Professional Engineers Of North Carolina

SPR 2014

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26 the Professional Engineer Spring 2014 PENC participates in legislative study evaluating regulatory review P E N C R E P o R t B y G u s s i m m o n s , P E T he North Carolina Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 includes a requirement that the legislative Environmental Review Commis- sion, among other things, evaluate the review of engineering work performed by state regulatory agencies and local governments. Tis requirement was fully described in Section 58 of HB 74, which directs N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, N.C. Department of Transpor- tation and local governments to examine: 1) standard review processes including the role Professional Engineers serve in terms of direct review or supervisory responsibility 2) mechanisms in place to ensure staf who are not PEs are not engaged in the unauthorized practice of engineering 3) the standard scope of review including whether the reviewer is operating within their regulatory authority as defned in state statute and 4) opportu- nities to streamline and improve the review process. In addition to the state agencies identifed in the bill and local government, the Professional Engineers of North Carolina is named as a contributor to this efort along with the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors. Te government agencies and PENC reported their fndings and recommendations to the ERC at its January meeting. For its part, PENC established an Action Group committee comprised of a diverse group of volunteers from both the public and private sectors. Tey represent the geographic regions of the state and contributed to this evaluation efort. Tese PENC Action Group participants were selected through an open application process, which was advertised to all PENC members. Gus Simmons, PE, former PENC president with Cavanaugh and Associates in Wilmington, serves as Action Group chairman. At its frst meeting this past October, the PENC Action Group established a stringent timeline of activities to provide information to the ERC by its Jan. 15 meeting. Te group's work was guided by the PENC mission: to promote competent and ethical practice of professional engineering that protects the health and welfare of the general public. Trough surveys, public workgroup meetings and personal interviews with PEs practicing in North Carolina — PENC members and non-mem- bers — who have experience pursuing regulatory approvals, the PENC Action group identified common experiences among PEs seeking permit approvals in the various agencies. Te Action Group specifcally focused on any review processes that threaten, impede or otherwise diminish the ability of PEs to practice consistent with the law that governs the practice of engineering (N.C.G.S. § 89C). Torough evalua- tion, analysis and debate yielded the PENC's recommendations, which culminate the collective thoughts and opinions gathered through this process, to the ERC: 1 PENC supports the review of applications that require regulatory approval, including those requiring the work of a PE, as prescribed by N.C.G.S. § 89C. Tese reviews should be for the purpose of determining regulatory compli- ance and fulfllment of the prescribed require- ments set forth by statute and not for the purpose of evaluating the application of science (engineering). 2 PENC encourages that all members of the public, including regulatory reviewers, refer any work completed by a PE that is purported to be negligent or incompetent to the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors. 3 PENC encourages the training of regulatory reviewers on the requirements of N.C.G.S. § 89C and in the identifcation of work and activities that constitute the practice of engi- neering. PENC, with the assistance and oversight of NCBELS, is available to assist PENC Report_Winter14.indd 26 3/27/14 11:37 AM

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