2017 ORS 542.550¹
Content of Columbia River Natural Resources Management Compact
  • when effective

A compact, in form as in this section fully set forth, shall be in effect when the States of Idaho, Montana and Washington become parties thereto, and the consent of Congress has been granted as required by section 10, Article I of the United States Constitution.

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The contracting states do hereby agree as follows:

The purposes of this compact, entitled the Columbia River Natural Resources Management Compact, are and shall be to promote the better regional management and coordination of natural resources management issues and other issues pertaining to the governance and use of the Columbia River.

This agreement shall become operative immediately as to those states executing it in the form that is in accordance with the laws of the executing states and the Congress has given its consent.

Each state joining herein shall appoint, as determined by state statutes, six legislators, three from the state Senate and three from the state House of Representatives, to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the Columbia River Governance Commission. Of the members appointed, all may not belong to the same political party. This commission shall be invested with the powers and duties set forth herein.

The term of each commissioner of the Columbia River Governance Commission shall be four years. A commissioner shall hold office until a successor shall be appointed and qualified but such successor’s term shall expire four years from legal date of expiration of the term of the predecessor. Vacancies occurring in the office of such commissioner from any reason or cause shall be filled for the unexpired term, or a commissioner may be removed from office, as provided by the statutes of the state concerned. Each commissioner may delegate in writing from time to time, to a deputy, the power to be present and participate, including voting as the representative or substitute, at any meeting of or hearing by or other proceeding of the commission.

Voting powers under this compact shall be limited to one vote for each state regardless of the number of representatives.

The duty of the Columbia River Governance Commission shall be to assess programs of state and federal agencies responsible for natural resource management issues and governance issues of the Columbia River and to participate in decision-making by federal agencies on issues affecting the use of and activities on the Columbia River. The commission shall have power to recommend the coordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several states within their respective jurisdictions to promote the efficient use and management of the Columbia River and resources related to the Columbia River.

To that end the commission shall draft and, after consultation with the advisory committee hereinafter authorized, recommend to the Governors and legislative branches of the various signatory states hereto legislation dealing with the governance and management of the Columbia River and the natural resources related to the Columbia River over which the signatory states jointly or separately now have or may hereafter acquire jurisdiction. The commission shall, more than one month prior to any regular meeting of the legislative branch in any state signatory hereto, present to the Governor of such state its recommendations relating to enactments by the legislative branch of that state in furthering the intents and purposes of this compact.

The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent administrative agencies in the signatory states of such regulations as it deems advisable with regard to problems connected with the governance and use of the Columbia River and that lie within the jurisdiction of such agencies.

The commission shall have power to recommend to the federal government and to states signatory hereto management strategies for the natural resources of the Columbia River and any changes to federal or state statutes, regulations or rules necessary to the efficient and sound governance of the Columbia River and its natural resources.

The commission shall elect from its number a chairperson and a vice chairperson and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such officers and employees as may be required to carry out the provisions of this compact and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place within the territorial limits of the signatory states but must meet at least once a year.

No action shall be taken by the commission except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of compacting states represented at any meeting. No recommendation shall be made by the commission in regard to the management of natural resources related to, or the governance and use of, the Columbia River except by the vote of a majority of the compacting states that have an interest in such issues.

The natural resource agencies of the signatory states shall act in collaboration as the official research agency of the Columbia River Governance Commission.

An advisory committee to be representative of such other interests of each state as the commission deems advisable shall be established by the commission as soon as practicable for the purpose of advising the commission upon such recommendations as it may desire to make.

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit the powers of any state or to repeal or prevent the enactment of any legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by any state imposing additional conditions and restrictions to conserve its natural resources.

Continued absence of representation or of any representative on the commission from any state party hereto shall be brought to the attention of the Governor thereof.

The states that sign this compact agree to make available annual funds for the support of the commission on the following basis:

Sixty percent (60%) of the annual budget shall be shared equally by those member states having as a boundary the Columbia River; and forty percent (40%) of the annual budget shall be shared equally by the other member states.

The annual contribution of each member state shall be figured to the nearest one hundred dollars.

This article shall become effective upon its enactment by the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and upon ratification by Congress by virtue of the authority vested in it under section 10, Article I of the United States Constitution.

This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each state until renounced by it. Renunciation of this compact must be preceded by sending six months’ written notice of intention to withdraw from the compact to the other parties hereto.

The State of Nevada or any state having rivers or streams tributary to the Columbia River may become a contracting state by enactment of the Columbia River Natural Resources Management Compact. Upon admission of any new state to the compact, the purposes of the compact and the duties of the commission shall extend to the development of joint programs for the use and governance of the Columbia River and its natural resources in which the contracting states share mutual concerns.

This article shall become effective upon its enactment by the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and upon ratification by Congress by virtue of the authority vested in it under section 10, Article I of the United States Constitution.

______________________________________________________________________________ [1999 c.540 §1]

Note: 542.550 (Content of Columbia River Natural Resources Management Compact) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 542 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 542—Water Resource Surveys and Projects; Compacts, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors542.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.