Virginia Compacts

Virginia Compacts
3/29/2017

§§ 62.1-64 through 62.1-69. Potomac River Basin Commission

§ 62.1-64. Authority to execute compact to create Potomac Valley Conservancy District and Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin

The Governor is hereby authorized and directed to execute, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a compact with the states of Maryland and West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, or with such of the same as shall, by their respective legislative bodies, enact legislation with like provisions to those of this chapter, but not with such of the same as shall not so enact such legislation, which compact shall be in form substantially as set out in § 62.1-65.

Code 1950, § 62-62; 1968, c. 659.

§ 62.1-65. Form and terms of compact

Whereas it is recognized that abatement of existing pollution and the control of future pollution of interstate streams can best be promoted through a joint agency representing the several states located wholly or in part within the area drained by any such interstate stream; and

Whereas the Congress of the United States has given its consent to the states of Maryland and West Virginia, the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the District of Columbia to enter into a compact providing for the creation of a conservancy district to consist of the drainage basin of the Potomac River and the main and tributary streams therein, for the purpose of regulating, controlling, preventing, or otherwise rendering unobjectionable and harmless the pollution of the waters of said Potomac drainage area by sewage and industrial and other wastes; and

Whereas the regulation, control and prevention of pollution is directly affected by the quantities of water in said streams and the uses to which such water may be put, thereby requiring integration and coordination of the planning for the development and use of the water and associated land resources through cooperation with, and support and coordination of, the activities of federal, state, local and private agencies, groups, and interests concerned with the development, utilization and conservation of the water and associated land resources of the said conservancy district:

Now, therefore, the states of Maryland and West Virginia, the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the District of Columbia, hereinafter designated signatory bodies, do hereby create the Potomac Valley Conservancy District, hereinafter designated the Conservancy District comprising all of the area drained by the Potomac River and its tributaries; and also, do hereby create, as an agency of each signatory body, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, hereinafter designated the Commission, under the articles of organization as set forth below.

Article I

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin shall consist of three members from each signatory body and three members appointed by the President of the United States. Said Commissioners, other than those appointed by the President, shall be chosen in a manner and for the terms provided by law of the signatory body from which they are appointed and shall serve without compensation from the Commission but shall be paid by the Commission their actual expenses incurred and incident to the performance of their duties.

(A) The Commission shall meet and organize within thirty days after the effective date of this compact, shall elect from its number a chairman and vice-chairman, shall adopt suitable bylaws, shall make, adopt, and promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary for its management and control, and shall adopt a seal.

(B) The Commission shall appoint and, at its pleasure, remove or discharge such officers and legal, engineering, clerical, expert and other assistants as may be required to carry the provisions of this compact into effect, and shall determine their qualifications and fix their duties and compensation. Such personnel as may be employed shall be employed without regard to any civil service or other similar requirements for employees of any of the signatory bodies. The Commission may maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place within the area of the signatory bodies.

(C) The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall make an annual report thereof and shall in such report set forth in detail the operations and transactions conducted by it pursuant to this compact. The Commission, however, shall not incur any obligations for administrative or other expenses prior to the making of appropriations adequate to meet the same nor shall it in any way pledge the credit of any of the signatory bodies. Each of the signatory bodies reserves the right to make at any time an examination and audit of the accounts of the Commission.

(D) A quorum of the Commission shall, for the transaction of business, the exercise of any powers, or the performance of any duties, consist of at least six members of the Commission who shall represent at least a majority of the signatory bodies; provided, however, that no action of the Commission relating to policy or stream classification or standards shall be binding on any one of the signatory bodies unless at least two of the Commissioners from such signatory body shall vote in favor thereof.

Article II

The Commission shall have the power:

(A) To collect, analyze, interpret, coordinate, tabulate, summarize and distribute technical and other data relative to, and to conduct studies, sponsor research and prepare reports on, pollution and other water problems of the Conservancy District.

(B) To cooperate with the legislative and administrative agencies of the signatory bodies, or the equivalent thereof, and with other commissions and federal, local governmental and nongovernmental agencies, organizations, groups and persons for the purpose of promoting uniform laws, rules or regulations for the abatement and control of pollution of streams and the utilization, conservation and development of the water and associated land resources in the said Conservancy District.

(C) To disseminate to the public information in relation to stream pollution problems and the utilization, conservation and development of the water and associated land resources of the Conservancy District and on the aims, views, purposes and recommendations of the Commission in relation thereto.

(D) To cooperate with, assist, and provide liaison for and among, public and nonpublic agencies and organizations concerned with pollution and other water problems in the formulation and coordination of plans, programs and other activities relating to stream pollution or to the utilization, conservation or development of water or associated land resources, and to sponsor cooperative action in connection with the foregoing.

(E) In its discretion and at any time during or after the formulation thereof, to review and to comment upon any plan or program of any public or private agency or organization relating to stream pollution or the utilization, conservation, or development of water or associated land resources.

(F) (1) To make, and, if needful from time to time, revise and to recommend to the signatory bodies, reasonable minimum standards for the treatment of sewage and industrial or other wastes now discharged or to be discharged in the future to the streams of the Conservancy District, and also, for cleanliness of the various streams in the Conservancy District.

(2) To establish reasonable physical, chemical and bacteriological standards of water quality satisfactory for various classifications of use. It is agreed that each of the signatory bodies through appropriate agencies will prepare a classification of its interstate waters in the District in entirety or by portions according to present and proposed highest use, and for this purpose technical experts employed by appropriate state water pollution control agencies are authorized to confer on questions relating to classification of interstate waters affecting two or more states. Each signatory body agrees to submit its classification of its interstate waters to the Commission with its recommendations thereon.

The Commission shall review such classification and recommendations and accept or return the same with its comments. In the event of return, the signatory body will consider the comments of the Commission and resubmit the classification proposal, with or without amendment, with any additional comments for further action by the Commission.

It is agreed that after acceptance of such classification, the signatory body through its appropriate state water pollution control agencies will work to establish programs of treatment of sewage and industrial wastes which will meet or exceed standards established by the Commission for classified waters. The Commission may from time to time make such changes in definitions of classifications and in standards as may be required by changed conditions or as may be necessary for uniformity and in a manner similar to that in which these standards and classifications were originally established.

It is recognized, owing to such variable factors as location, size, character and flow and the many varied uses of the waters subject to the terms of this compact, that no single standard of sewage and waste treatment and no single standard of quality of receiving waters is practical and that the degree of treatment of sewage and industrial wastes should take into account the classification of the receiving waters according to present and proposed highest use, such as for drinking water supply, bathing and other recreational purposes, maintenance and propagation of fish life, industrial and agricultural uses, navigation and disposal of wastes.

Article III

For the purposes of dealing with the problems of pollution and of water and associated land resources in specific areas which directly affect two or more, but not all, signatory bodies, the Commission may establish sections of the Commission consisting of the Commissioners from such affected signatory bodies; provided, however, that no signatory body may be excluded from any section in which it wishes to participate. The Commissioners appointed by the President of the United States may participate in any section. The Commission shall designate, and from time to time may change, the geographical area with respect to which each section shall function. Each section shall, to such extent as the Commission may from time to time authorize, have authority to exercise and perform with respect to its designated geographical area any power or function vested in the Commission, and in addition may exercise such other powers and perform such functions as may be vested in such section by the laws of any signatory body or by the laws of the United States. The exercise or performance by a section of any power or function vested in the Commission may be financed by the Commission, but the exercise or performance of powers or functions vested solely in a section shall be financed through funds provided in advance by the bodies, including the United States, participating in such section.

Article IV

The moneys necessary to finance the Commission in the administration of its business in the Conservancy District shall be provided through appropriations from the signatory bodies and the United States, in the manner prescribed by the laws of the several signatory bodies and of the United States, and in amounts as follows:

The pro rata contribution shall be based on such factors as population; the amount of industrial and domestic pollution; and a flat service charge, as shall be determined from time to time by the Commission, subject, however, to the approval, ratification and appropriation of such contribution by the several signatory bodies.

Article V

Pursuant to the aims and purposes of this compact, the signatory bodies mutually agree:

1. Faithful cooperation in the abatement of existing pollution and the prevention of future pollution in the streams of the Conservancy District and in planning for the utilization, conservation and development of the water and associated land resources thereof.

2. The enactment of adequate and, insofar as is practicable, uniform legislation for the abatement and control of pollution and control and use of such streams.

3. The appropriation of biennial sums on the proportionate basis as set forth in Article IV.

Article VI

This compact shall become effective immediately after it shall have been ratified by the majority of the legislatures of the states of Maryland and West Virginia, the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, and approved by the Congress of the United States; provided, however, that this compact shall not be effective as to any signatory body until ratified thereby.

Article VII

Any signatory body may, by legislative act, after one year's notice to the Commission, withdraw from this compact.

Code 1950, § 62-63; 1968, cc. 542, 659.

§ 62.1-66. Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia

There is hereby created a Commission of three members to be known as the Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia, but the Commission shall not come into being unless and until the Governor shall have executed the compact hereinabove authorized.

Code 1950, § 62-64; 1968, c. 659.

§ 62.1-67. Appointment, terms and qualifications of members; alternate members

The Commission shall consist of three members as follows: one legislative member of the Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation who resides in the Potomac River drainage basin, appointed by the Joint Rules Committee; one nonlegislative citizen member at large who resides in the Potomac River drainage basin, appointed by the Governor; and the executive director of the State Water Control Board. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be made for the respective unexpired terms. One of the members shall be designated by the Governor as chairman. The Governor and the Joint Rules Committee shall appoint alternate members for their appointees to the Commission, who shall reside in the Potomac River drainage basin, and each alternate shall have power to act in the absence of the person for whom he is alternate. The legislative member and executive director of the State Water Control Board shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office and the member appointed by the Governor shall serve a term of four years. The terms of each alternate shall run concurrently with the term of the member for whom he is alternate. All members may be reappointed.

Code 1950, § 62-65; 1968, cc. 542, 659; 1979, c. 114; 1981, c. 308; 2006, cc. 516, 556.

§ 62.1-68. Expenses of members

The members of the Commission shall be paid their expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as such in such manner and amount as shall be provided in the compact hereinabove authorized to be executed.

Code 1950, § 62-66; 1968, c. 659.

§ 62.1-69. Duties of Commission; powers and duties of Water Control Board not affected; dams or structures for production of electric power

The Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia shall, if and when it shall come into existence as hereinabove provided, act jointly with commissions appointed for a like purpose by the states of West Virginia and Maryland, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, or by such of the same as shall enter into the compact and with an additional three members to be appointed by the President of the United States, as a unit of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin which shall be constituted as provided by the compact hereinabove mentioned. The Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia shall perform such further duties as shall be provided by the compact.

No provision of this chapter or application thereof shall operate to repeal, limit, affect or impair any provision or application of Chapter 3.1 (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.) of Title 62.1; and no provision of this chapter shall have any effect upon the powers and duties of the State Water Control Board created by Chapter 3.1 (§ 62.1-44.2 et seq.) of Title 62.1 and the operation of such Board over the waters of the Commonwealth subject to its jurisdiction. Members of the Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia are prohibited from voting in favor of any measure before the Interstate Potomac River Basin Commission which might have any effect upon the powers and duties of the State Water Control Board without the consent of such Board first had and obtained. Members of the Potomac River Basin Commission of Virginia are prohibited from voting in favor of the construction, with public funds, of any dam or other structure upon the Potomac River or its tributaries in Virginia, which dam or other structure is used or is capable of being used, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part and whether as a single or multiple purpose, for the production by any government or any agency or instrumentality thereof, of electric power and energy.

Code 1950, § 62-67; 1968, cc. 542, 659.