Publication Center


2004 Annual Report

January 23, 2005
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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 to harmonize water quality standards, regulations and requirements throughout its District.

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 Jersey-New York-Connecticut Air Quality Control Region. As the Commission plans to meet its mandates and goals for the future, IEC must adapt to adverse conditions, but rely on good science and sound engineering as an integral part of the decision-making process. The Metropolitan Area is truly a water world containing a world class harbor that is able to support a wide spectrum of commercial and recreational industries and activities.

On October 27, 2000, federal legislation was signed changing the name of the Interstate Sanitation Commission to the Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC). The new name not only brings the Commission into the 21st Century, it more accurately reflects the Commission’s mandates, mission and responsibilities that embrace a broad range of programs and activities that include air pollution, public involvement and education, and regulatory compliance. Nonetheless, the IEC’s continuing emphasis is on water quality — an area in which the Commission is a regulatory and enforcement agency. The Commission’s website — — contains information on the IEC, including recent annual reports and other reports, and useful links to other appropriate websites. This annual report will also soon be available on the Commission’s website.

The IEC’s mission is to protect and enhance environmental quality through cooperation, regulation, coordination, and mutual dialogue between government and citizens in the tri-state Region. The IEC is in a unique position to take the lead on regional issues because, as an interstate agency, the Commission views the Region as an environmental entity. IEC can and does cross state boundaries in an impartial and unbiased manner. By interacting with other agencies and interstate commissions, challenges and successes are being shared to better address specific mandates. The staff continues to fulfill IEC’s technical and administrative responsibilities within the limitations of the current resources.

The Commission’s programs are geared to address specific environmental deficiencies and/or to assure compliance with the Tri-State Compact and the Commission’s Water Quality Regulations. The programs are designed for gathering the information necessary for enforcement actions, opening 2 waters for commercial and recreational shellfishing, opening waters for swimming, developing water quality and/or effluent criteria, determining immediate environmental conditions, responding to environmental emergencies, and other needs that may arise.