Tri-State Sanitation Compact

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Tri-State Sanitation Compact
Formation date: 1935
Member jurisdictions: 3
Issue(s): Waste management

The Tri-State Sanitation Compact is an interstate compact among Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

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

Each of the signatory states pledges each to the other faithful co-operation in the control of future pollution and agrees to provide for the abatement of existing pollution in the tidal and coastal waters in the adjacent portions of the signatory states defined herein as coming within the district, and consistent with such object, to enact adequate legislation which will enable each of the signatory states to put and maintain the waters thereof in a satisfactory sanitary condition and particularly to protect public health; to render safe such waters as are now used or may later become available for bathing and recreational purposes; to abate and eliminate such pollution as becomes obnoxious or causes a nuisance; to permit the maintenance of major fish life, shellfish and marine life in waters now available or that may by practicable means be made available for the development of such fish, shellfish or marine life; to prevent oil, grease or solids from being carried on the surface of the water; to prevent the formation of sludge deposits along the shores or in the waterways; and with the fulfillment of these objectives to abate and avoid incurring unnecessary economic loss by safeguarding the rights of the public in its varied legitimate uses of the waters of the district.

Article II

To that end they do agree that there shall be created and they do hereby create a district to be known as the Interstate Environmental District (hereinafter referred to as the district) which shall embrace the territory described as follows: All of the coastal, estuarial and tidal waters within or covering portions of the signatory states as follows:

(a) In Connecticut, Long Island sound and estuaries and tidal waters thereof between the easterly side of New Haven harbor at Morgan Point and the Connecticut-New York state boundary, and the Housatonic river up to the northerly boundary lines of the towns of Stratford and Milford.

(b) In New York, all of the tidal waters of Greater New York city; including Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill, Long Island Sound and the estuaries and tidal waters thereof between the New York city line and the New York-Connecticut state boundary and between the New York city line and the easterly side of Port Jefferson harbor; the Atlantic ocean and the estuaries and tidal waters thereof between the New York city line and the easterly side of Fire Island inlet; and the Hudson river and estuaries and tidal waters thereof between the New York and New Jersey state boundary and the northerly line of Rockland county on the westerly side and between the northerly line of New York city and the northerly line of Westchester county on the easterly side of the river.

(c) In New Jersey, the Hudson river and New York upper bay and estuaries and tidal waters thereof between the New York-New Jersey boundary and Constable Point on Constable Hook, the Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill to the mouths of the rivers entering into the Kills; Newark bay and the estuaries thereof up to the mouth of the Passaic river; and up to the mouth of the Hackensack river; Raritan bay together with the Raritan river up to the Victory bridge on said river between Perth Amboy and South Amboy; together with the Cheesequake creek up to the New York and Long Branch Railroad bridge on said creek at Morgan; together with the Matawan creek up to the New York and Long Branch Railroad bridge on said creek at Matawan; Sandy Hook bay; together with the Shrewsbury river up to the passenger railroad bridge between Navesink Light and Highland Beach on said river.

Article III

There is hereby created the Interstate Environmental Commission (hereinafter referred to as the commission) which shall be a body corporate and politic, having the powers, duties and jurisdiction herein enumerated and such other and additional powers as shall be conferred upon it by the act or acts of a signatory state concurred in by the others and by the act or acts of congress when necessary.

Article IV

The commission shall consist of five commissioners from each state, each of whom shall be a resident voter of the state from which he is appointed.

The commissioners shall be chosen in the manner and for the terms provided by law of the state from which they shall be appointed, and each commissioner may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which he shall be appointed. The commissioners shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their actual expenses incurred and incident to the performance of their duties.

Article V

The commission shall elect from its number a chairman and vice-chairman and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such officers and legal, clerical, expert and other assistants as may be required to carry the provisions of this compact into effect, and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensations.

It shall adopt a seal and suitable by-laws and shall promulgate rules and regulations for its management and control. It may maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place within the signatory states.

A majority of the members from each state shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, the exercise of any powers, or the performance of any duties, but no action of the commission shall be binding unless at least three of the members from each state shall vote in favor thereof.

The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall make an annual report to the governor and the legislature of each state setting forth in detail the operations and transactions conducted by it pursuant to this compact, and shall make recommendations for any legislative action deemed by it advisable, including amendments to the statutes of the signatory states which may be necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this compact, and changes in the district which concentration of population or other cause may require.

The commission shall not incur any obligations for salaries, office or other administrative expenses prior to the making of appropriations adequate to meet the same; nor shall the commission pledge the credit of any of the signatory states except by and with the authority of the legislatures thereof. Each state reserves the right to provide hereafter by law for the examination and audit of the accounts of the commission by its comptroller or other official.

The commissioners shall meet and organize within ten days after the effective date of this compact.

Article VI

It is recognized by the signatory states that, where tidal waters are used for such varied purposes as bathing, navigation, shellfish culture, the development of fish life and the disposal of wastes, no single standard of purity is practicable in all parts of the district.

In order to attain the objects of this compact, the commission, after proper study and after conducting public hearings upon due notice, shall group the designated waters of the district into classes. Where local conditions shall have changed in the future to such an extent that changes in classification become necessary, the commission may, after conducting public hearings upon due notice, adopt such changes.

Two general classifications shall be used:

  1. Class "A," in which the designated water areas are expected to be used primarily for recreational purposes, shellfish culture or the development of fish life;
  2. Class "B," in which the designated water areas are not expected to be used primarily for recreational purposes, shellfish culture or the development of fish life.

Article VII

It is agreed between the signatory states that no sewage or other polluting matters shall be discharged or permitted to flow into, or be placed in, or permitted to fall or move into the tidal waters of the district, except under the following conditions and restrictions:

  1. All sewage discharged or permitted to flow into Class "A" waters of the district shall first have been so treated as
    • (a) to remove all floating solids and at least sixty per centum (60%) of the suspended solids; and
    • (b) to effect a reduction of organisms of the B. Coli group (intestinal bacilli) so that the probable number of such organisms shall not exceed one per cubic centimeter in more than fifty per centum (50%) of the samples of sewage effluent tested by the partially confirmed test; provided, however, that in the case of discharge into waters used primarily for bathing this bacterial standard need not be required except during the bathing season; and
    • (c) to effect a reduction in the oxygen demand of the sewage effluent sufficient to maintain an average dissolved oxygen content in the tidal waters of the district and in the general vicinity of the point of discharge of the sewage into those waters, at a depth of about five feet below the surface, of not less than fifty per centum (50%) saturation during any week of the year.
  2. All sewage discharged or permitted to flow into class "B" waters of the district shall first have been so treated as
    • (a) to remove all floating solids and at least ten per centum (10%) of the suspended solids, or such additional percentage as may by reason of local conditions be necessary to avoid the formation of sludge deposits in the class "B" waters of the district; and
    • (b) to effect a reduction in the oxygen demand of the sewage effluent sufficient to maintain an average dissolved oxygen content in the tidal waters of the district and in the general vicinity of the point of discharge of the sewage into those waters, at a depth of about five feet below the surface, of not less than thirty per centum (30%) saturation during any week of the year.

Article VIII

Each of the signatory states agrees, that in so far as waters within its jurisdiction may flow into any portion of the district, all sewage discharged or permitted to flow into any stream tributary to the tidal waters of the district shall be treated to that extent, if any, which may be necessary to maintain such tributary immediately above its confluence with the tidal waters of the district in a sanitary condition at least equal to the classification requirements determined by the commission for the tidal waters of the district into which it discharges. The waters of the Hudson river, immediately above the mouth of Sparkhill creek on the westerly side and the New York-New Jersey boundary extended on the easterly side of the river, shall be maintained in a sanitary condition at ebb tide at least equal to the sanitary condition prevailing in the waters of the river immediately below said boundary at flood tide.

Article IX

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to repeal or prevent the enactment of any legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by any signatory state imposing any additional conditions and restrictions to further lessen or prevent the pollution of waters within its jurisdiction.

Article X

Subject to the provisions of this compact the commission, as soon as may be after its organization, after an investigation and after conducting public hearings upon due notice, shall by order prescribe the reasonable date on or before which each municipality or other entity discharging sewage into the designated waters within the district shall be treating such sewage in accordance with the standards specified in this compact. And such order may prescribe that certain specific progress shall be made at certain definite time prior to the final date fixed in such order.

It is the desire of all parties to accomplish the objects herein set forth with the least possible injury to investments which have already been made in the construction of sewage treatment plants within the district, and where changes or additions to such plants would be necessary to conform to the standards herein adopted, a reasonable time to effect such changes or additions may, in the discretion of the commission, be granted.

Article XI

Each of the signatory states agrees that it will prohibit the pollution of the said waters within the district in accordance with the several articles of this compact, and that it will enact suitable and adequate legislation which will accomplish effectively the objects of this compact and which will enable its officers, departments, boards and agents to accomplish satisfactorily the obligations and duties assumed by the state under the terms of this compact, and it is further agreed that the courts of the several states shall have jurisdiction to enforce as against any person, corporation, municipality or other entity or any employee, department or subdivision of the respective signatory states any and all provisions of this compact.

The commission shall have authority to investigate and determine if the requirements of the compact and/or the orders of the commission pursuant thereto are complied with and if satisfactory progress has not been made, to bring action in its own name in the proper court or courts to compel the enforcement of any and all the provisions of this compact, and/or the orders of the commission pursuant thereto.

Article XII

In order that future pollution be controlled and existing pollution be abated with the greatest possible economy and efficiency, the commission shall co-operate and advise with the respective state and district authorities having jurisdiction over stream pollution, with a view to coordinating their activities and securing the most satisfactory results at lower cost. For such purpose the commission may prepare a general plan of the most practicable and economical method of securing conformity with the standards herein set forth, having in view the future growth and development of the district.

Such plan when completed shall be submitted to the governor and the legislature of each state and to the state agency or agencies or district agencies in charge of sewage problems. The provisions of this act shall not affect the discharge from the outfall pipes of the Passaic valley sewerage system into the water of New York harbor; provided, however, that said discharge shall be in accordance with the terms and provisions of the stipulation entered into on April fourteenth, one thousand nine hundred ten, between the United States of America and Passaic valley sewerage commissioners.

Article XIII

Terms used in this compact are defined as follows:

  • "District" means the area more particularly described in article two of this compact.
  • "Commission" means the Interstate Environmental Commission.
  • "Municipality" means any city, incorporated village, borough, county, town, township, district, or any municipality governed by an improvement commission, any joint sewer commission, or any other subdivision of any one of the signatory states, located within the district.
  • "Rule" or "Regulation" means any rule or regulation established by the commission not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States or of any signatory state, promulgated by the commission touching the abatement or pollution of the waters of the district.
  • "Tidal waters" means all those waters which ebb and flow within the designated district.
  • "Dissolved oxygen" is the gaseous oxygen held in solution by the water at any given time. It is expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount of oxygen that would be required to saturate the water under the existing conditions of temperature and salinity.
  • "Pollution" is any foreign matter which renders waters unfit to sustain fish life and unsatisfactory for bathing.
  • "Sewage effluent" means the treated sewage discharged from a treatment plant.
  • "Suspended solids" means those solid particles carried in suspension in the untreated sewage or sewage effluent.
  • "Entity" means any organization or association owning, controlling or operating a sewerage system or treatment plant within a municipality.

Article XIV

The signatory states agree to appropriate annually for the salaries, office and other administrative expenses such sum or sums as shall be recommended by the commission and approved by the governors of the signatory states, the state of New York and the state of New Jersey agreeing each to appropriate forty-five per centum (45%) thereof, and the state of Connecticut agreeing to appropriate ten per centum (10%) thereof. The state of New York and the state of New Jersey obligate themselves hereunder, however, only to the extent of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00) each in any one year, and the state of Connecticut obligated itself hereunder only to the extent of three thousand, three hundred thirty-three dollars and thirty-four cents ($3,333.34) in any one year.

Article XV

Should any part of this compact be held to be contrary to the constitution of any signatory state or of the United States, all other severable objects of this compact shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Article XVI

1. This compact shall become effective as to the state of New Jersey and the state of New York immediately upon the signing thereof by the representatives of such states, and thereafter it shall also become effective as to the state of Connecticut immediately upon the signing thereof by the representatives of such state; provided, however, that prior to the signing of this compact by the representatives of the state of Connecticut the district as set forth in article two shall not embrace any territory within the jurisdiction of the state of Connecticut, nor shall the commission exercise any jurisdiction or perform any duties or acts affecting such territory; and the appropriations for salaries, office and other administrative expenses shall be borne equally by the state of New York and the state of New Jersey.

2. Nothing herein contained shall affect or abate any action now pending brought by any governmental board or body created by or existing under any of the signatory states.

Article XVII

In addition to, or in substitution for, the classifications of waters set forth in Articles VI and VII of this compact and the effluent standards made applicable thereto, the Commission may develop and, after public hearing place in force other classifications of waters and effluent standards within the District. Such classifications shall be on the basis of present or intended uses of the waters in question and shall be accompanied by requirements governing the quality of effluents, receiving waters, or both, as the public interest may make appropriate.

Classifications, standards, and requirements adopted pursuant to this Article shall be developed and may be revised with due consideration for uniformity of requirements relating to the quality of effluents and receiving waters within the same classification in all parts of the District. Classifications made pursuant to this Article shall be governed by and shall implement any water and related land resource plans, water use plans or pollution control plans adopted by appropriate agencies of the signatory states, acting singly or in concert, or through joint intergovernmental agencies. Any exercise of authority by the Commission pursuant to this Article shall be subject to any procedural requirements, if applicable, that may be contained in federal law.

Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge or limit any power otherwise existing of a signatory state to make and enforce classifications, standards, and requirements for effluents and receiving waters.

See also

External links

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References


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