September 1, 2016
In another victory for licensed professional engineers and the public health, safety, and welfare, the Environmental Protection Agency included strong requirements for a PE in its final rule on emissions and compliance related to municipal solid waste landfills. In September 2015, NSPE submitted a public comment to the EPA, commending the agency for proposing new safety measures requiring a professional engineer to prepare site-specific gas collection and control system plans as part of the proposed rule. In the final rule, EPA requires that design plans continue to be prepared and approved by a PE.
August 30, 2016
Each year, NSPE and the American Council of Engineering Companies partner to administer the Qualifications-Based Selection Awards, which recognize individuals and entities in the public and private sectors for exemplary use of the QBS procurement process. Winners serve as examples of how well the process works at the federal, state, and local levels.
The Society and ACEC are pleased to announce that the Mississippi Department of Transportation is the winner of the 2016 Qualifications-Based Selection Grand Award.
Also earning merit awards were the City of Champaign, Illinois; City of Rapid City, South Dakota; and the Maine Bureau of General Services.
ACEC will recognize the Mississippi DOT for its distinguished achievement at the council’s fall conference. All merit award recipients will be recognized in their respective states by their NSPE state chapter and ACEC member organization.
August 17, 2016
NSPE President Kodi Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, submitted a public comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 16 in response to its proposed rulemaking for Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants. The proposed rule requires mining companies to disclose resources and reserves to investors. The SEC proposes to require a “qualified person” to classify a deposit as a reserve. The draft version defines a “qualified person” as “an eligible member or licensee in good standing of a recognized professional organization at the time the technical report is prepared.” The proposed rule then goes on to define a “recognized professional organization.”
August 12, 2016
In another major victory for professional engineers, NSPE was able to successfully incorporate a provision requiring PEs to prepare and seal engineering reports as part of all permit applications for abandoned mine lands cleanups. Abandoned mine lands have been an issue for decades. Unaddressed liability issues have prevented proper cleanup until this point. The Locatable Minerals Claim Location and Maintenance Fees Act of 2015 (H.R. 3843), finally addresses Good Samaritan remediation of abandoned mine lands and sets up a system for resolving this long-term public health, safety, and welfare issue. Although the initial version of this legislation did not require a PE, NSPE worked with the House Natural Resources Committee to include a requirement for PEs. The committee passed the bill with unanimous consent.
July 14, 2016
On July 7, NSPE issued comprehensive information regarding the fees to apply for PE licensure, renewal, and reinstatement in each state and territory as well as the cost of taking the PE exam in each state. NSPE provides its members with the information and resources they need to earn and maintain the respected PE seal. Whether you're pursuing a PE license or you are an established PE, NSPE is here to offer a wealth of resources useful throughout the licensure process and beyond. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to e-mail Nick Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 12, 2016
NSPE needs your help in advocating for federal legislation that encourages engineering education for precollege students.
On July 7, 2016, Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13) and cosponsor Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23) introduced the Pre-College Engineering Education Act. NSPE played a critical role in the development of this legislation. Most notably, NSPE secured a major victory for its members by working with Ryan and his staff to incorporate a provision explicitly emphasizing engineering education as a vital component in attaining licensure as a professional engineer, which requires rigorous education, training, experience, and continuing education. This bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5679, which emphasizes the importance of the E in STEM, consists of four main components. If enacted, the bill would:
July 6, 2016
NSPE has filed a brief before the Maryland Supreme Court to protect professional engineers from certain claims by contractors. The brief supports the economic loss doctrine. The application of the doctrine protects PEs from alleged tort claims by contractors for purely economic damages, such as lost profits and delay damages, when there is no contract between the PE and the contractor. The outcome of the case could influence other court decisions at the federal and state levels.
Read the brief.
June 13, 2016
In a major victory for professional engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule on emission standards in the oil and natural gas sectors asserts a strong, well- reasoned and well-supported rationale for the need for licensed professional engineers to be in responsible charge on all engineering projects, both in an independent third-party capacity, as well as in an in-house role. The rule states, “professional engineers, whether independent or employees of a facility, being professionals, will uphold the integrity of their profession and only certify documents that meet the prescribed regulatory requirements and that the integrity of both the professional engineer and the professional oversight of boards licensing professional engineers are sufficient to prevent any abuses.”
June 8, 2016
On June 7, Congress passed a sweeping overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The legislation now goes to the president for his expected signature. NSPE is closely monitoring how this legislation will impact PEs.
This legislation provides the first major revamp since the legislation’s enactment 40 years ago. The bill modifies the standards and procedures by which the Environmental Protection Agency evaluates and determines the toxicity of chemicals in industrial and consumer products.
May 25, 2016
On May 20, NSPE submitted a letter to Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Al Landis in opposition to a bill (H.B. 214) on the selection of piping material for use on water, wastewater, and storm drainage projects. The bill prohibits a public authority from preferring one type of piping material over another on state-funded projects unless sound engineering practices suggest a certain piping material is more suitable to the project.
NSPE’s letter was included in the Ohio Society of Professional Engineer’s formal submission to the committee, which held a hearing on the legislation on May 24.