Heads up, New York! There’s a new profession in town.
On November 21, 2014, the New York State Legislature passed a law amending Article 145 of New York State’s Education Law to establish Professional Geology as a design profession that will be regulated by the renamed State Board for Engineering, Land Surveying, and Geology.
Starting November 21, 2016, professional geologists must be licensed or risk disciplinary action. The State Board is currently accepting applications for licensure, although no licenses will be issued until November 21. Like professional engineers and land surveyors, geologists must be “of good moral character,” be at least 21 years of age, and meet education, examination, and experience requirements.
There are two methods to apply for licensure: examination in New York State, or endorsement by another state. Both methods require the applicant to pass both the Fundamentals of Geology and the Practice of Geology exams provided by the Association of State Boards of Geology, plus possess a number of years of eligible education and experience.
However, practicing geologists can apply under a “grandparent provision” until November 20, 2017, which allows geologists to become licensed having only completed the education and experience requirements. New York State currently does not offer either geology exam, but presumably will begin to offer them as the end of the grandparent period approaches.
Application forms, plus a complete breakdown of the examination, education, and experience requirements for licensure of Professional Geologists in New York State can be viewed on the NYS Education Department website.
General business corporations, including “grandfathered” corporations, are not allowed to practice geology. However, prior to March 1, 2018, the NYS Education Department will allow existing general corporations and non-professional limited liability companies to convert to professional entities specifically for the purpose of practicing professional geology, providing that the entities meet name and ownership requirements.
Any businesses not adhering to these requirements by March 1, 2018 will be considered to be engaging in the unauthorized practice of a design profession, which is a class E felony in New York.
To those providing geology services in New York, rock on! But do so in compliance of these new laws and regulations.
This article is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice applicable to specific facts and circumstances. For complete information on the laws, rules, and regulations of professional geology in New York State, visit the NYS Education Department website.
Originally published in the New York Real Estate Journal.
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