RULES AND REGULATIONS
STATE REGISTRATION BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS, LAND SURVEYORS AND GEOLOGISTS
[49 PA. CODE CH. 37]
Biennial Renewal Fees and Examination Fees
[35 Pa.B. 4725]
The State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (Board) amends § 37.17 (relating to schedule of fees) to read as set forth in Annex A.
The final-form rulemaking raises the biennial renewal fees for professional engineers, professional land surveyors and professional geologists from $25 to $50. The new biennial renewal fees will initially apply to licensees who renew their biennial registrations for the renewal period that begins October 1, 2005. The final-form rulemaking also deletes examination fees from the Board's fee schedule and adds an explanatory statement about how examination fees are set and collected. The final-form rulemaking also makes minor editorial changes to the descriptions of certain fees for consistency of usage.
Summary of Comments and Responses to Proposed Rulemaking
The Board published a notice of proposed rulemaking at 35 Pa.B. 258 (January 8, 2005), with a 30-day public comment period. The proposed rulemaking explained in detail the fiscal and policy reasons for amending the Board's fee schedule. The Board did not receive any public comments.
The Board received comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the House Professional Licensure Committee (House Committee) as part of their review of proposed rulemaking under the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. §§ 745.1--745.14). The Board did not receive comments from the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure (Senate Committee) as part of its review of proposed rulemaking under the Regulatory Review Act.
The proposed rulemaking provided for the deletion of examination fees from the Board's fee schedule, but did not add an explanatory statement about examination fees. The House Committee and IRRC recommended that language be added to the fee schedule explaining how examination fees are set and collected. The Board agrees that the clarification would be useful. The Board has incorporated into the final-form rulemaking a statement that examination fees are established by agreement between the Commonwealth and the testing organizations that develop, administer and grade the examinations and that examination candidates pay examination fees directly to the testing organizations.
The House Committee and IRRC also recommended that the Board consider amending § 37.16 (relating to general information; application and examination). Section 37.16(c) provides that examinations are to be held in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and other places designated by the Board during the months of April and October of each year. Section 37.16(c) further provides that applications for examination eligibility are to be submitted to the Board by December 1 for the April examination and by July 1 for the October examination.
The House Committee questioned whether § 37.16(c) should be revised, given that the testing organizations administer the examinations. IRRC likewise requested clarification, recommending that the Board replace the current § 37.16(c) with language indicating where examination candidates can obtain information about current testing organizations, examination fees, examination deadlines, examination dates and examination locations. IRRC also noted that the information in § 37.16(c) is outdated with regard to the application deadlines for the professional geologist examination.
The Board agrees with the House Committee and IRRC that § 37.16(c) should be amended. The Board is in the process of updating and revising its entire set of regulations in Chapter 37. The Board recently sent an exposure draft of the general amendments to professional organizations for preproposal comment. The proposed amendments to § 37.16, as reflected in the exposure draft, would include language similar to that recommended by IRRC. Examination candidates would be directed to contact the testing organizations for examination applications and examination-related information, including examination fees, examination dates and locations and examination application filing deadlines. Examination candidates would be advised that contact information about testing organizations may be obtained from the Board's website. The Board anticipates that the proposed general revisions will be published for public comment and submitted for regulatory review by early 2006.
The final-form rulemaking will generate approximately $960,125 in additional biennial renewal fee revenues, broken down as follows:
Certification Class No. of Renewing Licensees Fee Increase Additional Revenues Professional Engineer 32,355 x $25 $808,875 Professional Land Surveyor 3,413 x $25 $85,325 Professional Geologist 2,637 x $25 $65,925
The final-form rulemaking will require the Board to change its biennial renewal form to reflect the new fees. The final-form rulemaking will not create additional paperwork requirements for the regulated community.
The final-form rulemaking will become effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The new biennial renewal fees will initially apply to licensees who renew their registrations for the biennial renewal period beginning October 1, 2005.
Section 9 of the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law (Registration Law) (63 P. S. § 156) requires the Board to establish fees by regulation and to ensure that revenues derived from fees, fines and civil penalties are adequate to cover the Board's expenditures over a biennial period. Section 4(e) of the Registration Law (63 P. S. § 151(e)) contemplates that the Board may assess biennial renewal fees by regulation.
The Board considers the amendments to be both required by law and the least restrictive means of covering the cost of activities that the Board is required to perform.
Under authority of section 5(a) and (f) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a) and (f)), on December 22, 2004, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 35 Pa.B. 258, to IRRC for review and comment. Under authority of section 5(a) and (f) of the Regulatory Review Act, on February 2, 2005, the Board submitted copies of the notice of proposed rulemaking published at 35 Pa.B. 258 to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees for review and comment.
Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the House and Senate Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the House and Senate Committees and the public.
Under authority of section 5.1(e) and (j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(e) and (j.2)), the final-form rulemaking was approved by the House Committee on June 28, 2005, and deemed approved by the Senate Committee on July 13, 2005. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on July 14, 2005, and approved the final-form rulemaking.
For additional information about the final-form rulemaking, submit inquiries to Shirley S. Klinger, Administrator, State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, (717) 783-7049, ST-ENGINEER@state.pa.us.
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.
(3) The final-form rulemaking adopted by this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration of the Registration Law.
(4) The amendments to this final-form rulemaking do not enlarge the original purpose of the proposed rulemaking published at 35 Pa.B. 258.
The Board, acting under the Registration Law, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 37, are amended by amending § 37.17 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel for approval as required by law.
(c) The Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) The final-form rulemaking shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
THEODORE TESLER, P. G.,
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 35 Pa.B. 4270 (July 30, 2004).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 16A-478 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
TITLE 49. PROFESSIONAL AND VOCATIONAL STANDARDS
PART I. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Subpart A. PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS
CHAPTER 37. STATE REGISTRATION BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS, LAND SURVEYORS AND GEOLOGISTS
QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE
§ 37.17. Schedule of fees.
(a) Professional engineers and professional land surveyors. The Board will charge the following fees: Biennial renewal of registration $50 (b) Professional geologists. The Board will charge the following fees:
Application for registration $50 Biennial renewal of registration $50 Temporary permit $25 (c) Other fees. The Board will charge the following fees: Certification of license, registration, permit or scores $25 Verification of license, registration or permit $15 (d) Fees to testing organizations. Examination fees are
established by agreement between the Commonwealth
and the testing organizations that develop, administer
and grade the examinations. Examination candidates pay
examination fees directly to the testing organizations.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-1560. Filed for public inspection August 19, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]
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