December 7, 2016
A new NSPE report provides a comprehensive look at how state laws define “the practice of engineering.” Defining engineering practice is critical to understanding the professional engineer’s obligation to the public health, safety, and welfare. While the public places great trust in professional engineers, many people—legislators and regulators included—don’t know that engineering practice is, in fact, legally defined or that the definitions vary from state to state.
December 5, 2016
The Environmental Protection Agency has emphasized the key role of PEs in hazardous waste management, in yet another victory for the professional engineer and the public health, safety, and welfare. In the EPA’s final version of the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, a professional engineer is required to certify that a containment building for hazardous waste complies with specified design standards.
November 16, 2016
As more state legislators and regulators take action on the procurement of engineering services, NSPE has launched an online map that provides the latest state-by-state details.
NSPE believes that all engineering services should be performed by qualified professional engineers on the basis of design ability, experience, integrity, and judgment. To implement this principle, NSPE supports a qualifications-based selection procedure for all engineering services procurement. Recently, eight states introduced legislation or regulations that would affect QBS. This is an important issue that NSPE is proactively tracking. View the map and other QBS developments.
November 14, 2016
On November 11, NSPE submitted public comment to the California Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the department’s revised draft regulations for the deployment of autonomous vehicles, issued on September 30. In the draft regulations, the CDMV allows manufacturers and suppliers to self-certify, thereby eliminating a critical third-party safety check.
November 7, 2016
On November 4, NSPE and the Wyoming Society of Professional Engineers submitted a joint public comment urging the Wyoming Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors to rescind draft language that would waive the requirement for taking the Fundamentals of Engineering examination (FE exam) for individuals who have engaged in the practice of engineering for at least twenty years.
October 26, 2016
On October 25, NSPE submitted a formal public comment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calling for greater involvement by professional engineers in NHTSA’s guidelines for the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. NHTSA’s recently released Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, while not binding, is a clear indication of the agency’s views on the regulation of this quickly developing technology.
October 12, 2016
In another significant victory for professional engineers, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement increased the role of professional engineers in an updated oil and natural gas production safety final rulemaking. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued a final rule updating the regulations regarding oil and natural gas production safety on the Outer Continental Shelf by addressing issues such as safety and pollution prevention equipment design and maintenance, production safety systems, subsurface safety devices, and safety device testing. The changes in this rule are necessary to improve human safety, environmental protection, and regulatory oversight of critical equipment involving production safety systems. Of particular importance were changes to the approval of safety systems design and installation features.
September 29, 2016
Recognizing the promise of autonomous vehicles, the National Society of Professional Engineers has been a leading advocate on the need to place the public health, safety, and welfare first, and require a licensed professional engineer to play a key role in the development, testing, and safety certification of autonomous vehicles. NSPE is disappointed that several major safety implications are still not addressed in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recently released Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. These guidelines, while not binding, will play a key role in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. NSPE and the professional engineers it represents have a foremost responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and welfare—and to make others aware of ways that safety may be jeopardized.
September 22, 2016
NSPE alerted the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers to a proposed rule that would have rescinded regulations directing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to carry out qualifications-based selection. NSPE and KSPE then worked together and contacted transportation cabinet officials to explain the value of QBS and the necessity of the regulations. As a result, the cabinet rescinded its proposed rule to eliminate the regulations. The effort was another critical example of the value of NSPE’s advocacy efforts and national-state collaboration.
September 21, 2016
Safety on engineering projects is of paramount importance to protect the public safety, health, and welfare. For over 100 years, states have licensed professional engineers to ensure that the men and women in charge of engineering projects are qualified to carry out the work and keep the public safe. Many people, however, do not know that numerous states have enacted exemptions from the very engineering licensing laws they created to protect the public. A new report from NSPE details the extent of these exemptions and argues that they stand in the way of stronger public protection. Learn more about Exemptions to Engineering Licensure Laws.