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SECTION 258-KK
Northeast interstate dairy compact
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 21-C
§ 258-kk. Northeast interstate dairy compact. The northeast
interstate dairy compact as set forth in this article is hereby adopted
and entered into with all jurisdictions joining therein. The compact is
as follows:

NORTHEAST INTERSTATE DAIRY COMPACT

ARTICLE I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE, FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY

§ 1. Statement of purpose, findings and declaration of policy.

ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS AND RULES OF CONSTRUCTION

§ 2. Definitions.

§ 3. Rules of construction.

ARTICLE III. COMMISSION ESTABLISHED

§ 4. Commission established.

§ 5. Voting requirements.

§ 6. Administration and management.

§ 7. Rulemaking power.

ARTICLE IV. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION

§ 8. Powers to promote regulatory uniformity, simplicity, and inter-
state cooperation.

§ 9. Equitable farm prices.

§ 10. Optional provisions for pricing order.

ARTICLE V. RULEMAKING PROCEDURE

§ 11. Rulemaking procedure.

§ 12. Findings and referendum.

§ 13. Producer referendum.

§ 14. Termination of over-order price or marketing order.

ARTICLE VI. ENFORCEMENT

§ 15. Records, reports, access to premises.

§ 16. Subpoena, hearings and judicial review.

§ 17. Enforcement with respect to handlers.

ARTICLE VII. FINANCE

§ 18. Finance of start-up and regular costs.

§ 19. Audit and accounts.

ARTICLE VIII. ENTRY INTO FORCE; ADDITIONAL MEMBERS AND WITHDRAWAL

§ 20. Entry into force; additional members.

§ 21. Withdrawal from compact.

§ 22. Severability.

§ 23. Reservation of rights.

ARTICLE I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE, FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY

§ 1. Statement of purpose, findings and declaration of policy.

The purpose of this compact is to recognize by constitutional
prerequisite the interstate character of the northeast dairy industry
and to form an interstate commission for the northeast region. The
mission of the commission is to take such steps as are necessary to
assure the continued viability of dairy farming in the northeast, and to
assure consumers of an adequate, local supply of pure and wholesome
milk.

The participating states find and declare that the dairy industry is
the paramount agricultural activity of the northeast. Dairy farms, and
associated suppliers, marketers, processors and retailers, are an
integral component of the region's economy. Their ability to provide a
stable, local supply of pure, wholesome milk is a matter of great
importance to the health and welfare of the region.

The participating states further find that dairy farms are essential
to the region's rural communities and character. The farms preserve open
spaces, sculpt the landscape and provide the land base for a diversity
of recreational pursuits. In defining the rural character of our
communities and landscape, dairy farms also provide a major draw for our
tourist industries.

By entering into this compact, the participating states affirm that
their ability to regulate the price which northeast dairy farmers
receive for their product is essential to the public interest. Assurance
of a fair and equitable price for dairy farmers ensures their ability to
provide milk to the market and the vitality of the northeast dairy
industry, with all the associated benefits.

Recent, dramatic price fluctuations, with a pronounced downward trend,
threaten the viability and stability of the northeast dairy region.
Historically, individual state regulatory action has been an effective
emergency remedy available to farmers confronting a distressed market.
The federal order system, implemented by the Agricultural Marketing
Agreement Act of 1937, establishes only minimum prices for dairy
products, without preempting the power of states to regulate milk prices
above the minimum levels so established. Based on this authority, each
state in the region has individually attempted to implement at least one
regulatory program in response to the current dairy industry crisis.

In today's regional dairy marketplace, cooperative, rather than
individual state action may address more effectively the market
disarray. Under our constitutional system, properly authorized, states
acting cooperatively may exercise more power to regulate interstate
commerce than they may assert individually without such authority. For
this reason, the participating states invoke their authority to act in
common agreement, with the consent of congress, under the compact clause
of the constitution.

In establishing their constitutional regulatory authority over the
region's fluid milk market by this compact, the participating states
declare their purpose that this compact neither displace the federal
order system nor encourage the merging of federal orders. Specific
provisions of the compact itself set forth this basic principle.

Designed as a flexible mechanism able to adjust to changes in a
regulated marketplace, the compact also contains a contingency provision
should the federal order system be discontinued. In that event, the
interstate commission is authorized to regulate the marketplace in
replacement of the order system. This contingent authority does not
anticipate such a change, however, and should not be so construed. It is
only provided should developments in the market other than establishment
of this compact result in discontinuance of the order system.

ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS AND RULES OF CONSTRUCTION

§ 2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this compact, and of any supplemental or
concurring legislation enacted pursuant thereto, except as may be
otherwise required by the context:

(a) "Commission" means the commission established by this compact.

(b) "Compact" means this interstate compact.

(c) "Region" means the territorial limits of the states which are or
become parties to this compact.

(d) "Participating state" means a state which has become a party to
this compact by the enactment of concurring legislation.

(e) "Regulated area" means any area within the region governed by and
defined in regulations establishing a compact over-order price or
commission marketing order.

(f) "Pool plant" means any milk plant located in a regulated area.

(g) "Partially regulated plant" means a milk plant not located in a
regulated area but having class I distribution within such area, or
receipts from producers located in such area. Commission regulations
may exempt plants having such distribution or receipts in amounts less
than the limits defined therein.

(h) "Compact over-order price" means a minimum price required to be
paid to producers for class I milk established by the commission in
regulations adopted pursuant to sections nine and ten of this compact,
which is above the price established in federal marketing orders or by
state farm price regulation in the regulated area. Such price may apply
throughout the region or in any part or parts thereof as defined in the
regulations of the commission.

(i) "Commission marketing order" means regulations adopted by the
commission pursuant to sections nine and ten of this compact in place of
a terminated federal marketing order or state dairy regulation. Such
order may apply throughout the region or in any part or parts thereof as
defined in the regulations of the commission. Such order may establish
minimum prices for any or all classes of milk.

(j) "Milk" means the lacteal secretion of cows and includes all skim,
butterfat, or other constituents obtained from separation or any other
process. The term is used in its broadest sense and may be further
defined by the commission for regulatory purposes.

(k) "Class I milk" means milk disposed of in fluid form or as a fluid
milk product, subject to further definition in accordance with the
principles expressed in subdivision (b) of section three of this
compact.

(l) "State dairy regulation" means any state regulation of dairy
prices, and associated assessments, whether by statute, marketing order
or otherwise.

§ 3. Rules of construction. (a) This compact shall not be construed
to displace existing federal milk marketing orders or state dairy
regulation in the region but to supplement them. In the event some or
all federal orders in the region are discontinued, the compact shall be
construed to provide the commission the option to replace them with one
or more commission marketing orders pursuant to this compact.

(b) This compact shall be construed liberally in order to achieve the
purposes and intent enunciated in section one of this compact. It is the
intent of this compact to establish a basic structure by which the
commission may achieve those purposes through the application,
adaptation and development of the regulatory techniques historically
associated with milk marketing and to afford the commission broad
flexibility to devise regulatory mechanisms to achieve the purposes of
this compact. In accordance with this intent, the technical terms which
are associated with market order regulation and which have acquired
commonly understood general meanings are not defined herein but the
commission may further define the terms used in this compact and develop
additional concepts and define additional terms as it may find
appropriate to achieve its purposes.

ARTICLE III. COMMISSION ESTABLISHED

§ 4. Commission established.

There is hereby created a commission to administer the compact,
composed of delegations from each state in the region. A delegation
shall include not less than three nor more than five persons. Each
delegation shall include at least one dairy farmer who is engaged in the
production of milk at the time of appointment or reappointment, and one
consumer representative. Delegation members shall be residents and
voters of, and subject to such confirmation process as is provided for
in, the appointing state. Delegation members shall serve no more than
three consecutive terms with no single term of more than four years, and
be subject to removal for cause. In all other respects, delegation
members shall serve in accordance with the laws of the state
represented. The compensation, if any, of the members of a state
delegation shall be determined and paid by each state, but their
expenses shall be paid by the commission. Each state delegation shall be
entitled to one vote in the conduct of the commission's affairs.

§ 5. Voting requirements.

All actions taken by the commission, except for the establishment or
termination of an over-order price or commission marketing order, and
the adoption, amendment or rescission of the commission's by-laws, shall
be by majority vote of the delegations present. Establishment or
termination of an over-order price or commission marketing order shall
require at least a two-thirds vote of the delegations present. The
establishment of a regulated area which covers all or part of a
participating state shall require also the affirmative vote of that
state's delegation. A majority of the delegations from the participating
states shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of the commission's
business.

§ 6. Administration and management.

(a) The commission shall elect annually from among the members of the
participating state delegations a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and a
treasurer. The commission shall appoint an executive director and fix
his or her duties and compensation. The executive director shall serve
at the pleasure of the commission, and, together with the treasurer,
shall be bonded in an amount determined by the commission. The
commission may establish through its by-laws an executive committee
composed of one member elected by each delegation.

(b) The commission shall adopt by-laws for the conduct of its business
by a two-thirds vote, and shall have the power by the same vote to amend
and rescind these by-laws. The commission shall publish its by-laws in
convenient form with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the
participating states. The by-laws shall provide for appropriate notice
to the delegations of all commission meetings and hearings and of the
business to be transacted at such meetings or hearings. Notice also
shall be given to other agencies or officers of participating states as
provided by the laws of those states.

(c) The commission shall file an annual report with the secretary of
agriculture of the United States, and with each of the participating
states by submitting copies to the governor, both houses of the
legislature, and the head of the state department having
responsibilities for agriculture.

(d) In addition to the powers and duties elsewhere prescribed in this
compact, the commission shall have the power:

(1) to sue and be sued in any state or federal court;

(2) to have a seal and alter the same at pleasure;

(3) to acquire, hold, and dispose of real and personal property by
gift, purchase, lease, license, or other similar manner, for its
corporate purposes;

(4) to borrow money and to issue notes, to provide for the rights of
the holders thereof and to pledge the revenue of the commission as
security therefor, subject to the provisions of section eighteen of this
compact;

(5) to appoint such officers, agents, and employees as it may deem
necessary, prescribe their powers, duties, and qualifications; and

(6) to create and abolish such offices, employments, and positions as
it deems necessary for the purposes of the compact and provide for the
removal, term, tenure, compensation, fringe benefits, pension, and
retirement rights of its officers and employees. The commission may also
retain personal services on a contract basis.

§ 7. Rulemaking power.

In addition to the power to promulgate a compact over-order price or
commission marketing orders as provided by this compact, the commission
is further empowered to make and enforce such additional rules and
regulations as it deems necessary to implement any provisions of this
compact, or to effectuate in any other respect the purposes of this
compact.

ARTICLE IV. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION

§ 8. Powers to promote regulatory uniformity, simplicity, and
interstate cooperation.

The commission is hereby empowered to:

(a) Investigate or provide for investigations or research projects
designed to review the existing laws and regulations of the
participating states, to consider their administration and costs, to
measure their impact on the production and marketing of milk and their
effects on the shipment of milk and milk products within the region.

(b) Prepare and transmit to the participating states model dairy laws
and regulations dealing with the inspection of farms and plants,
sanitary codes, labels for dairy products and their imitations,
standards for dairy products, license standards, producer security
programs, and fair trade laws.

(c) Study and recommend to the participating states joint or
cooperative programs for the administration of the dairy laws and
regulations and to prepare estimates of cost savings and benefits of
such programs.

(d) Encourage the harmonious relationships between the various
elements in the industry for the solution of their material problems.
Conduct symposiums or conferences designed to improve industry
relations, or a better understanding of problems.

(e) Prepare and release periodic reports on activities and results of
the commission's efforts to the participating states.

(f) Review the existing marketing system for milk and milk products
and recommend changes in the existing structure for assembly and
distribution of milk which may assist, improve, or promote more
efficient assembly and distribution of milk.

(g) Investigate costs and charges for producing, hauling, handling,
processing, distributing, selling and for all other services performed
with respect to milk.

(h) Examine current economic forces affecting producers, probable
trends in production and consumption, the level of dairy farm prices in
relation to costs, the financial conditions of dairy farmers, and the
need for an emergency order to relieve critical conditions on dairy
farms.

§ 9. Equitable farm prices.

(a) The powers granted in this section and section ten of this compact
shall apply only to the establishment of a compact over-order price, so
long as federal milk marketing orders remain in effect in the region. In
the event that any or all such orders are terminated, this article shall
authorize the commission to establish one or more commission marketing
orders, as herein provided, in the region or parts thereof as defined in
the order.

(b) A compact over-order price established pursuant to this section
shall apply only to class I milk. Such over-order price shall not exceed
one dollar and fifty cents per gallon. Beginning in nineteen hundred
ninety, and using that year as a base, the foregoing one dollar and
fifty cents per gallon maximum shall be adjusted annually by the rate of
change in the consumer price index as reported by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. For purposes of the
pooling and equalization of an over-order price, the value of milk used
in other use classifications shall be calculated at the appropriate
class price established pursuant to the applicable federal order or
state dairy regulation and the value of unregulated milk shall be
calculated in relation to the nearest prevailing class price in
accordance with and subject to such adjustments as the commission may
prescribe in regulations.

(c) A commission marketing order shall apply to all classes and uses
of milk.

(d) The commission is hereby empowered to establish the minimum price
for milk to be paid by pool plants, partially regulated plants and all
other handlers receiving milk from producers located in a regulated
area. This price shall be established either as a compact over-order
price or by one or more commission marketing orders. Whenever such a
price has been established by either type of regulation, the legal
obligation to pay such price shall be determined solely by the terms and
purpose of the regulation without regard to the situs of the transfer of
title, possession or any other factors not related to the purposes of
the regulation and this compact. Producer-handlers as defined in an
applicable federal market order shall not be subject to a compact
over-order price. The commission shall provide for similar treatment of
producer-handlers under commission marketing orders.

(e) In determining the price, the commission shall consider the
balance between production and consumption of milk and milk products in
the regulated area, the costs of production including, but not limited
to the price of feed, the cost of labor including the reasonable value
of the producer's own labor and management, machinery expense, and
interest expense, the prevailing price for milk outside the regulated
area, the purchasing power of the public and the price necessary to
yield a reasonable return to the producer and distributor.

(f) When establishing a compact over-order price, the commission shall
take such action as necessary and feasible to ensure that the over-order
price does not create an incentive for producers to generate additional
supplies of milk.

(g) The commission shall whenever possible enter into agreements with
state or federal agencies for exchange of information or services for
the purpose of reducing regulatory burden and cost of administering the
compact. The commission may reimburse other agencies for the reasonable
cost of providing these services.

§ 10. Optional provisions for pricing order.

Regulations establishing a compact over-order price or a commission
marketing order may contain, but shall not be limited to, any of the
following:

(a) Provisions classifying milk in accordance with the form in which
or purpose for which it is used, or creating a flat pricing program.

(b) With respect to a commission marketing order only, provisions
establishing or providing a method for establishing separate minimum
prices for each use classification prescribed by the commission, or a
single minimum price for milk purchased from producers or associations
of producers.

(c) With respect to an over-order minimum price, provisions
establishing or providing a method for establishing such minimum price
for class I milk.

(d) Provisions for establishing either an over-order price or a
commission marketing order may make use of any reasonable method for
establishing such price or prices including flat pricing and formula
pricing. Provision may also be made for location adjustments, zone
differentials and for competitive credits with respect to regulated
handlers who market outside the regulated area.

(e) Provisions for the payment to all producers and associations of
producers delivering milk to all handlers of uniform prices for all milk
so delivered, irrespective of the uses made of such milk by the
individual handler to whom it is delivered, or for the payment of
producers delivering milk to the same handler of uniform prices for all
milk delivered by them.

(1) With respect to regulations establishing a compact over-order
price, the commission may establish one equalization pool within the
regulated area for the sole purpose of equalizing returns to producers
throughout the regulated area.

(2) With respect to any commission marketing order, as defined in
subdivision (i) of section two of this compact, which replaces one or
more terminated federal orders or state dairy regulation, the marketing
area of now separate state or federal orders shall not be merged without
the affirmative consent of each state, voting through its delegation,
which is partly or wholly included within any such new marketing area.

(f) Provisions requiring persons who bring class I milk into the
regulated area to make compensatory payments with respect to all such
milk to the extent necessary to equalize the cost of milk purchased by
handlers subject to a compact over-order price or commission marketing
order. No such provisions shall discriminate against milk producers
outside the regulated area. The provisions for compensatory payments may
require payment of the difference between the class I price required to
be paid for such milk in the state of production by a federal milk
marketing order or state dairy regulation and the class I price
established by the compact over-order price or commission marketing
order.

(g) Provisions specially governing the pricing and pooling of milk
handled by partially regulated plants.

(h) Provisions requiring that the account of any person regulated
under a compact over-order price shall be adjusted for any payments made
to or received by such persons with respect to a producer settlement
fund of any federal or state milk marketing order or other state dairy
regulation within the regulated area.

(i) Provisions requiring the payment by handlers of an assessment to
cover the costs of the administration and enforcement of such order
pursuant to subdivision (a) of section eighteen of this compact.

(j) Provisions for reimbursement to participants of the Women, Infants
and Children Special Supplemental Food Program of the United States
Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

(k) Other provisions and requirements as the commission may find are
necessary or appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this compact and
to provide for the payment of fair and equitable minimum prices to
producers.

ARTICLE V. RULEMAKING PROCEDURE

§ 11. Rulemaking procedure.

Before promulgation of any regulations establishing a compact
over-order price or commission marketing order, including any provision
with respect to milk supply under subdivision (f) of section nine of
this compact, or amendment thereof, as provided in article IV of this
compact, the commission shall conduct an informal rulemaking proceeding
to provide interested persons with an opportunity to present data and
views. Such rulemaking proceeding shall be governed by section four of
the Federal Administrative Procedure Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Sec.
553). In addition, the commission shall, to the extent practicable,
publish notice of rulemaking proceedings in the official register of
each participating state. Before the initial adoption of regulations
establishing a compact over-order price or a commission marketing order
and thereafter before any amendment with regard to prices or
assessments, the commission shall hold a public hearing. The commission
may commence a rulemaking proceeding on its own initiative or may in its
sole discretion act upon the petition of any person including individual
milk producers, any organization of milk producers or handlers, general
farm organizations, consumer or public interest groups, and local, state
or federal officials.

§ 12. Findings and referendum.

(a) In addition to the concise general statement of basis and purpose
required by section 4(b) of the Federal Administrative Procedure Act, as
amended (5 U.S.C. Sec. 553(c)), the commission shall make findings of
fact with respect to:

(1) Whether the public interest will be served by the establishment of
minimum milk prices to dairy farmers under article IV of this compact.

(2) What level of prices will assure that producers receive a price
sufficient to cover their costs of production and will elicit an
adequate supply of milk for the inhabitants of the regulated area and
for manufacturing purposes.

(3) Whether the major provisions of the order, other than those fixing
minimum milk prices, are in the public interest and are reasonably
designed to achieve the purposes of the order.

(4) Whether the terms of the proposed regional order or amendment are
approved by producers as provided in section thirteen of this compact.

§ 13. Producer referendum.

(a) For the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance or amendment
of regulations establishing a compact over-order price or a commission
marketing order, including any provision with respect to milk supply
under subdivision (f) of section nine of this compact, is approved by
producers, the commission shall conduct a referendum among producers.
The referendum shall be held in a timely manner, as determined by
regulation of the commission. The terms and conditions of the proposed
order or amendment shall be described by the commission in the ballot
used in the conduct of the referendum, but the nature, content, or
extent of such description shall not be a basis for attacking the
legality of the order or any action relating thereto.

(b) An order or amendment shall be deemed approved by producers if the
commission determines that it is approved by at least two-thirds of the
voting producers who, during a representative period determined by the
commission, have been engaged in the production of milk the price of
which would be regulated under the proposed order or amendment.

(c) For purposes of any referendum, the commission shall consider the
approval or disapproval by any cooperative association of producers,
qualified under the provisions of the act of congress of February
eighteen, nineteen hundred twenty-two, as amended, known as the
Capper-Volstead Act, bona fide engaged in marketing milk, or in
rendering services for or advancing the interests of producers of such
commodity, as the approval or disapproval of the producers who are
members or stockholders in, or under contract with, such cooperative
association of producers, except as provided in paragraph one of this
subdivision and subject to the provisions of paragraphs two, three, four
and five of this subdivision:

(1) No cooperative which has been formed to act as a common marketing
agency for both cooperatives and individual producers shall be qualified
to block vote for either.

(2) Any cooperative which is qualified to block vote shall, before
submitting its approval or disapproval in any referendum, give prior
written notice to each of its members as to whether and how it intends
to cast its vote. The notice shall be given in a timely manner as
established, and in the form prescribed by the commission.

(3) Any producer may obtain a ballot from the commission in order to
register approval or disapproval of the proposed order.

(4) A producer who is a member of a cooperative which has provided
notice of its intent to approve or not to approve a proposed order, and
who obtains a ballot and with such ballot expresses his approval or
disapproval of the proposed order, shall notify the commission as to the
name of the cooperative of which he or she is a member, and the
commission shall remove such producer's name from the list certified by
such cooperative with its corporate vote.

(5) In order to insure that all milk producers are informed regarding
a proposed order, the commission shall notify all milk producers that an
order is being considered and that each producer may register his or her
approval or disapproval with the commission either directly or through
his or her cooperative.

§ 14. Termination of over-order price or marketing order.

(a) The commission shall terminate any regulations establishing an
over-order price or commission marketing order issued under this article
whenever it finds that such order or price obstructs or does not tend to
effectuate the declared policy of this compact.

(b) The commission shall terminate any regulations establishing an
over-order price or a commission marketing order issued under this
article whenever it finds that such termination is favored by a majority
of the producers who, during a representative period determined by the
commission, have been engaged in the production of milk the price of
which is regulated by such order; but such termination shall be
effective only if announced on or before such date as may be specified
in such marketing agreement or order.

(c) The termination or suspension of any order or provision thereof,
shall not be considered an order within the meaning of this article and
shall require no hearing, but shall comply with the requirements for
informal rulemaking prescribed by section four of the Federal
Administrative Procedure Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Sec. 553).

ARTICLE VI. ENFORCEMENT

§ 15. Records, reports, access to premises.

(a) The commission may by rule and regulation prescribe record keeping
and reporting requirements for all regulated persons. For purposes of
the administration and enforcement of this compact, the commission is
authorized to examine the books and records of any regulated person
relating to his or her milk business and for that purpose, the
commission's properly designated officers, employees, or agents shall
have full access during normal business hours to the premises and
records of all regulated persons.

(b) Information furnished to or acquired by the commission officers,
employees, or its agents pursuant to this section shall be confidential
and not subject to disclosure except to the extent that the commission
deems disclosure to be necessary in any administrative or judicial
proceeding involving the administration or enforcement of this compact,
an over-order price, a compact marketing order, or other regulations of
the commission. The commission may promulgate regulations further
defining the confidentiality of information pursuant to this section.
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit (1) the issuance of
general statements based upon the reports of a number of handlers, which
do not identify the information furnished by any person, or (2) the
publication by direction of the commission of the name of any person
violating any regulation of the commission, together with a statement of
the particular provisions violated by such person.

(c) No officer, employee, or agent of the commission shall
intentionally disclose information, by inference or otherwise, which is
made confidential pursuant to this section. Any person violating the
provisions of this section shall upon conviction be subject to a fine of
not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than
one year, or by both, and shall be removed from office. The commission
shall refer any allegation of a violation of this section to the
appropriate state enforcement authority or United States attorney.

§ 16. Subpoena, hearings and judicial review.

(a) The commission is hereby authorized and empowered by its members
and its properly designated officers to administer oaths and issue
subpoenas throughout all signatory states to compel the attendance of
witnesses and the giving of testimony and the production of other
evidence.

(b) Any handler subject to an order may file a written petition with
the commission stating that any such order or any provision of any such
order or any obligation imposed in connection therewith is not in
accordance with law and praying for a modification thereof or to be
exempted therefrom. He shall thereupon be given an opportunity for a
hearing upon such petition, in accordance with regulations made by the
commission. After such hearing, the commission shall make a ruling upon
the prayer of such petition which shall be final, if in accordance with
law.

(c) The district courts of the United States in any district in which
such handler is an inhabitant, or has his principal place of business,
are hereby vested with jurisdiction in equity to review such ruling,
provided a bill in equity for that purpose is filed within thirty days
from the date of the entry of such ruling. Service of process in such
proceedings may be had upon the commission by delivering to it a copy of
the bill of complaint. If the court determines that such ruling is not
in accordance with law, it shall remand such proceedings to the
commission with directions either (1) to make such ruling as the court
shall determine to be in accordance with law, or (2) to take such
further proceedings as, in its opinion, the law requires. The pendency
of proceedings instituted pursuant to this subdivision shall not impede,
hinder, or delay the commission from obtaining relief pursuant to
section seventeen of this compact. Any proceedings brought pursuant to
section seventeen of this compact (except where brought by way of
counterclaim in proceedings instituted pursuant to this section) shall
abate whenever a final decree has been rendered in proceedings between
the same parties, and covering the same subject matter, instituted
pursuant to this section.

§ 17. Enforcement with respect to handlers.

(a) Any violation by a handler of the provisions of regulations
establishing an over-order price or a commission marketing order, or
other regulations adopted pursuant to this compact shall:

(1) Constitute a violation of the laws of each of the signatory
states. Such violation shall render the violator subject to a civil
penalty in an amount as may be prescribed by the laws of each of the
participating states, recoverable in any state or federal court of
competent jurisdiction. Each day such violation continues shall
constitute a separate violation.

(2) Constitute grounds for the revocation of license or permit to
engage in the milk business under the applicable laws of the
participating states.

(b) With respect to handlers, the commission shall enforce the
provisions of this compact, regulations establishing an over-order
price, a commission marketing order or other regulations adopted
hereunder by:

(1) Commencing an action for legal or equitable relief brought in the
name of the commission in any state or federal court of competent
jurisdiction; or

(2) With the agreement of the appropriate state agency of a
participating state, by referral to the state agency for enforcement by
judicial or administrative remedy.

(c) With respect to handlers, the commission may bring an action for
injunction to enforce the provisions of this compact or the order or
regulations adopted thereunder without being compelled to allege or
prove that an adequate remedy of law does not exist.

ARTICLE VII. FINANCE

§ 18. Finance of start up and regular costs.

(a) To provide for its start-up costs, the commission may borrow money
pursuant to its general power under paragraph four of subdivision (d) of
section six of this compact. In order to finance the costs of
administration and enforcement of this compact, including payback of
start-up costs, the commission is hereby empowered to collect an
assessment from each handler who purchases milk from producers within
the region. If imposed, this assessment shall be collected on a monthly
basis for up to one year from the date the commission convenes, in an
amount not to exceed one-tenth of one percent of the applicable federal
market order blend price per hundredweight of milk purchased from
producers during the period of the assessment. The initial assessment
may apply to the projected purchases of handlers for the two-month
period following the date the commission convenes. In addition, if
regulations establishing an over-order price or a compact marketing
order are adopted, they may include an assessment for the specific
purpose of their administration. These regulations shall provide for
establishment of a reserve for the commission's ongoing operating
expenses.

(b) The commission shall not pledge the credit of any participating
state or of the United States. Notes issued by the commission and all
other financial obligations incurred by it, shall be its sole
responsibility and no participating state or the United States shall be
liable therefor.

§ 19. Audit and accounts.

(a) The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and
disbursements, which shall be subject to the audit and accounting
procedures established under its rules. In addition, 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 part of the annual report of the commission.

(b) The accounts of the commission shall be open at any reasonable
time for inspection by duly constituted officers of the participating
states and by any persons authorized by the commission.

(c) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prevent
commission compliance with laws relating to audit or inspection of
accounts by or on behalf of any participating state or of the United
States.

ARTICLE VIII. ENTRY INTO FORCE; ADDITIONAL MEMBERS AND WITHDRAWAL

§ 20. Entry into force; additional members.

The compact shall enter into force effective when enacted into law by
any three states of the group of states composed of Connecticut,
Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia and when the
consent of congress has been obtained. This compact shall also be open
to states which are contiguous to any of the named states and open to
states which are contiguous to participating states.

§ 21. Withdrawal from compact.

Any participating state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a
statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect
until one year after notice in writing of the withdrawal is given to the
commission and the governors of all other participating states. No
withdrawal shall affect any liability already incurred by or chargeable
to a party state prior to the time of such withdrawal.

§ 22. Severability.

If any part or provision of this compact is adjudged invalid by any
court, such judgment shall be confined in its operation to the part or
provision directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment
shall have been rendered and shall not affect or impair the validity of
the remainder of this compact.

Congress reserves the right to amend or rescind this interstate
compact at any time.

§ 23. Reservation of rights.

(a) In general. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this compact is
expressly reserved.

(b) Compensation requirement. When an over-order price is in effect,
the commission established in this compact shall compensate the
commodity credit corporation before the end of the fiscal year for the
cost of any increased commodity credit corporation dairy purchases that
result from projected increased fluid milk production for that fiscal
year within the compact region in excess of the national average rate of
increase.