MIDDLE ATLANTIC INTERSTATE FOREST FIRE PROTECTION COMPACT ACT
                 Act of Jul. 29, 1953, P.L. 970, No. 235              Cl. 32
                                  AN ACT

     Authorizing the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to
        execute on behalf of the Commonwealth a compact with certain
        other States for the effective prevention and control of
        forest fires and for mutual aid in fighting forest fires.

        Compiler's Note:  Section 302(h) of Act 18 of 1995, which
            created the Department of Conservation and Natural
            Resources and renamed the Department of Environmental
            Resources as the Department of Environmetnal Protection,
            provided that the Department of Conservation and Natural
            Resources shall exercise the powers and duties conferred
            upon the Secretary of Forests and Waters by Act 235 of
            1953.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  The Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     is hereby authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf
     of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with any one or more of the
     States of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and West
     Virginia, and with such other states as may enter into the
     compact legally joining therein, who may, by their legislative
     bodies, so authorize a compact, in form substantially as
     follows:  (Intro. par. amended June 28, 1996, P.L.419, No.59)

                        Middle Atlantic Interstate
                      Forest Fire Protection Compact

                                Article I

        The purpose of this compact is to promote effective
     prevention and control of forest fires in the Middle Atlantic
     region of the United States by the development of integrated
     forest fire plans, by the maintenance of adequate forest fire
     fighting services by the member States, and by providing for
     mutual aid in fighting forest fires among the compacting States
     of the region and with States which are party to other regional
     forest fire protection compacts or agreements.

                                Article II

        This compact shall become operative immediately as to those
     States ratifying it whenever any two or more of the States of
     Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West
     Virginia which are contiguous have ratified it and Congress has
     given consent thereto.

                               Article III

        In each state the State forester or officer holding the
     equivalent position who is responsible for forest fire control
     shall act as compact administrator for that State and shall
     consult with like officials of the other member States and shall
     implement cooperation between such States in forest fire
     prevention and control.
        The compact administrators of the member States shall
     organize to coordinate the services of the member States and
     provide administrative integration in carrying out the purposes
     of this compact.
        The compact administrators shall formulate and, in accordance
     with need, from time to time revise a regional forest fire plan
     for the member States.
        It shall be the duty of each member State to formulate and
     put in effect a forest fire plan for that State and take such
     measures as may be necessary to integrate such forest fire plan
     with the regional forest fire plan formulated by the compact
     administrators.

                                Article IV

        Whenever the State forest fire control agency of a member
     State requests aid from the State forest fire control agency of
     any other member State in combating, controlling or preventing
     forest fires, it shall be the duty of the State forest fire
     control agency of that State to render all possible aid to the
     requesting agency which is consonant with the maintenance of
     protection at home.

                                Article V

        Whenever the forces of any member State are rendering outside
     aid pursuant to the request of another member State under this
     compact, the employes of such State shall, under the direction
     of the officers of the State to which they are rendering aid,
     have the same powers (except the power of arrest), duties,
     rights, privileges and immunities as comparable employes of the
     State to which they are rendering aid.
        No member State or its officers or employes rendering outside
     aid pursuant to this compact shall be liable on account of any
     act or omission on the part of such forces while so engaged or
     on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or
     supplies in connection therewith.
        All liability, except as otherwise provided hereinafter, that
     may arise either under the laws of the requesting State or under
     the laws of the aiding State or under the laws of a third State
     on account of or in connection with a request for aid shall be
     assumed and borne by the requesting State.
        Any member State rendering outside aid pursuant to this
     compact shall be reimbursed by the member State receiving such
     aid for any loss or damage to or expense incurred in the
     operation of any equipment answering a request for aid, and for
     the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries and
     maintenance of employes and equipment incurred in connection
     with such request: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall
     prevent any assisting member State from assuming such loss,
     damage, expense or other cost, or from loaning such equipment,
     or from donating such services to the receiving member State
     without charge or cost.
        Each member State shall provide for the payment of
     compensation and death benefits to injured employes and the
     representatives of deceased employes in case employes sustain
     injuries or are killed while rendering outside aid pursuant to
     this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the
     injury or death were sustained within such State.
        For the purposes of this compact, the term employe shall
     include any volunteer or auxiliary legally included within the
     forest fire fighting forces of the aiding State under the laws
     thereof.
        The compact administrators shall formulate procedure for
     claims and reimbursement under the provisions of this article in
     accordance with the laws of the member States.

                                Article VI

        Nothing in this compact shall be construed to authorize or
     permit any member State to curtail or diminish its forest fire
     fighting forces, equipment, services or facilities, and it shall
     be the duty and responsibility of each member State to maintain
     adequate forest fire fighting forces and equipment to meet
     demands for forest fire protection within its borders in the
     same manner and to the same extent as if this compact were not
     operative.
        Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit or
     restrict the powers of any State ratifying the same to provide
     for the prevention, control and extinguishment of forest fires,
     or to prohibit the enactment or enforcement of State laws, rules
     or regulations intended to aid in such prevention, control and
     extinguishment in such State.
        Nothing in this compact shall be construed to affect any
     existing or future cooperative relationship or arrangement
     between the United States Forest Service and a member State or
     States.

                               Article VII

        The compact administrators may request the United States
     Forest Service to act as the primary research and coordinating
     agency of the Middle Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection
     Compact in cooperation with the appropriate agencies in each
     State, and the United States Forest Service may accept the
     initial responsibility in preparing and presenting to the
     compact administrators its recommendations with respect to the
     regional fire plan. Representatives of the United States Forest
     Service may attend meetings of the compact administrators.

                               Article VIII

        The provisions of Articles IV and V of this compact which
     relate to mutual aid in combating, controlling or preventing
     forest fires shall be operative as between any State party to
     this compact and any other State which is party to a regional
     forest fire protection compact in another region: Provided, That
     the Legislature of such other State shall have given its assent
     to such mutual aid provisions of this compact.

                                Article IX

        This compact shall continue in force and remain binding on
     each State ratifying it until the Legislature or the Governor of
     such State takes action to withdraw therefrom. Such action shall
     not be effective until six (6) months after notice thereof has
     been sent by the chief executive of the State desiring to
     withdraw to the chief executives of all States then parties to
     the compact.
        Section 2.  When the Governor shall have executed said
     compact on behalf of this Commonwealth and shall have caused a
     verified copy thereof to be filed with the Secretary of the
     Commonwealth, and when said compact shall have been authorized
     by the Legislature and executed by the Governor of one or more
     of the States named in section one of this act, then said
     compact shall become operative and effective as between this
     Commonwealth and such other State or States. The Governor is
     hereby authorized and directed to take such action as may be
     necessary to complete the exchange of official documents as
     between this Commonwealth and any other State authorizing said
     compact.
        Section 3.  The Secretary of Conservation and Natural
     Resources, or someone designated by him, shall act as compact
     administrator for the Commonwealth and represent the
     Commonwealth in the Middle Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire
     Protection Compact.
        (3 amended June 28, 1996, P.L.419, No.59)
        Section 4.  This act shall become effective immediately upon
     final enactment.