(45 ILCS 145/1)
(from Ch. 127, par. 192.1)
The State of Illinois does hereby ratify, approve and adopt
the Great Lakes Basin Compact, which is as follows:
GREAT LAKES BASIN COMPACT
The party states solemnly agree:
The purposes of this compact are, through means of joint or cooperative
1. To promote the orderly, integrated, and comprehensive development,
use, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin
(hereinafter called the Basin).
2. To plan for the welfare and development of the water resources of the
Basin as a whole as well as for those portions of the Basin which may
have problems of special concern.
3. To make it possible for the states of the Basin and their people to
derive the maximum benefit from utilization of public works, in the form
of navigational aids or otherwise, which may exist or which may be
constructed from time to time.
4. To advise in securing and maintaining a proper balance among
industrial, commercial, agricultural, water supply, residential,
recreational, and other legitimate uses of the water resources of the
5. To establish and maintain an intergovernmental agency to the end that
the purposes of this compact may be accomplished more effectively.
A. This compact shall enter into force and become effective and binding
when it has been enacted by the legislatures of any four of the States
of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Wisconsin and thereafter shall enter into force and become effective and
binding as to any other of said states when enacted by the legislature
B. The Province of Ontario and the Province of Quebec, or either of
them, may become states party to this compact by taking such action as
their laws and the laws of the Government of Canada may prescribe for
adherence thereto. For the purpose of this compact the word "state"
shall be construed to include a Province of Canada.
The Great Lakes Commission created by Article IV of this compact shall
exercise its powers and perform its functions in respect to the Basin
which, for the purposes of this compact, shall consist of so much of the
following as may be within the party states:
1. Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, St. Clair, Superior, and the
St. Lawrence River, together with any and all natural or man-made water
interconnections between or among them.
2. All rivers, ponds, lakes, streams, and other watercourses which, in
their natural state or in their prevailing condition, are tributary to
Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, St. Clair, and Superior or any of
them or which comprise part of any watershed draining into any of said
A. There is hereby created an agency of the party states to be known as
The Great Lakes Commission (hereinafter called the Commission). In that
name the Commission may sue and be sued, acquire, hold and convey real
and personal property and any interest therein. The Commission shall have
a seal with the words "The Great Lakes Commission" and such other design
as it may prescribe engraved thereon by which it shall authenticate its
proceedings. Transactions involving real or personal property shall conform
to the laws of the state in which the property is located, and the
Commission may by bylaws provide for the execution and acknowledgment of
all instruments in its behalf.
B. The Commission shall be composed of not less than three commissioners
nor more than five commissioners from each party state designated or
appointed in accordance with the law of the state which they represent
and serving and subject to removal in accordance with such law.
C. Each state delegation shall be entitled to three votes in the
Commission. The presence of commissioners from a majority of the party
states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any
meeting of the Commission. Actions of the Commission shall be by a majority
of the votes cast except that any recommendations made pursuant to Article VI
of this compact shall require an affirmative vote of not less than a
majority of the votes cast from each of a majority of the states present
D. The commissioners of any two or more party states may meet separately
to consider problems of particular interest to their states but no action
taken at any such meeting shall be deemed an action of the Commission
unless and until the Commission shall specifically approve the same.
E. In the absence of any commissioner, his vote may be cast by another
representative or commissioner of his state provided that said commissioner
or other representative casting said vote shall have a written proxy in
proper form as may be required by the Commission.
F. The Commission shall elect annually from among its members a chairman
and vice-chairman. The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director who
shall also act as secretary-treasurer, and who shall be bonded in such
amount as the Commission may require. The Executive Director shall serve
at the pleasure of the Commission and at such compensation and under such
terms and conditions as may be fixed by it. The Executive Director shall
be custodian of the records of the Commission with authority to affix the
Commission's official seal and to attest to and certify such records or
G. The Executive Director, subject to the approval of the Commission in
such cases as its bylaws may provide, shall appoint and remove or
discharge such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of the
Commission's functions. Subject to the aforesaid approval, the Executive
Director may fix their compensation, define their duties, and require bonds
of such of them as the Commission may designate.
H. The Executive Director, on behalf of, as trustee for, and with the
approval of the Commission, may borrow, accept, or contract for the
services of personnel from any state or government or any subdivision or
agency thereof, from any intergovernmental agency, or from any
institution, person, firm or corporation; and may accept for any of the
Commission's purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations,
gifts, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services
from any state or government or any subdivision or agency thereof or
intergovernmental agency or from any institution, person, firm or corporation
and may receive and utilize the same.
I. The Commission may establish and maintain one or more offices for the
transacting of its business and for such purposes the Executive Director,
on behalf of, as trustee for, and with the approval of the Commission, may
acquire, hold and dispose of real and personal property necessary to the
performance of its functions.
J. No tax levied or imposed by any party state or any political
subdivision thereof shall be deemed to apply to property, transactions,
or income of the Commission.
K. The Commission may adopt, amend and rescind bylaws, rules and
regulations for the conduct of its business.
L. The organization meeting of the Commission shall be held within six
months from the effective date of this compact.
M. The Commission and its Executive Director shall make available to the
party states any information within its possession and shall always provide
free access to its records by duly authorized representatives of such party
N. The Commission shall keep a written record of its meetings and
proceedings and shall annually make a report thereof to be submitted to
the duly designated official of each party state.
O. The Commission shall make and transmit annually to the legislature
and Governor of each party state a report covering the activities of the
Commission for the preceding year and embodying such recommendations as
may have been adopted by the Commission. The Commission may issue such
additional reports as it may deem desirable.
A. The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but
the expenses of each commissioner shall be met by the state which he
represents in accordance with the law of that state. All other expenses
incurred by the Commission in the course of exercising the powers conferred
upon it by this compact, unless met in some other manner specifically
provided by this compact, shall be paid by the Commission out of its own
B. The Commission shall submit to the executive head or designated
officer of each party state a budget of its estimated expenditures for such
period as may be required by the laws of that state for presentation to the
C. Each of the Commission's budgets of estimated expenditures shall
contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be
appropriated by each of the party states. Detailed commission budgets
shall be recommended by a majority of the votes cast, and the costs shall be
allocated equitably among the party states in accordance with their
D. The Commission shall not pledge the credit of any party state. The
Commission may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with funds
available to it under Article IV (H) of this compact, provided that the
Commission takes specific action setting aside such funds prior to the
incurring of any obligations to be met in whole or in part in this
manner. Except where the Commission makes use of funds available to it under
Article IV (H) hereof, the Commission shall not incur any obligations
prior to the allotment of funds by the party states adequate to meet the same.
E. The Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and
disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Commission shall be
subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under the
bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the
Commission shall be audited yearly by a qualified public accountant and
the report of the audit shall be included in and become a part of the annual
report of the Commission.
F. The accounts of the Commission shall be open at any reasonable time
for inspection by such agency, representative or representatives of the
party states as may be duly constituted for that purpose and by others
who may be authorized by the Commission.
The Commission shall have power to:
A. Collect, correlate, interpret, and report on data relating to the
water resources and the use thereof in the Basin or any portion thereof.
B. Recommend methods for the orderly, efficient, and balanced
development, use, and conservation of the water resources of the Basin
or any portion thereof to the party states and to any other governments or
agencies having interests in or jurisdiction over the Basin or any
C. Consider the need for and desirability of public works and
improvements relating to the water resources in the Basin or any portion
D. Consider means of improving navigation and port facilities in the
Basin or any portion thereof.
E. Consider means of improving and maintaining the fisheries of the
Basin or any portion thereof.
F. Recommend policies relating to water resources including the
institution and alteration of flood plain and other zoning laws,
ordinances and regulations.
G. Recommend uniform or other laws, ordinances, or regulations relating
to the development, use and conservation of the Basin's water resources
to the party states or any of them and to other governments, political
subdivisions, agencies or intergovernmental bodies having interests in
or jurisdiction sufficient to affect conditions in the Basin or any portion
H. Consider and recommend amendments or agreements supplementary to this
compact to the party states or any of them, and assist in the formulation
and drafting of such amendments or supplementary agreements.
I. Prepare and publish reports, bulletins, and publications appropriate
to this work and fix reasonable sale prices therefor.
J. With respect to the water resources of the Basin or any portion
thereof, recommend agreements between the governments of the United States
K. Recommend mutual arrangements expressed by concurrent or reciprocal
legislation on the part of Congress and the Parliament of Canada
but not limited to such agreements and mutual arrangements as are provided
for by Article XIII of the Treaty of 1909 Relating to Boundary Waters and
Questions Arising Between the United States and Canada. (Treaty Series, No.
L. Cooperate with the governments of the United States and of Canada,
the party states and any public or private agencies or bodies having
interests in or jurisdiction sufficient to affect the Basin or any
M. At the request of the United States, or in the event that a Province
shall be a party state, at the request of the Government of Canada, assist
in the negotiation and formulation of any treaty or other mutual
arrangement or agreement between the United States and Canada with
reference to the Basin or any portion thereof.
N. Make any recommendation and do all things necessary and proper to
carry out the powers conferred upon the Commission by this compact,
provided that no action of the Commission shall have the force of law
in, or be binding upon, any party state.
Each party state agrees to consider the action the Commission recommends
in respect to:
A. Stabilization of lake levels.
B. Measures for combating pollution, beach erosion, floods, and shore
C. Uniformity in navigation regulations within the constitutional powers
of the states.
D. Proposed navigation aids and improvements.
E. Uniformity or effective coordinating action in fishing laws and
regulations and cooperative action to eradicate destructive and parasitical
forces endangering the fisheries, wild life and other water resources.
F. Suitable hydroelectric power developments.
G. Cooperative programs for control of soil and bank erosion for the
general improvement of the Basin.
H. Diversion of waters from and into the Basin.
I. Other measures the Commission may recommend to the states pursuant to
Article VI of this compact.
This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each party
state until renounced by act of the legislature of such state, in such form
and manner as it may choose and as may be valid and effective to repeal a
statute of said state, provided that such renunciation shall not become
effective until six months after notice of such action shall have been
officially communicated in writing to the executive head of the other party
It is intended that the provisions of this compact shall be reasonably
and liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions
of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence
or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution
of any party state or of the United States, or in the case of a Province,
to the British North America Act of 1867 as amended, or the applicability
thereof to any state, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid,
the constitutionality of the remainder of this compact and the applicability
thereof to any state, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected
thereby, provided further that if this compact shall be held contrary to
the constitution of the United States, or in the case of a Province, to the
British North America Act of 1867 as amended, or of any party state, the
compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states
and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable
(Source: Laws 1955, p. 1678