I was saddened to hear that California is discontinuing the Registered Environmental Assessors (REA) Program as of July 1, 2012. A lot of my colleagues, inside and even outside of California, carry this registration and they are definitely deflated by this news.
This really increases the need for a national environmental professional certification program, especially for those that do not meet EPA’s definition of an environmental professional designation through a professional engineer or registered geologist certification plus three years of experience.
There are several organizations that offer environmental professional certifications but there is not one that is universally recognized. It would be helpful for the EPA to give its blessing to one program that appropriately certifies professionals as meeting or exceeding the EPA’s definition of an environmental professional under the All Appropriate Inquiry rule, but that could be a long and drawn out process.
Options for Environmental Professional Certification
Some of the available certification programs are:
- Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals – Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) program
- National Registry of Environmental Professionals – several certifications including REPA and REP
- International Society for Technical and Environmental Professionals (INSTEP) – Licensed Environmental Professional
- Institute for Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP) – Qualified Environmental Professional
- Institute of Hazardous Materials Management – Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), which is mostly used for Phase II ESAs and subsurface investigations.
State Environmental Licenses
- Nevada: requires the Certified Environmental Manager (CEM) designation for those conducting Phase I ESAs
- Other states have remediation professional certifications that are also used in the practice of environmental due diligence:
o Connecticut: Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP) program for site remediation
o Massachusetts: Many use the Licensed Site Professional as an EP designation
o New Jersey: Licensed Site Remediation Professional
o New York: Qualified Environmental Professional
In case you didn’t see the news on the REAs, here is the email sent to REAs by the State of California:
As part of the Budget, on June 27, 2012 the Governor also signed SB 1018 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 39, Statutes of 2012). Among a number of other things, SB 1018 has repealed the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) authority for the Registered Environmental Assessors (REA) Program. As of July 1, 2012, the REA Program will no longer exist.
DTSC proposed the elimination of the REA Program in this year’s budget considerations, primarily because DTSC believes that the program is unnecessary and unenforceable, and more importantly, it is largely duplicative of and inconsistent with federal environmental professional standards that have been adopted since the creation of the REA Program. DTSC believes the elimination of the REA Program will standardize requirements for environmental professionals conducting environmental assessments under other statutory programs, and make them consistent with federal requirements.
REA I 2012 Annual fee payments received and the processing fee for new, five year renewal and reinstatement applications that were “pending” review will receive refunds in four to six weeks after July 1, 2012. REA II will receive a prorated annual fee refund and the processing fee for “pending” applications.
Please note that the online registry will no longer be available after July 1, 2012.
We would like to thank you for your past support and participation to the program.