REGION 9 REPORTS – APRIL 2019 NEWSLETTER
By Thor Larsen, P.E., M.ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Governor from the Sacramento Section
About the California Board:
The California Legislature created the Board of Registration for Civil Engineers in 1929, following the failure of the St. Francis Dam in northern Los Angeles County. On March 12, 1928, the dam suddenly gave way. A huge wall of water cascaded down the narrow valley of the Santa Clara River and when the water hit the town of Santa Paula, almost 50 miles downstream, the crest was still 25 feet high. The dam failure unleashed 12 billion gallons of water. It went through the towns of Piru, Fillmore, Santa Paula, and Ventura before as it when to the ocean. Lives lost numbered approximately 450, 1200 houses were demolished and 10 bridges washed out. After the flood, inspection revealed that the dam was built on, and anchored to, a weak and faulted rock formation. The Legislature determined that the unregulated design of construction projects constituted a hazard to the public and passed laws to regulate civil engineering and to create the Board.
In 1929, Land Surveyors had been licensed since 1891, and in 1933 the Legislature abolished the State Surveyor General Office and enacted the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act. In 2009, legislation was enacted that eliminated the Board of Geologists and Geophysicists and transferred duties and jurisdiction of regulation of those practices to the Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. The Board then officially became the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) on January 1, 2011.
The Board consists of 15 members (seven licensed members and eight public members) who are appointed to the Board for four-year terms. The seven licensed members represent various branches of engineering (civil, electrical, mechanical, structural, and any other branch) land surveying, and geology or geophysics.
The Strategic Plan for BPELSG:
Fairly recently, BPELSG updated its Strategic Plan. It was an update of the 2015-2018 plan which is used to guide the Board in the development of its mission, vision, and values, while directing the strategic goals and objectives. The updated strategic plan was adopted by the Board at its July 27, 2017 meeting. It is shown in full if you visit the website http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/about_us.
We protect the public’s safety and property by promoting standards for competence and integrity by licensing and regulating the Board’s professions.
A California that leads the nation in protecting the public and environment with competent and ethical professional services by the Board’s licensees.
Strategic Goal Areas
- The Board provides applicants and licensees a method for providing services in California to protect consumers.
- The Board promotes appropriate standards so that qualified individuals may obtain licensure in order to protect the public.
- LAWS AND REGULATIONS
- The Board ensures that statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures strengthen and support its mandate and mission.
- The Board protects the health and safety of consumers through the enforcement of the laws and regulations governing the practices of engineering, land surveying, geology, and geophysics.
- The Board promotes the importance of licensing in an effort to regularly and consistently educate consumers, licensees, and stakeholders about the practice and regulation of the professions.
- CUSTOMER SERVICE
- The Board strives to enhance organizational effectiveness and improve the quality of its services.
The 2015-2018 Strategic Plan accomplishments, and the Goals and Objectives for 2018 and going forward are detailed and available at http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/about_us
In closing, I suggest that you go to the website and check out this plan, and maybe even attend one of the Board meetings in the next year. They are held monthly, and in locations within the full state area, from San Diego, to the LA area, the Bay area and Sacramento. The agendas and material are available at along with the full schedule of meetings for 2019.
If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me at Thor.Larsen@hdrinc.com
SW program is further explaned on the “CalOES” website including Frequently Asked Questions. Be prepared for the next disaster and use your Civil Engineering background to help others in need.
by ASCE Region 9 Government Affairs
Assembly Member Luz Rivas introduced two bills to recognize important aspects of engineering. California Assembly Concurrent Resolution 20, ACR 20, recognized the week of February 17, 2019, to February 23, 2019, as Engineers Week. ACR 21 proclaimed February 21, 2019, as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. ASCE Region 9 authored letters of support for both resolutions, and ASCE Region 9 Director Kwame Agyare attended the Assembly session and met with Rivas in February, prior to introduction of the resolutions.
Assembly Member Luz Rivas and ASCE Region 9 Director Kwame Agyare prior to introduction of ACR 20 and ACR 21
Members of the engineering community in the Assembly gallery, including representatives of ACEC and PECG, to witness the introduction of ACR 20 and ACR 21 resolutions
Assembly Member Rivas introducing ACR 20 and ACR 21 (pictures courtesy of California State Assembly Media Archives)
Assembly Member Luz Rivas was born in Los Angeles to an immigrant family and grew up in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She attended LA Unified schools before earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT and a Master of Education from Harvard.
Rivas worked as an electrical design engineer at Motorola before founding DIY Girls, a nonprofit that provides enrichment programs focused on encouraging young girls to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. While presiding over DIY Girls, she served as a Champions Board Member of the California Girls in STEM Collaborative; as a Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab; on the Visiting Committee for the MIT Dean of Undergraduate Studies; and as a service-learning instructor for engineering undergraduates at USC. She also collaborated with engineers, planners and environmentalists to develop environmental technology curricula for high school students and worked to increase diversity at Caltech and on NASA- and NSF-funded projects that aimed to increase access to STEM in community-based organizations. In 2016, she was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.
Luz was elected and sworn in to the California State Assembly in June of 2018. She currently serves on the Assembly Committees on Budget; Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation; Jobs, Economy Development, and the Economy; Labor and Employment; Local Government; Revenue and Taxation; and is co-chair of the Legislative Ethics Committee.