2009 Annual Report
In uncertain times marked by economic stress on state and national levels, the nation has focused on environmental concerns as a vital area where commitments must be met and we as guardians must not falter. Environmental protection has direct social, economic and health consequences. The Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC) remains the guardian of the waters of the tri-state District and we continue to do more with less. IEC Commissioners and professional staff are dedicated to upholding the highest quality research, monitoring and analyses, providing valuable resources for our member States, our region and the nation. Water and air quality monitoring and abatement are our priorities. Hypoxia in our waters, combined sewer overflows and emerging contaminants continue to need attention and solutions. IEC has been and, continues to be a focal point for research, analysis and solutions that ensure water and air quality.
Following the recommendation of the Tri-State Treaty Commission, the Tri-State Compact establishing the District and the Commission was enacted in 1936, with the Consent of Congress. The Commission has an overall responsibility of protecting the environment by viewing the District from a regional, impartial and unbiased perspective. Whereas each state deals with issues within its own borders, the Commission can and does cross state lines. The Commission strives for interstate cooperation and coordination and to harmonize water quality standards, regulations and requirements throughout its District. The Commission’s mandate is as important today as it was in the 1930s.
The mandates of the Commission are governed by the Tri-State Compact, Statutes, and the IEC’s Water Quality Regulations. In addition to its mandates in water pollution, the capabilities and benefits of the Commission as a regional agency were also recognized when the IEC’s interstate air pollution program began in 1962, and were further reinforced in 1970 when the Commission was designated as the coordinating and planning agency for the New JerseyNew York-Connecticut Air Quality Control Region. As the Commission plans to meet its mandates and goals for the future, IEC must adapt to a variety of conditions, but must also rely on good science and sound engineering as an integral part of the decision-making process. The Metropolitan Area contains a world class harbor that is able to support a wide spectrum of commercial and recreational industries and activities.