Oregon Land Conservation and Development Department

Rule Rule 660-033-0045
Soils Assessments by Professional Soil Classifiers


(1)

A “professional soil classifier” means any professional in good standing with the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) who the SSSA has certified to have met its requirements that existed as of October 1, 2011 for:

(a)

Certified Professional Soil Classifier; or

(b)

Certified Professional Soil Scientist, and who has been determined by an independent panel of soils professionals as defined in section (8) of this rule to have:

(A)

Completed five semester hours in soil genesis, morphology and classification;

(B)

At least five years of field experience in soils classification and mapping that meets National Cooperative Soil Survey standards, as maintained by the NRCS, or three years of field experience if the applicant holds an MS or PhD degree; and

(C)

Demonstrated competence in practicing soils classification and mapping without direct supervision, based on published SSSA standards.

(2)

The department will develop, update quarterly and post a list of professional soil classifiers (henceforth ‘soils professionals’) who are qualified to perform soils assessments under this rule.

(a)

Qualified soils professionals shall include those individuals who have either met the requirements of subsection (1)(a) of this section or the requirements of subsection (1)(b) of this section as determined by a majority vote of an independent panel of soils professionals.

(A)

A person must apply to the department for initial inclusion on the list described in section (2) of this rule.

(B)

Qualified soils professionals must reapply to the department for listing on a biennial basis.

(b)

A soils assessment auditing committee as defined in section (9) of this rule will periodically reevaluate qualifications of soils professionals by auditing soils assessments, considering sample department reviews and field checks as described in section (6) of this rule and verifying continued good standing of soils professionals with the SSSA.

(A)

When reviewing applications for relisting, the department will consider the recommendations of the auditing committee and make final determinations as to the continued qualifications of soils professionals to perform soils assessments under this rule.

(B)

The department will re-approve soils professionals for listing when audits, sample reviews and field checks reveal a pattern of demonstrated competence in practicing soils classification and mapping consistent with paragraph (1)(b)(C) of this rule, and when the SSSA verifies that the soils professional is in good standing with the SSSA.

(3)

A person requesting a soils assessment shall:

(a)

Choose a soils professional from the posted list described in section (2) of this rule:

(b)

Privately contract for a soils assessment to be prepared; and

(c)

On completion of the soils assessment, submit to the department payment of the non-refundable administrative fee established by the department as provided in statute to meet department costs to administer this rule.

(4)

On completion of the soils assessment, the selected soils professional shall submit to the department:

(a)

A Soils Assessment Submittal Form that includes the property owner’s and soils professional’s authorized signatures and a liability waiver for the department; and

(b)

A soils assessment that is soundly and scientifically based and that meets reporting requirements as established by the department.

(5)

The department shall deposit fees collected under this rule in the Soils Assessment Fund established under Oregon Laws 2010, chapter 44, section 2.

(6)

The department shall review the soils assessment by:

(a)

Performing completeness checks for consistency with reporting requirements for all submitted soils assessments; and

(b)

Performing sample reviews and field checks for some submitted soils assessments, as follows:

(A)

The department shall arrange for a person who meets the qualifications of ‘professional soil classifier’ in section (1) of this rule to conduct systematic sample reviews and field checks of soils assessments and make recommendations to the department as to whether they are soundly and scientifically based.

(B)

Within 30 days of the receipt of a soils assessment subject to review under this subsection that the department determines to be complete pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the department shall determine whether the soils assessment is soundly and scientifically based. Where soils assessments are determined not to be soundly and scientifically based, the department will provide an opportunity to the soils professional to correct any noted deficiencies. Where noted deficiencies are not corrected to the satisfaction of the department, the department will provide written notification of the noted deficiencies to the soils professional, property owner and person who requested the soils assessment.
(7)(a) A soils assessment produced under this rule is not a public record, as defined in ORS 192.410, unless the person requesting the assessment utilizes the assessment in a land use proceeding. If the person decides to utilize a soils assessment produced under this section in a land use proceeding, the person shall inform the department and consent to the release by the department of certified copies of all assessments produced under this section regarding the land to the local government conducting the land use proceeding. The department may not disclose a soils assessment prior to its utilization in a land use proceeding as described in this rule without written consent of the person paying the fee for the assessment and the property owner.

(b)

On receipt of written consent, the department shall release to the local government all soils assessments produced under this rule as well as any department notifications provided under section (6) of this rule regarding land to which the land use proceeding applies.

(8)

As used in this rule, “Independent panel of soils professionals” means a committee of three professionals appointed by the department that, quarterly or as needed, reviews and makes determinations regarding the qualifications of individuals seeking to be listed as soils professionals to perform soils analyses.

(a)

Such panel shall consist of:

(A)

A member of the SSSA;

(B)

The Oregon State Soil Scientist; and

(C)

An Oregon college or university soils professional.

(b)

Panel members shall meet the qualifications of professional soil classifiers as defined in this rule or shall have experience mapping and teaching soil genesis, morphology and classification in a college or university setting.

(c)

The department’s farm and forest lands specialist shall serve as staff to the panel.

(d)

In reviewing qualifications of applicants with respect to required semester hours of academic study under paragraph (1)(b)(A) of this rule, panel members may adjust for differences in academic calendars.

(9)

As used in this rule, “Soils assessment auditing committee” means a group of three professionals that, annually or as needed, reviews and makes recommendations to the department regarding the continuing qualifications of soils professionals to perform soils analyses under this rule.

(a)

Committee members shall be appointed by the independent panel of soils professionals and shall meet the qualifications of professional soil classifier as defined in section (1) of this rule.

(b)

The department’s farm and forest lands specialist shall serve as staff to the committee.

(10)

As used in this rule, “person” shall have the meaning set forth in ORS 197.015 (Definitions for ORS chapters 195, 196, 197 and ORS 197A.300 to 197A.325)(18).
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021