Delaware River and Bay Authority Compact

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Delaware River and Bay Authority Compact
Formation date: 1962
Member jurisdictions: 2
Issue(s): Transportation
Compact website

The Delaware River and Bay Authority Compact is an interstate compact between Delaware and New Jersey.

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I: Short Title

This compact shall be known as the "Delaware-New Jersey Compact."

Article II: Definitions

‘Crossing’ means any structure or facility adapted for public use in crossing the Delaware River or Bay between the States, whether by bridge, tunnel, ferry, or other device, and by any vehicle or means of transportation of persons or property, as well as all approaches thereto and connecting and service routes and all appurtenances and equipment relating t hereto.

‘Transportation facility’ and ‘terminal facility’ means any structure or facility other than a crossing, as herein defined, adapted for public use within each of the States party hereto in connection with the transportation of persons or property, including railroads, motor vehicles, watercraft, airports and aircraft, docks, wharves, piers, slips, basins, storage places, sheds, warehouses, and every means or vehicle of transportation now or hereafter in use for the transportation of persons and property or the storage, handling or loading of property, as well as all appurtenances and equipment related thereto.

‘Commerce facility of development’ means any structure or facility adapted for public use or any development for a public purpose within each of the States party hereto in connection with recreational and commercial fishery development, recreational marina development, aquaculture (marine farming), shoreline preservation and development (including wetlands and open-lands acquisition, active recreational and park development, beach restoration and development, dredge spoil disposal and port-oriented development), foreign trade zone site development, manufacturing and industrial facilities, and other facilities of commerce which, in the judgment of the Authority, are required for the sound economic development of the area.

‘Appurtenances’ and ‘Equipment’ mean all works, buildings, structures, devices, appliances, and supplies, as well as every kind of mechanism, arrangement, object, or substance related to and necessary or convenient for the proper construction, equipment, maintenance improvement, and operation of any crossing, transportation facility or terminal facility, or commerce facility, or development.

‘Project’ means any undertaking or program for the acquisition or creation of any crossing, transportation facility or terminal facility, or commerce facility or development, or any part thereof, as well as for the operation, maintenance, and improvement thereof.

‘Major Project’ means any project, other than a crossing, having or likely to have significant environmental impacts on the Delaware River and Bay, its shorelines or estuaries, or any other area in the State of Delaware or the New Jersey counties of Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem, as determined in accordance with State law by the environmental agency of the State in which the major project is to be located.

‘Tunnel’ means a tunnel of one or more tubes.

‘Governor’ means any person authorized by the Constitution and law of each State to exercise the functions, powers, and duties of that office.

‘Authority’ means the Authority created by this Compact or any agency successor thereto.

The singular whenever used in this Compact shall include the plural, and the plural shall include the singular.

Article III: Faithful Co-operation

They agree to and pledge, each to the other, faithful co-operation in the effectuation of this Compact and any future amendment or supplement thereto, and of any legislation expressly in implementation thereof hereafter enacted, and in the planning, development, financing, construction, operation, maintenance, and improvement of all projects entrusted to the authority created by this Compact.

Article IV: Establishment of Agency; Purposes

The two States agree that there shall be created and they do hereby create a body politic, to be known as ‘The Delaware River and Bay Authority’ (for brevity hereinafter referred to as the ‘Authority’), which shall constitute an agency of government of the State of Delaware and the State of New Jersey for the following general public purposes, and which shall be deemed to be exercising essential government functions in effectuating such purposes, to wit:

  • (a) The planning, financing, development, construction, purchase, lease, maintenance, improvement, and operation of crossings between the States of Delaware and New Jersey across the Delaware River or Bay at any location south of the boundary line between the State of Delaware and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as extended across the Delaware River to the New Jersey shore of said River, together with such approaches or connections thereto as in the judgment of the Authority are required to make adequate and efficient connections between such crossings and any public highway or other routes in the State of Delaware or in the State of New Jersey; and
  • (b) The planning, financing, development, construction, purchase, lease, maintenance, improvement, and operation of any transportation or terminal facility within the State of Delaware or the New Jersey counties of Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem, which facility, in the judgment of the Authority, is required for the sound economic development of the area; and
  • (c) The planning, financing, development, construction, purchase, lease, maintenance, improvement, and operation of any commerce facility or development within the State of Delaware or the New Jersey counties of Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem, which in the judgment of the Authority is required for the sound economic development of the area; and
  • (d) The performance of such other functions as may be hereafter entrusted to the Authority by concurrent legislation expressly in implementation hereof.

The Authority shall not undertake any major project or part thereof without having first secured such approvals as may be required by legislation of the State in which the project is to be located.

The Authority shall not undertake any major project, or part thereof to be located in the Delaware River or Bay, including, without limitation, any deep-water port or superport, without having first secured approval thereof by concurrent legislation of the two States expressly in implementation thereof.

The Authority shall not undertake any major project or part thereof without first giving public notice and holding a public hearing, if requested, on any proposed major project, in accordance with the law of the State in which the major project is to be located. Each State shall provide by law for the time and manner for the giving of such public notice, the requesting of a public hearing and the holding of such public hearings.

Article V: Commissioners

The Authority shall consist of twelve Commissioners, six of whom shall be residents of and qualified to vote in and shall be appointed from the State of Delaware, and six of whom shall be residents of and qualified to vote in and shall be appointed from the State of New Jersey; not more than three of the Commissioners of each State shall be of the same political party; the Commissioners for each State shall be appointed in the manner fixed and determined from time to time by the law of each State respectively. Each Commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years, and until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified, but the terms of the first Commissioners shall be so designated that the term of at least one Commissioner from each State shall expire each year. All terms shall run to the first day of July. Any vacancy, however created, shall be filled for the unexpired term only. Any Commissioner may be suspended or removed from office as provided by law of the State from which he shall be appointed.

Commissioners shall be entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses to be paid only from revenues of the Authority and may not receive any other compensation for services to the Authority except such as may from time to time be authorized from such revenues by concurrent legislation.

Article VI: Board Action

The Commissioners shall have charge of the Authority’s property and affairs and shall, for the purpose of doing business, constitute a Board, but no action of the Commissioners shall be binding or effective unless taken at a meeting at which at least four Commissioners from each State are present, and unless at four Commissioners from each State shall vote in favor thereof. The vote of any one or more of the Commissioners from each State shall be subject to cancellation by the Governor of such State at any time within 10 days (Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays in the particular State excepted) after receipt at the Governor’s office of a certified copy of the minutes of the meeting at which such vote was taken. Each State may provide by law for the manner of delivery of such minutes and for notification of the action thereon.

Article VII: General Powers

For the effectuation of its authorized purposes, the Authority is hereby granted the following powers:

  • (a) To have perpetual succession.
  • (b) To adopt and use an official seal.
  • (c) To elect a chairman and a vice chairman from among the Commissioners. The chairman and vice chairman shall be elected from different States and shall each hold office for two years. The chairmanship and vice chairmanship shall be alternated between the two States.
  • (d) To adopt bylaws to govern the conduct of its affairs by the Board of Commissioners, and it may adopt rules and regulations and may make appropriate orders to carry out and discharge its powers, duties, and functions, but no bylaw or rule, regulation, or order shall take effect until it has been filed with the Secretary of State of each State or in such other manner in each State as may be provided by the law thereof. In the establishment of rules, regulations, and orders respecting the use of any crossing, transportation, or terminal facility or commerce facility or development owned or operated by the Authority, including approach roads, it shall consult with appropriate officials of both States in order to insure, as far as possible, uniformity of such rules, regulations, and orders with the laws of both States.
  • (e) To appoint or employ such other officers, agents, attorneys, engineers, and employees as it may require for the performance of its duties and to fix and determine their qualifications, duties, compensation, pensions, terms of office and all other conditions and terms of employment and retention.

Government contracts

  • (f) To enter into contracts and agreements with either State or with the United States, or with any public body, department, or other agency of either State or of the United States or with any individual, firm, or corporation deemed necessary or advisable for the exercise of its purposes and powers.
  • (g) To accept from any government or governmental department, agency, or other public or private body, or from any other source, grants, or contributions of money or property as well as loans, advances, guarantees, or other forms of financial assistance which it may use for or in aid of any of its purposes.
  • (h) To acquire (by gift, purchase, or condemnation), own, hire, lease, use, operate, and dispose of property, whether real, personal, or mixed, or of any interest therein, including any rights, franchise and property for any crossing, facility, or other project owned by another and which the Authority is authorized to own and operate.
  • (i) To designate as express highways, and control public and private access thereto, all or any approaches to any crossing or other facility of the Authority for the purpose of connecting the same with any highway or other route in either State.
  • (j) To borrow money and to evidence such loans by bonds, notes, or other obligations, either secured or unsecured, and either in registered or unregistered form, and to fund or refund such evidences of indebtedness, which may be executed with facsimile signatures of such persons as may be designated by the Authority and by a facsimile of its corporate seal.
  • (k) To procure and keep in force adequate insurance or otherwise provide for the adequate protection of its property, as well as to indemnify it or its officers, agents, or employees against loss or liability with respect to any risk to which it or they may be exposed in carrying out any function hereunder.
  • (l) To grant the use of by franchise, lease, or otherwise, and to make charges for the use of any crossing, facility, or other project or property owned or controlled by it.
  • (m) To exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire any property or interest therein.
  • (n) To determine the exact location, system, and character of and all other matters in connection with any and all crossings, transportation, or terminal facilities, commerce facilities or developments or other projects which it may be authorized to own, construct, establish, effectuate, operate, or control.
  • (o) To exercise all other powers not inconsistent with the Constitutions of the two States or of the United States, which may be reasonably necessary or incidental to the effectuation of its authorized purposes or to the exercise of any of the foregoing powers, except the power to levy taxes or assessments, and generally to exercise in connection with its property and affairs, and in connection with property within its control, any and all powers which might be exercised by a natural person or a private corporation in connection with similar property and affairs.

Article VIII: Additional Powers

For the purpose of effectuating the authorized purposes of the Authority, additional powers may be granted to the Authority by legislation of either State without the concurrence of the other, and may be exercised within such State, or may be granted to the Authority by Congress and exercised by it; but no additional duties or obligations shall be undertaken by the Authority under the law of either State or of Congress without authorization by the law of both States.

Article IX: Eminent Domain

If the Authority shall find and determine that any property or interest therein is required for a public use in furtherance of the purposes of the Authority, said determination shall not be affected by the fact that such property has theretofore been taken over or is then devoted to a public use, but the public use in the hands or under the control of the Authority shall be deemed superior to the public use for which it has theretofore been taken or to which it is then devoted. The Authority shall not exercise the power of eminent domain granted herein to acquire any property, other than a crossing, devoted to a public use, of either State, or of any municipality, local government, agency, public authority or commission, or of two or more of them, for any purpose other than a crossing, without having first secured the authorization of the holder of the title to the land in question and such other approvals as may be required by legislation of the State in which the project is to be located. The Authority shall not exercise the power of eminent domain in connection with any commerce facility or development.

In any condemnation proceedings in connection with the acquisition by the Authority of property or property rights of any character in either State and the right of inspection and immediate entry thereon, through the exercise by it of its power of eminent domain, any existing or future law or rule of court of the State in which such property is located with respect to the condemnation of property for the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of highways therein shall control. The Authority shall have the same power and authority with respect thereto as the State agency named in any such law, provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed as requiring joint or concurrent action by the two States with respect to the enactment, repeal, or amendment of any law or rule of court on the subject of condemnation under which the Authority may proceed by virtue of this Article.

If the established grade of any street, avenue, highway, or other route shall be changed by reason of the construction by the Authority of any work so as to cause loss or injury to any property abutting on such street, avenue, highway, or other route, the Authority may enter into voluntary agreements with such abutting property owners and pay reasonable compensation for any loss or injury so sustained, whether or not it be compensable as damages under the condemnation law of the State.

The power of the Authority to acquire property by condemnation shall be a continuing power, and no exercise thereof shall be deemed to exhaust it.

Article X: Revenue and Application

The Authority is hereby authorized to establish, levy, and collect such tolls and other charges as it may deem necessary, proper, or desirable in connection with any crossing, transportation, or terminal facility, commerce facility or development or other project which it is or may be authorized at any time to construct, own, operate, or control, and the aggregate of said tolls and charges shall be at least sufficient (1) to meet the combined expenses of operation, maintenance and improvement thereof, (2) to pay the cost of acquisition or construction, including the payment, amortization, and retirement of bonds or other securities or obligations assumed, issued, or incurred by the Authority, together with interest thereon, and (3) to provide reserves for such purposes; and the Authority is hereby authorized and empowered, subject to prior pledges, if any, to pledge such tolls and other revenues or any part thereof as security for the repayment with interest of any moneys borrowed by it or advanced to it for its authorized purposes and as security for the satisfaction of any other obligations assumed by it in connection with such loans or advances. There shall be allocated to the cost of the acquisition, construction, operation, maintenance, and improvement of such facilities and projects such proportion of the general expenses of the Authority as it shall deem properly chargeable thereto.

Article XI: Covenant with Bondholders

The two said States covenant and agree with each other and with the holders of any bonds or other securities or obligations of the Authority, assumed, issued, or incurred by it and as security for which there may be pledged the tolls and revenues or any part thereof of any crossing, transportation, or terminal facility, commerce facility or development or other project, that the two said States will not, so long as any of such bonds or other obligations remain outstanding and unpaid, diminish, or impair the power of the Authority to establish, levy, and collect tolls and other charges in connection therewith, and that neither of the two said States will, so long as any of such bonds or other obligations remain outstanding and unpaid, authorize any crossing of the Delaware River or Delaware Bay south of the line mentioned in Article IV(a) of this Compact by any person or body other than the Authority, unless, in either case, adequate provision shall be made by law for the protection of those advancing money upon such obligations.

Article XII: Securities Lawful Investments

“The bonds or other securities or obligations which may be issued by the Authority pursuant to the Compact, or any amendments hereof or supplements hereto, are hereby declared to be negotiable instruments, and are hereby made securities in which all State and municipal officers and bodies of each State, all banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks, building and loan associations, saving and loan associations, investment companies and other persons carrying on a banking business, all insurance companies, insurance associations and other persons carrying on an insurance business and all administrators, executors, guardians, trustees, and other fiduciaries and all other persons whatsoever who are now or may hereafter be authorized to invest in bonds or other obligations of either State may properly and legally invest any funds, including capital, belonging to them or within their control, and said obligations are hereby made securities which may properly and legally be deposited with and shall be received by any State or municipal officer or agency of either State for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or other obligations of such State is now or may hereafter be authorized.

Article XIII: Tax Status

The powers and functions exercised by the Authority under this Compact and any amendments hereof or supplements hereto are and will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the States of Delaware and New Jersey, the region and Nation, for the increase of their commerce and prosperity and for the enhancement of their general welfare. To this end, the Authority shall be regarded as performing essential governmental functions in exercising such powers and functions and in carrying out the provisions of this Compact and of any law relating thereto, and shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments of any character, levied by either State or political subdivision thereof, upon any of the property used by it for such purposes, or any income or revenue therefrom including any profit from a sale or exchange. The bonds or other securities or obligations issued by the Authority, their transfer and the interest paid thereon or income therefrom, including any profit from a sale or exchange, shall at all times be free from taxation by either State or any subdivision thereof.

Article XIIV: Jurisdiction; Use of Lands

Each of the two States hereby consents to the use and occupancy by the Authority of any lands and property of the Authority in such State for the construction, operation, maintenance or improvement of any crossing, transportation, or terminal facility, commerce facility or development, or other project which it is or may be authorized at any time to construct, own, or operate, including lands lying under water.

Article XV: Review and Enforcement of Rules

Judicial proceedings to review any bylaw, rule, regulation, order, or other action of the Authority or to determine the meaning or effect thereof may be brought in such court of each State, and pursuant to such law or rules thereof, as a similar proceeding with respect to any agency of such State might be brought.

Each State may provide by law what penalty or penalties shall be imposed for violation of any lawful rule, regulation, or order of the Authority, and, by law or rule of court, for the manner of enforcing the same.

Article XVI: No Pledge of Credit

The Authority shall have no power to pledge the credit or to create any debt or liability of the State of Delaware, of the State of New Jersey or of any other agency or of any political subdivision of said States.

Article XVII: Local Cooperation and Agreements

(a) All municipalities, political subdivisions, and every department, agency, or public body of each of the States are hereby authorized and empowered to cooperate with, aid and assist the Authority in effectuating the provisions of this Compact and of any amendment hereof or supplement hereto.

(b) The Authority is authorized and empowered to cooperate with each of the States, or any political subdivision thereof, and with any municipality, local government, agency, public authority or commission of the foregoing, in connection with the acquisition, planning, rehabilitation, construction or development of any project, other than a crossing, and to enter into an agreement or agreements, subject to compliance with the laws of the State in which the project is to be located, with each of the States, or any political subdivision thereof, and with any municipality, county, local government, agency, public authority, or commission or with two or more of them, for or relating to such purposes.

(c) The Authority and the city, town, municipality, or other political subdivision in which any project, other than a crossing, is to be located are hereby authorized and empowers, subject to compliance with the laws of the State in which the project is to be located, to enter into an agreement or agreements to provide which local laws, resolutions, ordinances, rules, and regulations, if any, of the city, town, municipality, or other political subdivision affected by such project shall apply to such project. All other existing local laws, resolutions, ordinances or rules and regulations not provided for in the agreement shall be applicable to the project, other than a crossing. All local laws, resolutions, ordinances or rules and regulations enacted after the date of the agreement shall not be applicable to such projects unless made applicable by the agreement or any modification thereto.

Article XVIII: Depositaries

All banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks and other persons carrying on a banking business under the laws of either State are authorized to give security for the safekeeping and prompt payment of moneys of the Authority deposited by it with them, in such manner and form as may be required by and may be approved by the Authority, which security may consist of a good and sufficient undertaking with such sureties as may be approved by the Authority, or may consist of the deposit with the Authority or other depository approved by the Authority as collateral of such securities as the Authority may approve.

Article XIX: Agency Police

Members of the police force established by the Authority, regardless of their residence, shall have in each State, on the crossings, transportation or terminal facilities, commerce facilities or developments and other projects and the approaches thereto, owned, operated, or controlled by the Authority, and at such other places and under such circumstances as the law of each State may provide, all the powers of investigation, detention, and arrest conferred by law on peace officers, sheriffs, or constables in such State or usually exercised by such officers in each State.

Article XX: Reports and Audits

The Authority shall make annual reports to the Governors and Legislatures of the State of Delaware and the State of New Jersey, setting forth in detail its operations and transactions, and may make such additional reports from time to time to the Governors and Legislatures as it may deem desirable.

It shall, at least annually, cause an independent audit of its fiscal affairs to be made, and shall furnish a copy of such audit report together with such additional information or data with respect to its affairs as it may deem desirable to the Governors and Legislatures of each State.

It shall furnish such information or data with respect to its affairs as may be requested by the Governor or Legislature of each State.

Article XXI: Boundaries Unaffected

The existing territorial or boundary lines of the States or the jurisdiction of the two States established by said boundary lines shall not be changed hereby.

Article XXII: Environmental Protection

(a) The planning, development, construction, and operation of any project, other than a crossing, shall comply with all environmental protection laws, regulations, directives, and orders, including, without limitation, any coastal zone laws, wetlands laws, or subaqueous land laws or natural resources laws, now or hereinafter enacted, or promulgated by the State in which the project, or any part thereof, is located.

(b) The planning, development, construction, and operation of any project, other than a crossing, to be located in the Delaware River and Bay shall comply with all environmental protection laws, regulations, directives, and orders, including, without limitation, any coastal zone laws, wetlands laws, subaqueous land laws or natural resource laws now or hereinafter enacted or promulgated by either State.

(c) The planning, development, construction, and operation of any project, other than a crossing, located in the coastal zone of Delaware (as defined in Chapter 70 of Title 7 of the Delaware Code, as in effect on January 1, 1989), shall be subject to the same limitations, requirements, procedures, and appeals as apply to any other person under the Delaware Coastal Zone Act, Chapter 70 of Title 7 of the Delaware Code, as in effect on January 1, 1989. Nothing in this Compact shall be deemed to pre-empt, modify, or supersede any provision of the Delaware Coastal Zone Act, Chapter 70 of Title 7 of the Delaware Code, as in effect on January 1, 1989. The interpretation and application of this paragraph shall be governed by the laws of the State of Delaware and be determined by the courts of the State of Delaware.

(d) The planning, development, construction, and operation of any project, other than a crossing, located in New Jersey, shall be subject to the provisions of New Jersey law, when applicable, including but not limited to the Wetlands Act of 1970, N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1, et seq. And the Coastal Area facility Review Act, N.J.S.A. 13:19-1, et seq.

See also

External links

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References



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