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Muddy Waters: Congressional Consent and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Resources Compact

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: After nearly a century of negotiations among the Great Lakes states, tribes, and provinces, a promising new agreement was recently ratified by the parties and recognized by Congress, this is the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact ( "GLC "). Interstate compacts, like the GLC, may serve as a particularly useful tool for solving regional environmental problems which the federal government lacks the interest to resolve. However, due to constitutional strictures, interstate compacts are not binding unless Congress grants consent to the compact. This Note will focus on the GLC as a means to examine the current state of the law surrounding the Compact Clause of the United States Constitution. Part I briefly describes the necessary background information to understand the GLC and the 2000 amendment to the Water Resources Development Act ( "2000 WRDA "). Part II introduces the Compact Clause. Part III will examine why it is an agreement that is subject to the consent requirement of the Compact Clause. Part IV will discuss whether Congress explicitly or implicitly granted prior consent to the compact, when it passed the 2000 WRDA or the Weeks Act of 1911.

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