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PDFWAC 308-15-053

What are the specialty licenses?

The types of specialty licenses are engineering geologist and hydrogeologist.
(1) Engineering geologist.
(a) Elements of the engineering geologist specialty. The practice of engineering geology involves the interpretation, evaluation, analysis, and application of geological information and data to civil works. Geotechnical soil and rock units are designated, characterized, and classified, using standard engineering soil and rock classification systems. Relationships are interpreted between landform development, current and past geologic processes, ground and surface water, and the strength characteristics of soil and rock. Processes evaluated include both surficial processes (for example, slope, fluvial, and coastal processes), and deep-seated processes (for example, volcanic activity and seismicity). Geotechnical zones or domains are designated based on soil and rock strength characteristics, common landforms, related geologic processes, or other pertinent factors. Proposed developmental modifications are evaluated and, where appropriate, analyzed to predict potential or likely changes in types and rates of surficial geologic processes. Proposed modifications may include such things as vegetation removal, using various types of earth materials in construction, applying loads to shallow or deep foundations, constructing cut or fill slopes and other grading, and modifying ground and surface water flow. The effects of surficial and deep-seated geologic processes are evaluated and analyzed to predict their potential effect on public health, public safety, land use, or proposed development.
(b) Typical engineering geologic applications and types of projects. Engineering geology is applied during all project phases, from conception through planning, design, construction, maintenance, and, in some cases, reclamation and closure. Planning-level engineering geologic work is commonly conducted in response to forest practice regulations, critical areas ordinances, and the State Environmental Policy Act. Typical planning-level engineering geologic applications include timber harvest planning, proposed location of residential and commercial developments and other buildings and facilities, and alternative route selection for roads, rail lines, trails, and utilities. Site-specific engineering geologic applications include cuts, fills, and tunnels for roads, trails, railroads, and utility lines; foundations for bridges and other drainage structures, retaining walls and shoring, dams, buildings, water towers, slope, channel and shoreline stabilization facilities, fish ladders and hatcheries, ski lifts and other structures; landings for logging and other work platforms; airport landing strips; rock bolt systems; blasting; and other major earthwork projects such as for aggregate sources and landfills.
(2) Hydrogeologist.
(a) Elements of the hydrogeologist specialty. In addition to tasks commonly performed by licensed geologists, the practice of hydrogeology involves the study of the movement of water and other fluids through geologic materials, the mechanical, physical, chemical, and thermal interaction of fluids with geologic materials, and the transport of energy and chemical constituents by fluids in the subsurface.
(b) Typical hydrogeologic applications and types of projects. Typical applications include regional or basin groundwater resource, quantity and quality, characterization, development and protection of groundwater resources, subsurface characterization; design of vadose and saturated zone cleanups; design, testing, and construction supervision of test, production, recharge, injection, remediation, dewatering and resource protection wells; fluid flow and transport modeling; dewatering system design; and evaluation of potential impacts caused by past, current, or future activities on the quantity and quality of groundwater and soil gas, and the range of potential mitigations.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.220.040, 18.220.050. WSR 05-01-174, ยง 308-15-053, filed 12/21/04, effective 1/21/05.]
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