The Hospital Building Safety Board (HBSB) requests (July 10, 2019) an Engineering Geologist for the board.  See PDF for more details.

OSHPD HBSD 071519jj (pdf)


News and Information


Geologist and Geophysicist Week  and the 50th anniversary video 

Keep updated with the BPELSG rules and regulations: 

American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is a non-profit organization.  They have a Geosciences Online Learning Initiative (GOLI).  To see the AGI GOLI webinars, visit:

ASBOG California professional geologist licensure requirements: 


The geologist sunset review is ongoing in 2019.  For more information, please contact Ms. Laurie Racca of the BPELSG, (916-263-2406; Geologist Section to get the latest information on the sunset review process.  The PDFs below, provided by David Abbott, P.G., C.Hg., illustrate the number of CHg and PGps.  


Welcome to the California Council of Geoscience Organizations (CCGO) web site.  CCGO was formed in 1997 as an umbrella group to represent the interests of geoscience organizations and employers in Sacramento.    CCGO was founded on the idea that together with its members it can present a united front from both the profession and employers when issues arise that affect the practice rights of geoscientists.  

There is a Rulemaking Notice for the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. Ms. Kara Williams from the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists informs CCGO of a new rulemaking notice.  On November 30, 2018 the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (Board) published the Geology Education Rulemaking Notice. The Board proposes to adopt Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 3022, 3022.1, 3022.2, and amend Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 3031.  

August 2019 Updates  

The regulation has been approved by OAL and will go into effect in the fall of 2019.  There will be some transition information posted to the BPELSG website as soon Executive Staff approve the language. 

Any person interested may provide a comment via email (, Phone ((916)263-5438) or at our hearing which will be held at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive- 3rd Floor Conference Rm Sacramento, CA 95833 on January 22, 2019 from 10 am to 12 pm.  All comments must be received by the Board at its office no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 14, 2019 or must be received by the Board at the hearing on January 22, 2019.  


In November 2018, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Retains professional geologist registration in Texas after much discussion.  CCGO members sent letters to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission in support of PGs in Texas.  


The newest BPELSG Geologist Member is Betsy Mathieson.  Her current term expires June 30, 2022  Betsy was instrumental in the formation of CCGO in 1997 and served as president of the organization.  She has retired from Exponent, a consulting company, where she worked in Oakland for many years.  She served as a leader of a variety of professional organizations, including the San Francisco Chapter of the Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists.  CCGO congratulates Betsy on retirement and serving the geologic profession in the role of Geologist Member and Vice President of the BPELSG.  For more information on the history of the BPELSG, please see the following buttons:  





Here we are in 2018 and Arizona is at it again!  

HB 2410 is another bill in the Arizona legislature attempting to eliminate licensure for geologists.

2018 is a replay of 2016 for Arizona Geologists.  In 2016, the fight occurred and geologists were successful in keeping the title act.  Geologists opposed to de-licensing of profession have a fight on their hands.  Arizona was the first state in the country to provide registration of geologists, starting in 1956. Now 32 states offer registration. Proponents of de-registration argue that Arizona is over regulated and eliminating registration for geologists, landscape architects, assayers, and cremationists, is the first step towards eliminating most professional registrations.   The local geological community is organizing to oppose HB2613, with AIPG offering to play a coordinating role.  

A number of people pointed out that numerous state and local agencies require licensed geologists to sign off on technical reports. With Arizona licensing revoked, other professionals such as engineers would be asked to sign such reports. But if they do not have the technical expertise in that area, they could be held liable for subsequent problems. Or geologists licensed in other states could come in to replace Arizona geologists in order to sign professional reports.  


Florida, in what seems to be a mood of not wanting to regulate professions, geologist licensure is being challenged.  The Institute of Justice suggests reducing government oversight is a way to "slash red tape" and on January 15, 2018, HB 15 was passed:

The Institute of Justice Press Release with a link to HB 15 is included below: 


Challenges to geologist licensure in Washington are included with HB 1361:  




2018 Laws and Regulations 

2018 Laws - Annotated to show changes made in 2017  

Professional Engineers Act (Business and Professions Code sections 6700-6799) Professional Land Surveyors' Act (Business and Professions Code sections 8700-8805) Board Rules (Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 400-476) Geologist and Geophysicist Act (Business and Professions Code section 7800-7887) Regulations Relating to the Practices of Geology and Geophysics (Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 3000-3067)  

2018 Laws - Unannotated  

Professional Engineers Act (Business and Professions Code sections 6700-6799) Professional Land Surveyors' Act (Business and Professions Code sections 8700-8805) Board Rules (Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 400-476) Geologist and Geophysicist Act (Business and Professions Code section 7800-7887) Regulations Relating to the Practices of Geology and Geophysics (Title 16, California Code of Regulations sections 3000-3067)  

NOTICE - The 2018 edition of the Handbook of Laws and Rules will be available for purchase in the near future. This website will be updated when it is available.  

Building Design Authority - A one-page form that explains who has the authority to design buildings.  

Written Contract Requirements for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors - Information about the written contract requirements (Business and Professions Code sections 6749 & 8759), which became effective on January 1, 2001.  

Written Contract Requirements for Professional Geologists and Professional Geophysicists - Information about the written contract requirements (Business and Professions Code section 7839.2), effective on January 1, 2014.  

Filing an Organization Record Form - Information about when an Organization Record form or Disassociation form needs to be filed with the Board.  

Index of Decisions Designated as Precedent Decisions  

The Board Rules and the Regulations Relating to Geology and Geophysics, as well as other Titles of the California Code of Regulations, are also available through the Office of Administrative Law and Westlaw at  

The Legislative Counsel has extensive legislative information, as well as all of the California statutes [such as the Business and Professions Code], on its web site at  



Below are selected documents and information related to prior activities or challenges.  These are included for historic purposes, and more recent changes have likely occurred. 

MARCH 2016 - NEW LEGISLATION THAT COULD IMPACT THE PRACTICE OF GEOLOGISTSEric Zinn, Geologist Member of the BPELSG in 2016, noted an interesting, and possibly disturbing legislative attempt to solve a problem that doesn't exist:  ​  

The language should be of concern to geologists for two reasons:  

1.  It calls out specific landforms we frequently map;  

2.  It is a bill proposing changes to professional act law, which means that the legislature can have the final say on language.  

Geologists are technically exempt from this kind of stuff according to Section 8727 of the Professional Land Surveyors Act.  The concern is whether a legislative attempt of cleaving out landforms in the law creates a potential conflict which might set up for future exclusion of geologic professional practice.  

The Senator backing the bill, Senator Canella, is a Professional Engineer and has been a past champion of the licensing board (BPELSG) in the past.  

The bill was sent back to the committee level, so it might die there.  The uncertainty is that the bill may also come back to life with the same language, better language or worse language.    

For those interested in more discussion, please contact Eric Zinn:  

Erik N. Zinn State of California Professional Geologist License #6854 State of California Certified Engineering Geologist License #2139 Zinn Geology 2231 40th Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062 Voice: 831.334.4833 email: NEW AND IMPORTANT UPDATES FOR 


(From the BPELSG website:; Call BPELSG Toll-Free at 1-866-780-5370  

ANNOUNCED JANUARY 26, 2016 - The Board intends to amend Title 16, California Code of Regulations section 3031 to define the minimum curriculum for a qualifying geological sciences degree. The Board is asking for input and is hosting two workshops to provide a forum to communicate with interested parties.  The workshop announcement and agenda is presented HERE.  

POSTED JANUARY 12, 2016 - The Winter 2016 Board Bulletin is now available.  

POSTED DECEMBER 31, 2015 - The 2016 editions of the Professional Engineers Act, Geologist and Geophysicist Act, and Professional Land Surveyors' Act, and associated regulations, are now available.  

ANNOUNCED JUNE 30, 2015 - Notice of Department Designation Forms for Governmental Agencies Now Available In order to comply with the requirements of Business and Professions Code sections 6730.2 and 8725.1, state, county, city, city & county, district, and special district agencies are required to designate the professional engineers and land surveyors who are in responsible charge at the agencies. The Notice of Department Designation form is now available to meet this reporting requirement. Click the link above for more information.  



February 5, 2016 Update:  BPELSG opposed AB 320.  It did not get our to the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2015.  

Information About Assembly Bill 320  

February 13, 2015:   

Assembly Bill 320 would authorize licensure of ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS. This would be a "Title Act" license.  If AB 320 is passed and becomes law, only a licensed ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER could use the title.  The bill is sponsored by the Professional Engineers in California Government and authored by Assembly Member Jim Wood.  The text of the bill are included at the bottom of this page, or can be seen here:    

Links: AB-320: 


COMMENTS:  CCGO is very concerned that this may be the start to reduce or eliminate geologist's role in directing, designing, and stamping plans and implementation documents for remediation projects.    



·         Continue to oppose AB-320 Environmental Engineers Title Act, should it come out of committee in 2016.  

·         Develop an appropriate funding mechanism for the organizational members so they can support CCGO, without creating a financial hardship on their groups.    

·         NEW CCGO FUNDING METHOD: The likely new funding method is to allow each committed organizational member to hold ONE annual fund raising meeting for CCGO with the extra proceeds ($10 to $25/person donation) given to CCGO in lieu of annual dues.  Bob Tepel, James Jacobs and others at CCGO are looking into the by-laws to determine how it will be implemented.  

·         Monitor legislation that threatens to eliminate licensure in the geosciences profession;  

·         Work closely with the BPLEGS as it implements new exam formats for the geosciences licensure examinations;  

·         Be a valuable resource for legislators when crafting legislation related to geosciences issues;  

·         Provide accurate geosciences information to the media regarding the teaching of earth since (K-12).  




August 28, 2015:  

In August 2015, CCGO was asked for recommendation for a geologist for California Hospital Building Safety Board (HBSB).  In a response, to the Hospital  Building Safety Board, James Jacobs of CCGO contacted other CCGO officers and advisors.  In response to the Hospital Building Safety Board, he noted that "the California Council of Geoscience Organizations (CCGO) represents thousands of geologists in California.  CCGO received a letter from your office regarding the reappointment of Dr. Lou Gilpin on the board in October 2015.  I spoke to Dr. Gilpin, and he verified that he wanted to continue to serve the public on the Hospital Building Safety Board.  From our information, he has done a terrific job on your board and he is highly regarded in the profession as an engineeringgeologist. After asking our members for comments and recommendations, I have received emails from a variety of geologists from a variety of subdisciplines.  All of those who responded were favoring the reappointment of  Dr. Gilpin to your board."  CCGO supported the renomination of Dr. Gilpin to the Hospital Building Safety Board.  Dr. Gilpin was reappointed for another term.  To see the HBSB membership, push the blue button  




INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Wood  

FEBRUARY 13, 2015  

An act to amend Section 6732 of the Business and Professions Code relating to engineers.  


AB 320, as introduced, Wood. Engineers.  

BACKGROUND Existing law provides for the licensing and regulation of professional engineers and land surveyors by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists in the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law prohibits a person from representing himself or herself as an engineer, as described by various titles, unless the person is licensed as an engineer.  

Existing law makes a violation of those prohibitions a misdemeanor.  

This bill would additionally prohibit a person from using the title "environmental engineer" unless the person is licensed as an engineer. The bill would provide legislative findings and declarations in support of the licensure of environmental engineers in California. The bill would set forth the intent of the Legislature that the board be responsible for defining environmental engineering through rulemaking and that the board adopt standardized examination materials applicable to environmental engineering, as specified. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state mandated local program. 


The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.  This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.  

 Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State mandated local program: yes.  


SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:  (a) Over the past few decades, the study and practice of environmental engineering has expanded greatly throughout California and the nation. Many colleges in California have accredited environmental engineering programs and thousands of California engineers currently provide essential environmental engineering services to all levels of government, private industry, and the public.  (b) Despite leading the way in environmental protection and global climate change remediation programs, the State of California is an anomaly in that it does not currently offer a pathway for the licensure of environmental engineers. Forty‐eight other states test and provide a licensing path for environmental engineers. Hawaii and California currently do not.  (c) As programs of environmental mitigation and protection continue to expand in scope and complexity for our air, water, and soil testing and certification of environmental engineers is needed to establish benchmarks for competency to protect and safeguard the public.  (d) The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) safeguards the life, health, property, and public welfare by regulating the practice of professional engineering. The BPELSG provides this public service by testing and licensing individuals, establishing regulations, enforcing laws and regulations, and providing information so that consumers can make informed decisions.  (e) In the early 1970s, the BPELSG created title acts in the branches of agriculture, control system, corrosion, fire protection, manufacturing, nuclear, quality, safety, and traffic. At that time, the BPELSG did not approve a petition to add an environmental engineer title act. In 1986, the authority to establish new title registration branches returned to the Legislature.  (f) In California, professional engineers are licensed in the three practice act categories of civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering, and licensed in the 10 title act categories of agricultural, chemical, control system, fire protection, industrial, manufacturing, metallurgical, nuclear, petroleum, and traffic engineering. (g) Environmental engineering is the branch of engineering that understands and applies engineering principles in the areas of solid waste management, water supply and treatment, wastewater treatment, air pollution management, hazardous waste management, and related environmental and public health impact, assessment, and mitigation including the physical, chemical, and biological processes by which pollutants form, release, disperse, react, or neutralize in air, water, or soil.  (h) Given the proliferation of the practice of environmental engineering in the public and private sectors in California, it is now necessary to create an environmental engineering title act within the Professional Engineers Act to safeguard life, health, property, and the public welfare and regulating this profession.  (i) It is the intent of the Legislature that the BPELSG will be responsible for defining "environmental engineering" through rulemaking, adding to the definitions found in Section 404 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations, and using the same process used to define the other title acts. It is the intent of the Legislature that the BPELSG will also adopt national standardized examination materials applicable to environmental engineering, similar to testing for other branches of engineering. (j) Creating a new environmental engineering title act does not require the expenditure of state funds. Just as is the case with other practice and title act licensees, it is the intent of the Legislature that applicant fees will cover the cost of license and registration.  

 SECTION 2. Section 6732 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read: 6732. It is unlawful for anyone other than a professional engineer licensed under this chapter to stamp or seal any plans, specifications, plats, reports, or other documents with the seal or stamp of a professional engineer, or in any manner, use the title "professional engineer," "licensed engineer," "registered engineer," or "consulting engineer," or any of the following branch titles: "agricultural engineer," "chemical engineer," "civil engineer," "control system engineer," "electrical engineer," "environmental engineer," "fire protection engineer," "industrial engineer," "mechanical engineer," "metallurgical engineer," "nuclear engineer," "petroleum engineer," or "traffic engineer," or any combination of these words and phrases or abbreviations thereof unless licensed under this chapter.  

SECTION 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.



(Excerpted from the BPELSG website):  


Professional Geologist and Geophysicist Written Contracts Requirement  

Senate Bill 152, which becomes effective on January 1, 2014, adds Business and Professions Code section 7839.2 to the Geologist and Geophysicist Act. This section requires a written contract to be used by a Professional Geologist or Geophysicist when contracting to provide professional services to a client. The use of a written contract helps to eliminate miscommunications, which oftentimes arise when using an oral contract. A written contract may be in electronic form. The following is an overview of the new section. Requirements:  Before the Professional Geologist or Geophysicist begins work, they must sign a written contract with their client, or his or her representative; however, there are exemptions. The written contract must include, but not be limited to, all of the following:  

A description of the services to be provided by the Professional Geologist or Geophysicist; A description of any basis of compensation applicable to the contract, and method of payment agreed upon by the parties; The name, address, and license or certificate number of the Professional Geologist or Geophysicist, and the name and address of the client; A description of the procedure that the Professional Geologist or Geophysicist and the client will use to accommodate additional services; and A description of the procedure to be used by any party to terminate the contract.  

Exemptions:  A written contract is not required under the following circumstances:  

The client will not be compensating the Professional Geologist or Geophysicist for their services. The Professional Geologist or Geophysicist has a current or prior contractual relationship with the client to provide professional services, and the client has paid the Professional Geologist or Geophysicist all of the fees that are due under that contract. The client knowingly states in writing, after full disclosure of this requirement, that a written contract need not be used. Professional services are rendered by a Professional Geologist or Geophysicist to another Professional Geologist or Geophysicist; a licensed engineer; a licensed land surveyor; a licensed architect; a licensed contractor; or a public agency.  

For additional information, please contact the Enforcement Unit at (916) 263-2284 or call James Jacobs of CCGO at 510-590-1098. 


There is some language on the sunset review in the winter 2018 Board bulletin:  (page 3)

The link to the report submitted to the legislature is here: 

The assembly has a webpage on the sunset hearings here: