NSPS Preparing to Provide Input on Federal Exemptions to the 'Dig Law'
NSPS is aware that several state surveying societies have expressed concerns about requirements related to the location of utilities on, or near, surveying projects.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is accepting input in preparation for its report to Congress in January 2014 related to exemptions from Dig Laws.
It has been reported that PHMSA would like to eliminate, at the national level, all such exemptions.
NSPS is preparing to provide input on this issue and welcomes information from surveyors and surveyor societies on the matter.
Comments can be sent to Curtis Sumner at email@example.com.
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Oklahoma Surveyors Reach Out to Offer Assistance
Congratulations to the Oklahoma Society of Professional Surveyors for their generosity in the aftermath of disaster.
The following is a letter to the City of Moore, Okla., from the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors offering assistance after the recent tornadoes there:
Mr. Eddy, I don't want to bother you on the phone at this time because I know you are very busy with recovery efforts. I'm sure that in the coming days and weeks there will be needs arise for which the city may not be prepared. This is where The Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors would like to help.
We are a 400-plus member strong organization of Professional Land Surveyors across the State of Oklahoma willing to offer our services to you free of charge. Several of our members have already been in contact with me offering their services for whatever needs may arise.
Some of the services that we can offer include:
Infrastructure location (manholes, utility lines, meters, etc.)
Easement location for utility repair/relocation
Survey control monuments for future infrastructure work
Roads and rights of way
YOU NAME IT!
Please know this is an honest offer from our membership to help in any way possible. All you need to do is let us know what you need and we will be there.
Please pass this on to all of your departments and let them know we are here to do whatever is needed for your community.
Burk Cornelius, PLS
Oklahoma Society of Land Surveyors
13905 Twin Ridge Road
Edmond, OK 73034
Hilco Industrial conducts more than 75 machinery and equipment auctions and orderly
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Or call 248.254.9999
Survey Summit Welcomes NSPS — July 6-9
Great Locators Come Together
NSPS members pay only $350 for the Survey Summit — where you will learn the latest in mobile and web-enabled survey technology, orthometric heighting with GPS, and surveying with the cloud. Come to the Survey Summit to keep up to date on these latest advancements.
The Survey Summit is a unique learning and networking opportunity where the geospatial community comes together to focus on high accuracy mapping, surveying, civil engineering and GIS technology. This event will help you stay relevant and stake your claim in the future of professional surveying.
For more information, visit www.surveysummit.com.
Recent Tornados Remind Us about the NSPS Disaster Relief Fund
Click here to donate, or apply for disaster assistance.
NSPS Develops Davis-Bacon Strategy
As reported last week, the U.S. Department of Labor has reversed more than 50 years of policy and ruled that some members of survey crews are "mechanics" and "laborers" covered under the Davis-Bacon Act. NSPS Government Affairs Consultant, John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. has developed a multi-pronged strategy to overturn the ruling. NSPS members will soon receive information, including a grass roots alert to contact members of Congress in support of treatment of survey crew members as part of a profession, as labor rulings and other policies have long held.
The 2013 International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Working Week
John Hohol, NSPS FIG Head of Delegation
The 2013 International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Working Week was held May 4-10 in Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme "Environment for Sustainability." Delegates from 36 member organizations, including NSPS, attended. Due to security restrictions some organizations were not able to send delegates. In total, there were over 2,200 attendees, with almost 2,000 from Nigeria.
The Opening Ceremony was held in the African Hall of the Abuja International Conference Centre. The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was scheduled to be the guest speaker. However, due to a conflict, he could not attend, and his presentation was made by the Nigerian Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememe.
Over 200 papers were presented covering all areas of the ten FIG technical commissions. Partners participating in the working week included UN-Habitat, World Bank, Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
More information about the 2013 FIG Working Week is available at www.fig.net/fig2013.
The next FIG annual conference is the 2014 FIG Congress which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 16-21 (www.fig.net/fig2014).
NSPS to Participate in the Development of a Land Survey Agreement
In 2005, NSPS participated with Associated General Contractors (AGC) in the development of a standard contract document for AGC members and surveyors. It is not clear if that document was published.
NSPS Executive Director Curt Sumner was contacted last week by Carrie L. Ciliberto, Esq.,
AGC Senior Director and Counsel, Contracts and Construction Law, ConsensusDocs Deputy Executive Director and Counsel, to ask if NSPS would be interested in participating in the drafting, review and/or commenting process on a standard contract between owners and land surveyors. ConsensusDocs — the only standard contracts written and endorsed by 38 leading design and construction industry associations — is in the initial stages of creating this type of standard agreement and would like to get stakeholder participation to ensure that it publishes a fair and balanced contract that incorporates best practices.
Did you know that the CST Program is recognized by the Department of Labor?
Joint Membership Program Update
As participating state societies continue to send NSPS dues for their respective members, NSPS staff is sending a member packet containing information about benefits, as well as a membership card and certificate. Current NSPS members receive a renewal card.
In accordance with the MOU, state societies have up to 120 days from the beginning of their dues cycle to remit to NSPS dues for their members. This situation can cause some confusion with respect to when state society members can expect to receive confirmation of their membership in NSPS.
The state societies in Florida, Georgia and Michigan have recently announced that they are signing the MOU.
To see a list of current benefits, click here.
NSPS encourages and supports educational endeavors in a number of ways.
NSPS Foundation Trig-Star Scholarship ($5,000) Fund
Applicants must be high school seniors who have participated in the Trig-Star Contest at some point in their high school career and plan to enroll in a college degree program that leads to either a two-year Associates degree or a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in surveying and mapping (the Land Surveying profession). Applicants are not required to have won any level of the Trig-Star Contest but must have participated in the contest when offered at their high school. To view the application, click here.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
NSPS Signs on to 'Follow the Money Act of 2013' Letter
"The Follow the Money Act of 2013" (S. 791) introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The letter, initiated through a coalition established through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, states that S. 791 would dramatically expand the government regulation of speech and force scores of nonprofit organizations to register and file burdensome reports with the federal government. As a result, the bill's effect would be to chill the speech of independent groups in direct contravention of the First Amendment.
Due to the fact that Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day the NSPS Radio Hour will be a re-broadcast
Don't forget to honor all who have served our country.
You can listen to or download the most recent shows which are archived at http://www.radiosandysprings.com/showpages/ACSM.php.
Bryan D. Newsome, RPLS, Newsome Surveying, LLC from Driftwood, Texas, was the winner of the Parker Davis Quik Staks contest during the May 20 broadcast.
Federal Prison Industries Bill to be Introduced
NSPS has been working closely with Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) on reintroduction of comprehensive legislation reforming Federal Prison Industries (FPI). The Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act is expected to be offered in the U.S. House of Representatives today. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) will be the lead cosponsor. NSPS is part of a coalition of 15 business and professional organizations supporting the bill. The bill will again include NSPS-sought prohibitions on prisoner access to geospatial data on utility location and individual citizens and their real property. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is expected to introduce Senate companion legislation on reform of FPI later this year.
NSPS Helps Launch New Small Business Caucus in Congress
On May 20, NSPS government affairs representative John "JB" Byrd attended a kickoff of the House Small Business Caucus, a bipartisan group chaired by Reps. Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME). This bipartisan caucus seeks to help create a better small business climate and marketplace.
NSPS PAC Supports Key Incumbents
On May 21, NSPS government affairs representatives John "JB" Byrd and John Palatiello attended political fundraising events for powerful members of key House Committees with direct oversight and jurisdiction over professional surveyors. NSPS supported Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He discussed plans to move the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) this summer, and a Railroad bill in the fall. As long ago as the late 1970s, Rahall fought for surveyors, leading the effort to reinstate the land surveyor as a "lead professional" authorized to certify plans and cross sections under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. NSPS PAC has also provided support for Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee and a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Byrd and Palatiello discussed with Graves legislation affecting small business, including the "design-build" process that is costly and often non-competitive for small businesses subcontractors, particularly surveyors.
NSPS Thanks Sustaining Members for Continuing Support
Sustaining Members have long been critical to the success of NSPS. With the recent downturn in the economy, and the ever changing dynamics of communications, the number of Sustaining Members in NSPS has diminished.
Ever faithful, however, have been Berntsen International, Inc., Bureau of Land Management,
Florida Surveying and Mapping Society, Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio, and the Tennessee
Association of Professional Surveyors.
NSPS wishes to express its sincere appreciation for their loyalty. To view profiles, visit http://www.nsps.us.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewpage&pageid=1082.
Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors
The SaGES (Surveying and Geomatics Educators Society) colloquium is held biennially to bring together surveying and geomatic educators to meet in a friendly, relaxed environment. It is a place to discuss issues to facilitate learning and to develop a support network among fellow educators.
24th Biennial SaGES Colloquium & FIG Regional Conference
Hosted by the Partnership Degree Program in Surveying and Mapping at Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler, June 17-20