Home > 105th Congressional Public Laws > Pub.L. 105-105 Granting the consent of Congress to the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin Compact. <> ...

Pub.L. 105-105 Granting the consent of Congress to the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin Compact. <> ...

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[[Page 111 STAT. 2219]]

Public Law 105-104
105th Congress

                            Joint Resolution

Granting the consent of Congress to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint 
     River Basin Compact. <<NOTE: Nov. 20, 1997 -  [H.J. Res. 91]>> 

    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: State listing.>> 


    The Congress consents to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River 
Basin Compact entered into by the States of Alabama, Florida, and 
Georgia. The Compact is substantially as follows:

         ``Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Compact

    ``The States of Alabama, Florida and Georgia and the United States 
of America hereby agree to the following compact which shall become 
effective upon enactment of concurrent legislation by each respective 
state legislature and the Congress of the United States.

                              ``SHORT TITLE

    ``This Act shall be known and may be cited as the `Apalachicola-
Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Compact' and shall be referred to 
hereafter in this document as the `ACF Compact' or `Compact'.

    ``ARTICLE I <<NOTE: Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin 

                           ``COMPACT PURPOSES

    ``This Compact among the States of Alabama, Florida and 
Georgia and the United States of America has been entered into for the 
purposes of promoting interstate comity, removing causes of present and 
future controversies, equitably apportioning the surface waters of the 
ACF, engaging in water planning, and developing and sharing common data 

                              ``ARTICLE II

                         ``SCOPE OF THE COMPACT

    ``This Compact shall extend to all of the waters arising within the 
drainage basin of the ACF in the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

[[Page 111 STAT. 2220]]

                              ``ARTICLE III


    ``The parties to this Compact are the states of Alabama, Florida and 
Georgia and the United States of America.

                              ``ARTICLE IV


    ``For the purposes of this Compact, the following words, phrases and 
terms shall have the following meanings:
    ``(a) `ACF Basin' or `ACF ' means the area of natural drainage into 
the Apalachicola River and its tributaries, the Chattahoochee River and 
its tributaries, and the Flint River and its tributaries. Any reference 
to the rivers within this Compact will be designated using the letters 
`ACF' and when so referenced will mean each of these three rivers and 
each of the tributaries to each such river.
    ``(b) `Allocation formula' means the methodology, in whatever form, 
by which the ACF Basin Commission determines an equitable apportionment 
of surface waters within the ACF Basin among the three states. Such 
formula may be represented by a table, chart, mathematical calculation 
or any other expression of the Commission's apportionment of waters 
pursuant to this compact.
    ``(c) `Commission' or `ACF Basin Commission' means the Apalachicola-
Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Commission created and established 
pursuant to this Compact.
    ``(d) `Ground waters' means waters within a saturated zone or 
stratum beneath the surface of land, whether or not flowing through 
known and definite channels.
    ``(e) `Person' means any individual, firm, association, 
organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation, public 
corporation, company, the United States of America, any state, and all 
political subdivisions, regions, districts, municipalities, and public 
agencies thereof.
    ``(f ) `Surface waters' means waters upon the surface of the earth, 
whether contained in bounds created naturally or artificially or 
diffused. Water from natural springs shall be considered `surface 
waters' when it exits from the spring onto the surface of the earth.
    ``(g) ` United States' means the executive branch of the government 
of the United States of America, and any department, agency, bureau or 
division thereof.
    ``(h) `Water Resource Facility' means any facility or project 
constructed for the impoundment, diversion, retention, control or 
regulation of waters within the ACF Basin for any purpose.
    ``(i) `Water resources,' or `waters' means all surface waters and 
ground waters contained or otherwise originating within the ACF Basin.

                               ``ARTICLE V


    ``This Compact shall not be binding on any party until it has been 
enacted into law by the legislatures of the states of Alabama,

[[Page 111 STAT. 2221]]

Florida and Georgia and by the Congress of the United States of America.

                              ``ARTICLE VI

                     ``ACF BASIN COMMISSION CREATED

    ``(a) There is hereby created an interstate administrative agency to 
be known as the `ACF Basin Commission.' The Commission shall be 
comprised of one member representing the state of Alabama, one member 
representing the state of Florida, one member representing the state of 
Georgia, and one non-voting member representing the United States of 
America. The state members shall be known as `State Commissioners' and 
the federal member shall be known as `Federal Commissioner.' The ACF 
Basin Commission is a body politic and corporate, with succession for 
the duration of this Compact.
    ``(b) The Governor of each of the states shall serve as the State 
Commissioner for his or her state. Each State Commissioner shall appoint 
one or more alternate members and one of such alternates as designated 
by the State Commissioner shall serve in the State Commissioner's place 
and carry out the functions of the State Commissioner, including voting 
on Commission matters, in the event the State Commissioner is unable to 
attend a meeting of the Commission. The alternate members from each 
state shall be knowledgeable in the field of water resources management. 
Unless otherwise provided by law of the state for which an alternate 
State Commissioner is appointed, each alternate State Commissioner shall 
serve at the pleasure of the State Commissioner. In the event of a 
vacancy in the office of an alternate, it shall be filled in the same 
manner as an original appointment.
    ``(c) <<NOTE: President.>>  The President of the United States of 
America shall appoint the Federal Commissioner who shall serve as the 
representative of all federal agencies with an interest in the ACF. The 
President shall also appoint an alternate Federal Commissioner to attend 
and participate in the meetings of the Commission in the event the 
Federal Commissioner is unable to attend meetings. When at meetings, the 
alternate Federal Commissioner shall possess all of the powers of the 
Federal Commissioner. The Federal Commissioner and alternate appointed 
by the President shall serve until they resign or their replacements are 

    ``(d) Each state shall have one vote on the ACF Basin Commission and 
the Commission shall make all decisions and exercise all powers by 
unanimous vote of the three State Commissioners. The Federal 
Commissioner shall not have a vote, but shall attend and participate in 
all meetings of the ACF Basin Commission to the same extent as the State 
    ``(e) The ACF Basin Commission shall meet at least once a year at a 
date set at its initial meeting. Such initial meeting shall take place 
within ninety days of the ratification of the Compact by the Congress of 
the United States and shall be called by the chairman of the Commission. 
Special meetings of the Commission may be called at the discretion of 
the chairman of the Commission and shall be called by the chairman of 
the Commission upon written request of any member of the Commission. All 
members shall be notified of the time and place designated for any 
regular or special meeting at least five days prior to such meeting in 

[[Page 111 STAT. 2222]]

of the following ways: by written notice mailed to the last mailing 
address given to the Commission by each member, by facsimile, telegram 
or by telephone. The Chairmanship of the Commission shall rotate 
annually among the voting members of the Commission on an alphabetical 
basis, with the first chairman to be the State Commissioner representing 
the State of Alabama.
    ``(f ) All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public.
    ``(g) The ACF Basin Commission, so long as the exercise of power is 
consistent with this Compact, shall have the following general powers:
            ``(1) to adopt bylaws and procedures governing its conduct;
            ``(2) to sue and be sued in any court of competent 
            ``(3) to retain and discharge professional, technical, 
        clerical and other staff and such consultants as are necessary 
        to accomplish the purposes of this Compact;
            ``(4) to receive funds from any lawful source and expend 
        funds for any lawful purpose;
            ``(5) <<NOTE: Contracts.>>  to enter into agreements or 
        contracts, where appropriate, in order to accomplish the 
        purposes of this Compact;
            ``(6) to create committees and delegate responsibilities;
            ``(7) to plan, coordinate, monitor, and make recommendations 
        for the water resources of the ACF Basin for the purposes of, 
        but not limited to, minimizing adverse impacts of floods and 
        droughts and improving water quality, water supply, and 
        conservation as may be deemed necessary by the Commission;
            ``(8) to participate with other governmental and non-
        governmental entities in carrying out the purposes of this 
            ``(9) to conduct studies, to generate information regarding 
        the water resources of the ACF Basin, and to share this 
        information among the Commission members and with others;
            ``(10) to cooperate with appropriate state, federal, and 
        local agencies or any other person in the development, 
        ownership, sponsorship, and operation of water resource 
        facilities in the ACF Basin; provided, however, that the 
        Commission shall not own or operate a federally-owned water 
        resource facility unless authorized by the United States 
            ``(11) to acquire, receive, hold and convey such personal 
        and real property as may be necessary for the performance of its 
        duties under the Compact; provided, however, that nothing in 
        this Compact shall be construed as granting the ACF Basin 
        Commission authority to issue bonds or to exercise any right of 
        eminent domain or power of condemnation;
            ``(12) to establish and modify an allocation formula for 
        apportioning the surface waters of the ACF Basin among the 
        states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia; and
            ``(13) to perform all functions required of it by this 
        Compact and to do all things necessary, proper or convenient in 
        the performance of its duties hereunder, either independently or 
        in cooperation with any state or the United States.

                              ``ARTICLE VII

                        ``EQUITABLE APPORTIONMENT

    ``(a) It is the intent of the parties to this Compact to develop an 
allocation formula for equitably apportioning the surface waters

[[Page 111 STAT. 2223]]

of the ACF Basin among the states while protecting the water quality, 
ecology and biodiversity of the ACF, as provided in the Clean Water Act, 
33 U.S.C. Sections 1251 et seq., the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 
Sections 1532 et seq., the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 
Sections 4321 et seq., the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, 33 U.S.C. 
Sections 401 et seq., and other applicable federal laws. For this 
purpose, all members of the ACF Basin Commission, including the Federal 
Commissioner, shall have full rights to notice of and participation in 
all meetings of the ACF Basin Commission and technical committees in 
which the basis and terms and conditions of the allocation formula are 
to be discussed or negotiated. When an allocation formula is unanimously 
approved by the State Commissioners, there shall be an agreement among 
the states regarding an allocation formula. The allocation formula thus 
agreed upon shall become effective and binding upon the parties to this 
Compact upon receipt by the Commission of a letter of concurrence with 
said formula from the Federal Commissioner. If, however, the Federal 
Commissioner fails to submit a letter of concurrence to the Commission 
within two hundred ten (210) days after the allocation formula is agreed 
upon by the State Commissioners, the Federal Commissioner shall within 
forty-five (45) days thereafter submit to the ACF Basin Commission a 
letter of nonconcurrence with the allocation formula setting forth 
therein specifically and in detail the reasons for nonconcurrence; 
provided, however, the reasons for nonconcurrence as contained in the 
letter of nonconcurrence shall be based solely upon federal law. The 
allocation formula shall also become effective and binding upon the 
parties to this Compact if the Federal Commissioner fails to submit to 
the ACF Basin Commission a letter of nonconcurrence in accordance with 
this Article. Once adopted pursuant to this Article, the allocation 
formula may only be modified by unanimous decision of the State 
Commissioners and the concurrence by the Federal Commissioner in 
accordance with the procedures set forth in this Article.
    ``(b) The parties to this Compact recognize that the United States 
operates certain projects within the ACF Basin that may influence the 
water resources within the ACF Basin. The parties to this Compact 
further acknowledge and recognize that various agencies of the United 
States have responsibilities for administering certain federal laws and 
exercising certain federal powers that may influence the water resources 
within the ACF Basin. It is the intent of the parties to this Compact, 
including the United States, to achieve compliance with the allocation 
formula adopted in accordance with this Article. Accordingly, once an 
allocation formula is adopted, each and every officer, agency, and 
instrumentality of the United States shall have an obligation and duty, 
to the maximum extent practicable, to exercise their powers, authority, 
and discretion in a manner consistent with the allocation formula so 
long as the exercise of such powers, authority, and discretion is not in 
conflict with federal law.
    ``(c) Between the effective date of this Compact and the approval of 
the allocation formula under this Article, the signatories to this 
Compact agree that any person who is withdrawing, diverting, or 
consuming water resources of the ACF Basin as of the effective date of 
this Compact, may continue to withdraw, divert or consume such water 
resources in accordance with the laws of the state where such person 
resides or does business and in accordance

[[Page 111 STAT. 2224]]

with applicable federal laws. The parties to this Compact further agree 
that any such person may increase the amount of water resources 
withdrawn, diverted or consumed to satisfy reasonable increases in the 
demand of such person for water between the effective date of this 
Compact and the date on which an allocation formula is approved by the 
ACF Basin Commission as permitted by applicable law. Each of the state 
parties to this Compact further agree to provide written notice to each 

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