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In 1995, the N.C. General Assembly passed House Bill 826, "An Act to Provide for the Licensing of Soil Scientists".
The act establishes standards and requirements for licensing of soil scientists and provides that a licensed soil scientist will be in responsible charge for all practice of soil science by a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship in North Carolina, except when the organization does not offer its services to the public for hire. (Teaching, research, and government practices of soil science are excluded.)
The North Carolina Soil Scientist Licensing Act (N.C. General Statutes 89F) defines the practice of soil science and establishes standards and requirements for licensing of soil scientists. The practice of soil science as defined encompasses many activities related to environmental quality. These include investigating and evaluating the interactions among water, soil, nutrients, plants, and other living organisms. The preparation of assessments on subsurface ground absorption waste disposal systems, land application of municipal and industrial wastes, soil recommendation of residuals, soil erodibility and sedimentation, and identification of hydric soils are part of the definition of the practice of soil science. Performance of such activities is clearly related to the public welfare.
As of January 1, 1997, the licensing statue makes it a misdemeanor for any person to willfully practice as a soil scientist as defined in the Act or to use the title of soil scientist unless the person is licensed.
The North Carolina Soil Scientist Licensing Act (Chapter 89F of General Statutes) defines the practice of soil science as a profession and establishes minimum standards of conduct and responsibility as well as education and experience requirements. As defined in this Chapter:
Under North Carolina Professional Corporations law chapter 55F and NC Limited Liability Company law chapter 57C, any corporation or LLC that offers soil science services for hire in NC must register with the North Carolina Board for Licensing Soil Scientists. In order to qualify for certification the firm must meet ownership and management requirements outlined in the above referenced chapters. For more information please see the Corporate Licensing/Certification links on the right side of this page.
A 7-member board representing a cross-section of interests was appointed by the Governor and the General Assembly to administer the program. The N.C. Board for Licensing of Soil Scientists has adopted rules establishing licensing procedures. Basic requirements, set by the act, are a bachelor of science degree with a minimum of 30 semester hours in agricultural, biological, physical or earth sciences and at least 15 semester hours in soil science; at least three years of professional work experience as a soil scientist under a licensed soil scientist; and demonstration of necessary knowledge through successfully completing an exam adopted by the Board. To maintain a license, continuing education is required.
Persons who wish to obtain an application package containing the statue and rules should send $5 to the North Carolina Board for Licensing of Soil Scientists at the address provided here