|(a) The purpose of the Professional Geoscientist's
seal is to show that professional geoscience services were performed
by a qualified licensed Professional Geoscientist and to identify
the Professional Geoscientist who performed the geoscience services.
(b) The Professional Geoscientist seal shall be of
the design shown in this subsection. Physical seals of two different
sizes will be acceptable: a pocket seal (the size commercially designated
as 1-5/8-inch seal) or desk seal (commercially designated as a two-inch
seal). Computer-applied seals may be of a reduced size provided that
the Professional Geoscientist's full name and license number are clearly
legible. The Professional Geoscientist's name on the seal shall be
the same name on the license certificate issued by the TBPG.
(c) A Professional Geoscientist shall only seal documents
that contain geoscience services performed by or under his/her direct
supervision. Upon sealing, the Professional Geoscientist takes full
professional responsibility for geoscience services that are provided
through the sealed document.
(d) It shall be misconduct to knowingly sign or seal
any geoscience document if its use or implementation may endanger
the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
(e) It shall be unlawful for a license holder whose
license has been revoked, suspended, or has expired to sign or affix
a seal on any document.
(f) All seals utilized by a license holder shall be
capable of leaving a permanent ink or impression on the document.
(g) Electronically conveyed geoscience documents requiring
a seal must contain an electronic seal and electronic signature. Such
seals should conform to the design requirements set forth in this
(1) A Professional Geoscientist must employ reasonable
security measures to make the document unalterable. The Professional
Geoscientist shall maintain the security of his/her electronic seal
and electronic signature. The following methods are allowed:
(A) The Professional Geoscientist may electronically
copy the original hard copy of the document that bears his/her seal,
original signature, and date and transmit this document in a secure
(B) The Professional Geoscientist may create an electronic
seal and electronic signature for use in transmitting geoscientific
documents by making a secure electronic graphic of his/her original
seal and signature.
(2) The use of an electronically-generated signature
is not allowed by changing the word processing font from a "normal
text" to a signature/handwriting font.
(A) Shown below is a sample of an unauthorized electronically-generated
signature using the Lucida Handwriting font.
(B) Shown below is a sample of a digital image of a
geoscientist's seal and original signature saved as a digital image
(JPEG Format, for example).
(h) Preprinting of blank forms with a Professional
Geoscientist's seal is prohibited.
(i) Signature reproductions, including but not limited
to, rubber stamps, decals or other replicas, and electronically-generated
signatures shall not be used in lieu of the Professional Geoscientist's
actual signature or a true digital graphic copy of the actual signature.
(j) A Professional Geoscientist shall take reasonable
steps to insure the security of his/her physical or electronically-generated
seals at all times. In the event of loss of a seal, the Professional
Geoscientist will immediately give written notification of the facts
concerning the loss to the Executive Director.
(k) Professional Geoscientists shall affix an unobscured
seal, original signature, and date of signature to the originals of
all documents containing the final version of any geoscience document
as outlined in subsection (l) of this section before such document
is released from their control. Preliminary documents released from
their control shall identify the purpose of the document, the Professional
Geoscientist(s) of record and the Professional Geoscientist license
number(s), and the release date by placing the following text or similar
wording instead of a seal: "This document is released for the purpose
of (Examples: interim review, mark-up, drafting) under the authority
of (Example: Leslie H. Doe, P.G. 0112) on (date). It is not to be
used for (Examples: construction, bidding, permit) purposes."
(l) The Professional Geoscientist shall sign, seal,
and date the original title sheet or a signature page of geoscience
documents, specifications, details, calculations, or estimates, and
each sheet of maps, drawings, cross sections, or other figures representing
geoscientific services carried out under the supervision of the geoscientist,
regardless of size or binding. All unbound geoscience documents, including
but not limited to, research reports, opinions, recommendations, evaluations,
addenda, and geoscience software shall bear the Professional Geoscientist's
printed name, date, signature, and the designation "P.G." or other
terms allowed under §1002.251 of the Act, unless the geoscience
service is exempt under §1002.252 of the Texas Occupations Code.
Electronic correspondence of this type shall include an electronic
signature as described in subsection (f) of this section or be followed
by a hard copy containing the Professional Geoscientist's printed
name, date, signature, and the designation "P.G." or other terms allowed
under §1002.251 of the Act.
(m) Geoscience services performed by more than one
Professional Geoscientist shall be sealed in a manner such that all
geoscience can be clearly attributed to the responsible Professional
Geoscientist or Professional Geoscientists. When sealing plans or
documents on which two or more Professional Geoscientists have worked,
the seal of each Professional Geoscientist shall be placed on the
plan or document with a notation describing the geoscience services
done under each Professional Geoscientist's responsible charge.
(n) Licensed employees of the state, its political
subdivisions, or other public entities are responsible for sealing
their original geoscience documents; however, such licensed employees
engaged in review and evaluation for compliance with applicable law
or regulation of documents containing geoscience services submitted
by others, or in the preparation of general planning documents, a
proposal for decision in a contested case or any similar position
statement resulting from a compliance review, need not seal the review
reports, planning documents, proposals for decision, or position statements.
(o) When a Professional Geoscientist elects to use
standards or general guideline specifications, those items shall be
clearly labeled as such, shall bear the identity of the publishing
entity, and shall be:
(1) Individually sealed by the Professional Geoscientist;
(2) Specified on an integral design/title/contents
sheet that bears the Professional Geoscientist's seal, signature,
and date with a statement authorizing its use.
(p) Alteration of a sealed document without proper
notification to the responsible Professional Geoscientist is misconduct
or an offense under the Act.
(q) A license holder is not required to use a seal
for a document for which the license holder is not required to hold
a license under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1002.
(r) All geoscience documents released, issued, or submitted
by a licensee shall clearly indicate the Geoscience Firm name and
registration number by which the Professional Geoscientist is employed.
If the Professional Geoscientist is employed by a local, State, or
Federal Government agency or a firm that is exempt from the requirement
of registration under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1002, Subchapter
H, then only the name of the agency or firm shall be required.
(s) TBPG also considers a document to meet the sealing
requirement if a reader or user of the document can determine that
the original document is complete and unaltered from that which was
placed under seal.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §851.156 adopted to be effective December 15, 2010, 35 TexReg 10695; amended to be effective January 1, 2012, 36 TexReg 8826; amended to be effective November 1, 2012, 37 TexReg 8019; amended to be effective October 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 5731; amended to be effective December 11, 2014, 39 TexReg 9539; amended to be effective March 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 1843; amended to be effective October 31, 2018, 43 TexReg 7140