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      RS 30:2091     




§2091.  Mississippi River Interstate Pollution Phase-Out Compact

The legislature having found that the control and abatement of pollution on the Mississippi River is an interstate problem, the governor of the state is hereby authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf of the State of Louisiana with the United States, and the states mentioned in Article I of the Mississippi River Interstate Pollution Phase-Out Compact, who may by their legislative bodies authorize a compact in a form substantially as follows:



Whereas, the growth of population, development, and land and water use of the Mississippi River Basin has resulted in serious pollution of interstate waters flowing past the boundaries of two or more states; and

Whereas, such pollution constitutes a menace to the health, welfare, and economic prosperity of the people living in such areas; and

Whereas, the abatement of existing pollution and control of future pollution in interstate waters of the Mississippi River Basin area are of prime importance to the people and can best be accomplished through the cooperation of the states bordering on the river and the federal government, in the establishment of a cooperative federal-interstate agency to work with the states in the field of pollution abatement along the river.  

Now, therefore, the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and the United States, do agree and are bound as follows:


(1)  "Waste" includes any chemical, industrial, municipal, or agricultural material for which no use or reuse is intended and which is to be discarded.  

(2)  "Pollution" means any man-made alteration of water, resulting from the discharge of substances including but not limited to dredge or fill material, spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, biological material, radioactive material, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, and cellar dirt.  

(3)  "Signator" shall mean any state which enters into this compact and is a party thereto.  

(4)  "Waste reduction" shall mean in-plant practices that reduce, avoid, or eliminate the generation of hazardous or nonhazardous waste so as to reduce the risks to health and the environment.  

(a)  When recycling is environmentally acceptable and is an integral part of the waste generating industrial process or operation, such as a closed-loop application which returns potential waste as it is generated for reuse within the process, it shall be considered waste reduction.  Recycling is not considered waste reduction if waste exits a process, exits as a separate identity, undergoes significant handling, or is transported from the waste-generating location.  

(b)  Actions that reduce waste volume by concentrating the hazardous content of a waste or that reduce hazard level by diluting the hazardous content are not considered waste reduction.  

(c)  Actions that change the chemical composition and the concentrations of the components of the waste, but do not change the degree of hazard of the waste are not considered waste reduction.  

(5)  "Waste management" shall mean any of the various methods or means of reducing waste which are applied after the waste is generated or outside of the location where waste is generated.


It is agreed among the signatories that the provisions of this compact shall apply to the Mississippi River System, from its headwaters to its mouth at the Head of Passes, and laterally between its ordinary high water marks and its major tributaries consisting of the Missouri, Ohio, Obion, Hatchie, Tennessee, St. Francis, White, Arkansas, Yazoo, Big Black, and Homochitto Rivers.  This compact shall not apply to the river's other tributaries or adjacent waters unless it is specifically found by the commission that pollution of those waters hinders accomplishment of the primary purposes hereof and that existing laws, as written or implemented, are inadequate to fulfill those purposes.


The primary purposes of this compact are:

(1)   To reduce and then eliminate river pollution by January 1, 1998.

(2)   To encourage alternatives to discharging wastes and pollutants into the river.  

(3)   To maintain the biological and chemical integrity of the water in the Mississippi River System in a manner as to insure that such water is healthful for drinking purposes and is suitable for agricultural, aquacultural, and recreational use.  

(4)   To collect and share information with other signatories relative to technologies, methods, incentives, or regulatory concessions which can further improve the water quality in the Mississippi River.  

(5)   To establish a waste registry for the collection and dissemination of waste information for the purpose of waste exchanges with other signatories for productive reuse.


There is hereby created the Mississippi River Interstate Pollution Control Commission or "commission", which shall be a body corporate and politic, having powers, duties, and jurisdiction enumerated herein and such other additional powers as may be conferred upon it by the act or acts of signatories concurred in by the others.


The commission shall consist of one commissioner from each signatory state, and one commissioner appointed on behalf of the United States.  The commissioners shall be chosen in the manner and for the terms provided by the jurisdiction from which they are appointed.  The appointing authority of each party state shall notify the commission in writing of the identity of its member and any alternate.  An alternate may act on behalf of the member only in the absence of such member.  Each state is responsible for the expenses of its member of the commission.


The commission shall annually elect from its members a chairperson, a vice chairperson and a secretary-treasurer, and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge officers.  It may appoint and employ such clerical and professional personnel as may be necessary, and at its pleasure it may remove or discharge such employees.  It shall adopt a seal and suitable bylaws and shall promulgate rules and regulations for its management and control.  It may maintain and lease an office for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place within the signatory states or in Washington, D.C.  Meetings with due notice to all commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of its business.  The commission shall keep accurate records of accounts, which are subject to state audits, and make annual reports on receipts and disbursements to the respective governors.  The commission shall not pledge the credit of any signatory.



In addition to authority conferred on the commission by other provisions of the compact, the commission shall have authority:

(1)  To establish chemical and bacteriological guidelines for classifications of water use, and to review signatories laws pursuant to such guidelines for the purpose of making recommendations relative to integrating the signatories water use.  

(2)  To review and make recommendations relative to uniform collection and dissemination of data from the signatories' discharge reductions credit programs.  

(3)  To establish a waste registry and exchange to act as an interstate clearinghouse of information on waste availability.  

(4)  To develop, prepare, and implement a comprehensive, cohesive water quality management plan for the purpose of reducing and subsequently eliminating the discharge of waste into the Mississippi River by January 1, 1998.  Such plan shall be submitted to the signatories and shall be ratified by each state through its respective legislature.  The plan shall become effective and binding for each state at the time its legislature ratifies and governor signs agreement with the plan.


It is recognized, owing to such variable factors as location, size, character, and flow, and the many uses of the waters subject to the terms of this compact, that no single standard of pollutant or waste treatment and no single standard of quality of receiving waters is practical.  The commission shall establish reasonable chemical and bacteriological guidelines for water quality satisfactory for various river classifications of use, considering the interstate impacts of downstream pollution.  It is agreed that each signatory state shall classify, submit the existing classification of, or reclassify, the portions of the river that flow through its borders, to the commission for its review and recommendation.  It is agreed that the signatory states through their appropriate health and water pollution control or other appropriate agencies shall establish or reestablish standards for the treatment of wastes, and other pollutants discharged into the river, subject to commission review and recommendation, and provide an inventory of pollution sources.  The commission may from time to time recommend such changes in classifications and standards as may be required by changed conditions, uniformity, or to meet the primary purposes of this compact.


It is agreed by the signatory states through their state water pollution control or other appropriate agencies, that a number of pollution sources may be treated as a single source, to provide industries, agricultural interests and municipalities with incentives to reduce discharges into the river.  In this way, a single source may obtain a net discharge reduction by improving treatment technology over new facilities to offset discharges from existing, older facilities to which new technology is not adaptable.  The respective states shall, therefore, promulgate regulations for review and recommendations by the commission which shall, at a minimum, provide: criteria and a system under which discharge credits for net discharge reductions may be earned; geographic limitations or pollution source areas along the river in which discharge credits may be earned; criteria for the use, banking, or sale of banked net discharge reductions by the dischargers; and requirements for retaining records for, and reporting on, discharge levels and banked net discharge reductions.


A.  It is agreed that the signatory states through their health, air pollution control, water pollution control, solid waste management and recovery, and hazardous waste control, or other appropriate agencies, shall study alternatives to the discharge of wastes and pollutants into the river, and within one year of their signing of this compact, submit their findings and proposed state rulemaking to the commission for review.  The commission shall review and integrate signatories' rules for the purpose of making recommendations relative to modifying such rules as necessary to develop a comprehensive, cohesive water quality management plan for the Mississippi River.  

B.  It is agreed that signatory states allow the commission to act as a liaison to institutions of higher education in each member state for the purpose of establishing a consortium of academic institutions to work jointly and to share independent findings relative to generic research on waste reduction, waste management and alternative regulatory strategies appropriate for improving the water quality of the Mississippi River.  The commission shall petition the United States Government for funding of any projects or research which the commission deems to be of value to the compact's purpose of reducing and eventually eliminating water pollution of the Mississippi River.


A.  In addition to authority conferred upon the commission by other provisions of the compact, the commission shall have authority to establish and maintain a waste registry and exchange for the purpose of acting as an interstate clearinghouse of information on waste availability, to manage or arrange the transfer of materials between industries to divert waste material from disposal to alternative productive use, and to provide for material conservation, productive efficiency, and environmental protection.  

B.  Each of the signatory states agree that it will provide information as necessary for the commission to effectuate its authority to establish and maintain such a waste registry and exchange.  

C.  In addition to other authority conferred upon the commission by the compact, the commission shall have the authority to establish such standards as necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Article.  Any standards established by the commission pursuant to this Article shall reflect a policy of state self-sufficiency in managing and disposing of waste generated within each state, and to that end the commission shall endeavor to maintain a reasonable interstate balance of trade in the transfer of waste between signatories.



A.  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 party imposing any additional conditions and restrictions to further lessen or prevent the pollution of waters within its jurisdiction or to take action with respect to interstate water pollution nuisance.  

B.  Jurisdiction of Signatories Reserved.  Nothing in this compact or in any supplementary agreement thereunder shall be construed to restrict, relinquish or be in derogation of, any power or authority constitutionally possessed by any signatory within its jurisdiction, except as specifically limited by this compact or a supplementary agreement.  

C.  Complementary Legislation by Signatories.  Signatories may enact such additional legislation as may be deemed appropriate to enable its officers and governmental agencies to accomplish effectively the purposes of this compact and supplementary agreements recognized or entered into under the terms of this Article.  

D.  Legal Rights of Signatories.  Nothing in this compact shall impair the exercise by any signatory of its legal rights or remedies established by the United States Constitution or any other laws of this nation.  

E.  Supplementary Agreements.  Any two or more signatories may enter into supplementary agreements for joint, coordinated or mutual environmental management activities relating to the reduction and subsequent phase-out of interstate pollution of the Mississippi River and for establishment of common or joint regulation, management, services, agencies, or facilities for such purposes or may designate an appropriate agency to act as their joint agency in regard thereto.  No supplementary agreement shall be valid to the extent that it conflicts with the purposes of this compact and the creation of a joint agency by supplementary agreement shall not affect the privileges, powers, responsibilities, or duties under this compact of signatories participating therein as embodied in this compact.  

F.  Execution of Supplementary Agreements and Effective Date.  The governor is authorized to enter into supplementary agreements for the state and his official signature shall render the agreement immediately binding upon the state;

Provided that:

(1)  The legislature of any signatory entering into such a supplementary agreement shall at its next legislative session by concurrent resolution bring the supplementary agreement before it and by appropriate legislative action approve, reverse, modify, or condition the agreement of that state.  

(2)  Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to limit the right of Congress by act of law expressly enacted for that purpose to disapprove or condition such a supplementary agreement.


Each of the signatory states agree that it will prohibit the pollution of the river waters within its jurisdiction in accordance with this compact and that it has or will enact suitable legislation to accomplish the obligations and duties set forth herein.


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 in an annual budget and approved by the governors of the signatory states subject to their budget processes.  Each signatory state shall bear its pro rata share of the commission's total expenditures.  This obligation is judicially enforceable, and sovereign immunity is waived with respect to it.  The United States' actual costs of participation will be reimbursed by the commission, based upon a quarterly expense report submitted to and approved by the commission.



A.  Construction.  It is the intent of the signatories that no provision of this compact or supplementary agreement entered into hereunder shall be construed as invalidating any provision of law of any signatory and that nothing in this compact shall be construed to modify or qualify the authority of any signatory to enact or enforce environmental protection legislation within its jurisdiction and not inconsistent with any provision of this compact or a supplementary agreement entered into pursuant hereto.  

B.  Amendments.  Amendments to this compact may be initiated by legislative action of any signatory and become effective when concurred in by all signatories and approved by Congress.  

C.  Effective Date.  This compact shall become binding on a state when enacted by it into law and such state shall thereafter become a signatory and party hereto with any and all states legally joining herein.  

D.  Withdrawal from the Compact.  A state may withdraw from this compact by authority of an act of its legislature one year after it notifies all signatories in writing of an intention to withdraw from the compact.  Provided, withdrawal from the compact affects obligations of a signatory imposed on it by supplementary agreements to which it may be a party only to the extent and in accordance with the terms of such supplementary agreements.  

Acts 1987, No. 866, §1.  


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