the board by regulation, with the regulations containing any required additional qualifications. An application may be submitted for registration as a professional hydrologist and for recognition in a specialty at the same time, but the applicant must be approved for registration as a professional hydrologist before being approved for recognition in a specialty.
(B) An applicant for recognition in a specialty shall meet all of the requirements of a registered professional hydrologist and special requirements as the board may establish by regulation, which must include passing an examination in the specialty and the five years of professional hydrological work must include one of the following:
(1) a minimum of three years' experience under the supervision of a registered professional hydrologist and recognized in the specialty for which the person is seeking recognition;
(2) a minimum of four years' experience in responsible charge of hydrologic work in the specialty for which the applicant is seeking recognition.
Section 40-80-120. Examinations must be conducted by the board at times and places the board determines but must be held at least annually.
Section 40-80-130. In considering the qualifications of applicants, full-time hydrologic teaching at the university level or research work may be considered as hydrologic work experience.
Section 40-80-140. A person having the necessary qualifications prescribed in this chapter is eligible for registration although the person may not be practicing the profession at the time of making application.
Section 40-80-150. A person holding a license to practice hydrology, based on comparable licensing requirements of a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or of a foreign country and who, in the opinion of the board, otherwise meets the requirements of this chapter, upon application and payment of applicant fees, may be licensed without further examination.
Section 40-80-160. An application for registration must be on forms furnished by the board containing statements showing under oath the applicant's education and a detailed summary of the applicant's technical work and other relevant information.
Section 40-80-170. (A) The board by regulation shall establish application, examination, reexamination, registration, and reregistration fees which must be paid at the time of each application or reapplication.
(B) If the board denies the issuance of a certificate of registration to an applicant the initial fee deposited must be retained as an application fee. A registration fee must be collected before issuance of a certificate of registration to a qualified applicant.
Section 40-80-180. When an examination is required on fundamental hydrological subjects ordinarily given in college curricula, the applicant may take that part of the examination before completion of the requisite years of scholastic studies in hydrology. The examination must be prepared and conducted as prescribed by the board with special reference to the applicant's ability to ensure the safety of life, health, and property.
Section 40-80-190. The board shall issue a certificate of registration, upon payment of the registration fee, to an applicant who has satisfactorily met all the requirements of this chapter. For a registered professional hydrologist, the certificate must authorize the practice of hydrology. For a hydrologist-in-training, the certificate must state that the applicant has completed the scholastic requirements, has successfully passed the examination in fundamental, hydrological subjects required by the board, and has been enrolled as a hydrologist-in-training. The certificates must show the full name of the registrant, have a serial number, and must be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the board under seal of the board.
Section 40-80-200. A candidate failing an examination may apply for reexamination at the next examination date and must be reexamined with payment of an additional fee sufficient to cover the cost of reexamination. A candidate for registration who has failed the same topical examination two times shall provide evidence satisfactory to the board that the candidate has taken steps including, but not limited to, additional schooling, classes, seminars, or self-study to better prepare for a third examination on the same topical subject. A new application is required of a candidate having failed the same topical examination three times for a new determination by the board as to whether the candidate has the necessary experience and other qualifications for admittance to further examination.
Section 40-80-210. The issuance of a certificate of registration by the board is prima facie evidence that the person named is entitled to all the rights and privileges of a registered professional hydrologist while the certificate remains valid.
Section 40-80-220. Upon registration a person shall obtain a seal of the design authorized by the board, bearing the registrant's name, number, and the title `registered professional hydrologist'. All drawings, reports, or other hydrologic papers or documents involving hydrologic work as defined in this chapter which have been prepared or approved by a registered professional hydrologist or a subordinate employee under the direction of a registered professional hydrologist for the use of or delivery to any person or for public record within this State must be signed by the registered professional hydrologist and impressed with the registered professional hydrologist's seal or, in the case of a nonresident hydrologist practicing pursuant to this chapter, then the seal of the nonresident hydrologist.
Section 40-80-230. A registered professional hydrologist who decides to continue the practice of this profession, annually during the month of June upon payment of the prescribed fee, must be issued a renewal registration card for the ensuing registration year.
Section 40-80-240. The board may revoke the registration of a hydrologist who:
(1) has been declared insane by a court of competent jurisdiction and has not been lawfully declared sane; or
(2) who is found guilty of:
(a) the practice of fraud or deceit in obtaining registration;
(b) gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct in the practice of hydrology as a registered professional hydrologist;
(c) a felony or crime involving moral turpitude;
(d) aiding or abetting a person in violating this chapter; or
(e) violating this chapter.
Section 40-80-250. A person may bring charges of fraud, deceit, gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct against a registrant. The charges must be in writing and be sworn to by the person making them and filed with the secretary of the board. All charges, unless dismissed by the board as unfounded or trivial, must be heard as provided by the Administrative Procedures Act.
Section 40-80-260. A person whose registration is denied or revoked by the board may appeal under the Administrative Procedures Act.
Section 40-80-270. The board may reissue a certificate of registration to a person whose registration has lapsed or has been revoked if three or more members of the board vote in favor of reissuance. A new certificate of registration to replace a certificate revoked, lost, destroyed, or mutilated may be issued, subject to the regulation of the board, and payment of a fee determined by the board. If registration has been revoked for any reason, the hydrologist must reapply for registration.
Section 40-80-280. In carrying out this chapter, the board may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance and also may require the production of books, papers, reports, documents, and similar material in a case involving practicing or offering to practice without registration. Any member of the board may administer an oath or affirmation to a witness appearing before the board. If a person refuses to obey a subpoena or refuses to testify or produce books, papers, reports, documents, or similar material, the board may petition the circuit court to issue a subpoena requiring the attendance of the person to testify or to produce books, papers, reports, documents, or similar material considered necessary and pertinent by the board. A person failing or refusing to obey a subpoena or order of the court may be subject to legal proceedings.
Section 40-80-290. (A) The board shall keep a record of its proceedings and these records are prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the board and a transcript of them, certified by the secretary, is admissible in evidence with the same force and effect as the original.
(B) The board shall maintain a register of all applications for registration showing:
(a) the name, age, and residence of each applicant;
(b) the date of the application;
(c) the place of business of the applicant;
(d) the applicant's educational and other qualifications;
(e) whether or not an examination was required;
(f) whether the applicant was rejected;
(g) whether a certificate of registration was granted;
(h) the date of the action of the board; and
(i) other information considered necessary by the board.
(C) A roster showing the names and places of business of all registered professional hydrologists must be published during the month of August of each year. Copies of this roster must be mailed to each person registered, placed on file with the Secretary of State, and furnished to the public upon request.
Section 40-80-300. Annually, on or before June thirtieth, the board shall submit to the Governor a report of its transactions of the preceding year and a complete statement of the receipts and expenditures of the board, attested to by the chairman and the secretary.
Section 40-80-310. (A) A person is guilty of a misdemeanor who:
(1) practices or offers to practice public hydrology in this State without being registered in accordance with this chapter;
(2) presents or attempts to use as his own the certificate of registration or the seal of another;
(3) gives false or forged evidence of any kind to the board or to a member in obtaining registration;
(4) falsely impersonates another registrant;
(5) attempts to use an expired or revoked certificate of registration; or
(6) violates this chapter in any other way.
(B) Upon conviction, a person must be fined not less than one hundred dollars and not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than three months, or both.
Section 40-80-320. To enforce this chapter or restrain a violation of this chapter, the board may apply in the name of the State for an injunction as provided generally in civil cases. In the proceedings: (a) it is not necessary to establish the absence of an adequate remedy at law; (b) the board members are not liable personally for damages resulting from a wrongful injunction; and (c) the initial order of injunction must include a rule to show cause and is temporary pending the return to the rule.
Section 40-80-330. The Attorney General shall act as legal advisor to the board and render legal assistance necessary in carrying out this chapter.
Section 40-80-340. This chapter may not be construed to prevent or to affect:
(1) the practice of any other legally recognized profession or trade;
(2) the practice of a person not a resident of and having no established place of business in this State, practicing or offering to practice hydrology in this State, when the practice does not exceed in the aggregate more than thirty days in any calendar year, if the person is legally qualified by registration to practice the profession in the person's own state or country and the requirements and qualifications for obtaining registration are not lower than those specified in this chapter. The person shall apply to the board in writing and after payment of a fee established by the board may be granted a written permit for a definite period of time to do a specific job; but no right to practice hydrology accrues to the applicant with respect to any other work not set forth in the permit;
(3) the practice of a person not a resident of and having no established place of business in this State or who recently has become a resident of this State, practicing or offering to practice hydrology in this State for more than thirty days in any calendar year if the person files with the board an application for registration and has paid the fee required, when the person is legally qualified by registration to practice hydrology in the person's own state or country and the requirements and qualifications for obtaining registration are not lower than those specified in this chapter, and the practice may continue only for such time as the board requires for the consideration of the application for registration;
(4) the work of an employee or a subordinate of a person holding a certificate of registration under this chapter or an employee of a person practicing lawfully under item (2) or (3), if the work does not include final designs or decisions and is done under the direct responsibility, checking, and supervision of a person holding a certificate of registration under this chapter or a person practicing lawfully under item (2) or (3);
(5) the practice of officers and employees of the federal government while engaged within this State in the practice of hydrology for the federal government;
(6) the practice of teaching or research in hydrology in colleges or universities in this State, if the work is confined to those activities and is not the public practice of hydrology pursuant to this chapter."
SECTION 2. Of the members of the State Board of Registration for Hydrologists first appointed, one of the hydrologists shall serve for five years, one shall serve for four years, one shall serve three years, and one shall serve two years. The lay member shall serve for one year. These initial terms begin running when all members of the board have been appointed. The members of the initial board, except the lay member, must be qualified for registration at the time of their appointment.
SECTION 3. (A) For one year after the effective date of this act the State Board of Registration for Hydrologists may waive the examinations required to become a registered professional hydrologist or hydrologist-in-training if the applicant for registration meets the scholastic and experience requirements provided for in this chapter.
(B) For five years after the effective date of this act the board may waive the examinations required to become a registered professional hydrologist if the applicant applied for and was granted registration as a hydrologist-in-training within one year of the effective date of this act.
(C) Within six months after the effective date of this act the board shall grant a special waiver for the public practice of hydrology pursuant to Chapter 80, Title 40, as added by Section 1 of this act, not to exceed five years, to a qualified geologist-in-training who practiced as a hydrologist before the effective date of this act. The waiver must provide that a person practicing as a hydrologist on the effective date of this act must be regarded, for purposes of their work, as a registered professional geologist until they have met the experience requirements of this chapter.
SECTION 4. Professional hydrological work performed before the effective date of this act satisfies the qualification requirements of Section 40-80-110(B)(1), as added by Section 1 of this act, if it was performed under the supervision of a qualified hydrologist in the specialty for which the applicant is seeking registration or under the supervision of a registered civil engineer if the applicant is seeking registration as an engineering hydrologist.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.