Wednesday, October 17, 2001

One of the purposes of the federal government is to allow states to govern themselves in harmony with states that surround them. Or, to at least provide a forum where issues that affect more than one state can be addressed. But sometimes cooperation is more appropriately addressed by the use of an agency created through mutual efforts by more than one state. One example might be the attempt to reduce water pollution in the Great Lakes region. Eight states and Canada are involved in the Great Lakes information Network for just that very purpose. Cooperative efforts between states can often be achieved without having to resort to the U.S. House of Representatives or the Senate. Here are a number of other multi-state organizations:

Appalachian Regional Commission

Delaware River Basin Commission

Great Lakes Commission (multi-state and multi-national)

Multistate Tax Commission (45 member states, but not Delaware)

Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments

Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor

A much bigger list is present on the pages of the Council of States Governments. They have compiled a list of 193 interstate compacts believed to been in effect in 2001.

One of the multi-state agencies that Delaware is involved in is the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which oversees the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May Ferry, and small airports in both States. One of the difficulties of an agency like this one is that there are often questions of how they should be policed. The Authority's Board will be considering proposals from Ruth Ann Minner, Delaware's Governor, later this week on subjects such as employee whistleblower protection and greater monitoring of the board's spending.

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