Bd for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, Legal Opinion to SWRCB

The SWRCB has received a legal opinion from the State of California - State and Consumer Services Agency on behalf of the California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors as to the use of licensed professionals for collection of GeoTracker XY data. Key points are summarized below.

In response to this opinion, before uploading GEO_XY or GEO_Z files, the SWRCB will now ask for the licensed professional's name, license type, and license number. (Note: Data for multiple sites can be batch uploaded in a single file.)

Summary of California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors to SWRCB:

The collection of information related to the exact location of groundwater monitoring wells, required by Title 23,California Code of Regulations §§ 2729-2729.1, constitutes "land surveying," as the term is defined in section 8726 of the Business and Profession Code and requires a license issued by
the Board unless an exemption from licensure applies. Among the statutory exemptions are the following:

  • Civil engineers registered prior to January 1, 1982. (Bus. & Prof. Code §8731.)
  • Registered geologists or others persons authorized to practice geology, such as licensed civil and petroleum engineers. (Geological exemption, Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 8727 and 7838.) Please note that licensed civil and petroleum engineers may only conduct such surveying work to the extent they are by education and/or experience fully competent and proficient. (Title 16, California Code of Regs. § 415).
  • Certain federal officials and subordinates to appropriately licensed professionals may engage in land surveying activities without being licensed. (Bus. & Prof. 7836, 7837, 7838, 6739, 6740 and 8730.)

As a matter of history and policy, professional land surveyors may be in the best position to perform this work since the scope of practice of land surveying fundamentally relates to determining the location of fixed works.