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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 39TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS
CHAPTER 851TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT RULES
SUBCHAPTER DCOMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
RULE §851.159Sanctions

(a) The Appointed Board may impose appropriate sanctions against a Professional Geoscientist, Geoscientist-in-Training, or Geoscience Firm, as applicable, for:

  (1) The practice of fraud or deceit in obtaining a Professional Geoscientist license, Geoscientist-in-Training certification, or Geoscience Firm registration;

  (2) Incompetence, misconduct, fraud, gross negligence, or repeated incidents of negligence in the public practice of geoscience;

  (3) Conviction of a license holder or GIT of a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony;

  (4) The imposition of an administrative or civil penalty or a criminal fine, or imprisonment or probation instead of a fine, for a misdemeanor relating to or arising out of the public practice of geoscience;

  (5) The issuance of a cease and desist order or a similar sanction relating to or arising out of the public practice of geoscience;

  (6) Using the seal of another license holder or using or allowing the use of the license holder's seal on geoscientific work not performed by or under the supervision of the license holder;

  (7) Aiding or abetting a person or firm in a violation of this chapter;

  (8) The revocation or suspension of a license or firm registration, the denial of renewal of a license or registration, or other disciplinary action taken by a state agency, Board of registration, or similar licensing agency for Professional Geoscientists, Geoscientists-in-Training, Geoscience Firms, or a profession or occupation related to the public practice of geoscience;

  (9) Practicing or offering to practice geoscience or representing to the public that the person or the person's firm or corporation is licensed or registered or qualified to practice geoscience if the person or firm is not licensed or registered under the Act or the person's firm or corporation does not employ a Professional Geoscientist as required under the Act; or

  (10) Violating the Act, a rule adopted under the Act, including the Code of Professional Conduct, or a comparable provision of the laws or rules regulating the practice of geoscience in another state or country.

(b) The Appointed Board may take the following disciplinary actions:

  (1) Refuse to issue or renew a license;

  (2) Permanently revoke a license;

  (3) Suspend a license for a specified time, not to exceed three years, to take effect immediately notwithstanding an appeal if the Appointed Board determines that the license holder's continued practice constitutes an imminent danger to the public health, safety, or welfare;

  (4) Issue a public or private reprimand to an applicant, a license holder, or an individual, firm, or corporation practicing geoscience under this chapter;

  (5) Impose limitations, conditions, or restrictions on the practice of an applicant, a license holder, or an individual, firm, or corporation practicing geoscience under this chapter;

  (6) Require that a license holder participate in a peer review program under rules adopted by the Appointed Board;

  (7) Require that a license holder obtain remedial education and training prescribed by the Appointed Board;

  (8) Impose probation on a license holder requiring regular reporting to the Appointed Board;

  (9) Require restitution, in whole or in part, of compensation or fees earned by a license holder, individual, firm, or corporation practicing geoscience under the Act;

  (10) Impose an appropriate administrative penalty as provided by TOC Chapter 1002, Subchapter J for a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter on a license holder or a person who is not licensed and is not exempt from licensure under the Act; or

  (11) Issue a cease and desist order.

(c) Allegations and disciplinary actions will be set forth in the final order and the severity of the disciplinary action will be based on the factors listed in paragraphs (1) - (9) of this subsection:

  (1) The seriousness of the acts or omissions;

  (2) The number of prior disciplinary actions taken against the respondent;

  (3) The severity of penalty necessary to deter future violations;

  (4) Efforts or resistance to correct the violations;

  (5) Any hazard to the health, safety, property or welfare of the public;

  (6) Any actual damage, physical or otherwise, caused by the violations;

  (7) Any economic benefit gained through the violations;

  (8) The economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation; or

  (9) Any other matters impacting justice and public welfare.

(d) The Appointed Board shall consider the following factors in determining the amount of an administrative penalty assessed by the Appointed Board:

  (1) An administrative penalty shall not exceed the dollar amount specified in the Act for each violation. Each day a violation continues is a separate violation for the purposes of imposing a penalty.

  (2) The amount of an administrative penalty shall be based on:

    (A) The seriousness of the violation, including:

      (i) The nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of any prohibited acts; and

      (ii) The hazard or potential hazard created to the health, safety, or economic welfare of the public;

    (B) The economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation;

    (C) The history of previous violations;

    (D) The disciplinary action or amount of administrative penalty necessary to deter a future violation;

    (E) Efforts or resistance to correct the violation; and

    (F) Any other matter that justice may require.


Source Note: The provisions of this §851.159 adopted to be effective September 25, 2017, 42 TexReg 5143

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