West Virginia DOL May Require PE's Working Shale Gas Development to Obtain Contractor License
What does this mean to you? If you are currently a Professional Engineer (PE) working in the Marcellus shale, you may now also need to be licensed as a Contractor in the State of West Virginia. Failure to comply means you could be faced with a Cease and Desist Order from the Department of Labor (DOL) and imposition of a fine.
As of February 26, 2015, PEs working in the Marcellus shale may have to acquire the new, untested specialty classification, even if they have a valid Certificate of Authorization from the West Virginia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers.
In 2012, the Contractor Licensing Board applied the definition of “contractor” to drilling supervisors working in the Marcellus who were performing functions beyond drilling. An example used by the DOL to illustrate its application, is one in which a drilling supervisor ordering a load of crushed stone for a wash-out in an access road needed a WV Contractor License. This new pronouncement applies to PEs in a very similar manner. A PE who is servicing the Marcellus as a quality control inspector, could need a license if the PE's activity includes more than observation and reporting. Here, the DOL's example is, if a PE observing a welder making a weld in the field instructs the welder how to complete the weld, rather than simply report that the weld is being done incorrectly, that PE would need a WV Contractor License.