TITLE 7 - US CODE - SUBCHAPTER VI - DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY

7 USC 2009aa - Definitions

In this subchapter:
(1) Authority 
The term Authority means the Delta Regional Authority established by section 2009aa–1 of this title.
(2) Region 
The term region means the Lower Mississippi (as defined in section 4 of the Delta Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3121 note ; Public Law 100460)).
(3) Federal grant program 
The term Federal grant program means a Federal grant program to provide assistance in
(A) acquiring or developing land;

Advertisement
view counter
(B) constructing or equipping a highway, road, bridge, or facility; or
(C) carrying out other economic development activities.
(4) Alabama as participating State 
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State of Alabama shall be a full member of the Delta Regional Authority and shall be entitled to all rights and privileges that said membership affords to all other participating States in the Delta Regional Authority.

7 USC 2009aa1 - Delta Regional Authority

(a) Establishment 

(1) In general 
There is established the Delta Regional Authority.
(2) Composition 
The Authority shall be composed of
(A) a Federal member, to be appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate; and
(B) the Governor (or a designee of the Governor) of each State in the region that elects to participate in the Authority.
(3) Cochairpersons 
The Authority shall be headed by
(A) the Federal member, who shall serve
(i) as the Federal cochairperson; and
(ii) as a liaison between the Federal Government and the Authority; and
(B) a State cochairperson, who
(i) shall be a Governor of a participating State in the region; and
(ii) shall be elected by the State members for a term of not less than 1 year.
(b) Alternate members 

(1) State alternates 
The State member of a participating State may have a single alternate, who shall be
(A) a resident of that State; and
(B) appointed by the Governor of the State.
(2) Alternate Federal cochairperson 
The President shall appoint an alternate Federal cochairperson.
(3) Quorum 
A State alternate shall not be counted toward the establishment of a quorum of the Authority in any instance in which a quorum of the State members is required to be present.
(4) Delegation of power 
No power or responsibility of the Authority specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (c) of this section, and no voting right of any Authority member, shall be delegated to any person
(A) who is not an Authority member; or
(B) who is not entitled to vote in Authority meetings.
(c) Voting 

(1) In general 

(A) Temporary method 
During the period beginning on May 13, 2002, and ending on December 31, 2008, a decision by the Authority shall require the affirmative vote of the Federal cochairperson and a majority of the State members (not including any member representing a State that is delinquent under subsection (g)(2)(C) of this section) to be effective.
(B) Permanent method 
Effective beginning on January 1, 2009, a decision by the Authority shall require a majority vote of the Authority (not including any member representing a State that is delinquent under subsection (g)(2)(C) of this section) to be effective.
(2) Quorum 
A quorum of State members shall be required to be present for the Authority to make any policy decision, including
(A) a modification or revision of an Authority policy decision;
(B) approval of a State or regional development plan; and
(C) any allocation of funds among the States.
(3) Project and grant proposals 
The approval of project and grant proposals shall be
(A) a responsibility of the Authority; and
(B) conducted in accordance with section 2009aa–8 of this title.
(4) Voting by alternate members 
An alternate member shall vote in the case of the absence, death, disability, removal, or resignation of the Federal or State representative for which the alternate member is an alternate.
(d) Duties 
The Authority shall
(1) develop, on a continuing basis, comprehensive and coordinated plans and programs to establish priorities and approve grants for the economic development of the region, giving due consideration to other Federal, State, and local planning and development activities in the region;
(2) not later than 220 days after December 21, 2000, establish priorities in a development plan for the region (including 5-year regional outcome targets);
(3) assess the needs and assets of the region based on available research, demonstrations, investigations, assessments, and evaluations of the region prepared by Federal, State, and local agencies, universities, local development districts, and other nonprofit groups;
(4) formulate and recommend to the Governors and legislatures of States that participate in the Authority forms of interstate cooperation;
(5) work with State and local agencies in developing appropriate model legislation;
(6) 
(A) enhance the capacity of, and provide support for, local development districts in the region; or
(B) if no local development district exists in an area in a participating State in the region, foster the creation of a local development district;
(7) encourage private investment in industrial, commercial, and other economic development projects in the region; and
(8) cooperate with and assist State governments with economic development programs of participating States.
(e) Administration 
In carrying out subsection (d) of this section, the Authority may
(1) hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and print or otherwise reproduce and distribute a description of the proceedings and reports on actions by the Authority as the Authority considers appropriate;
(2) authorize, through the Federal or State cochairperson or any other member of the Authority designated by the Authority, the administration of oaths if the Authority determines that testimony should be taken or evidence received under oath;
(3) request from any Federal, State, or local department or agency such information as may be available to or procurable by the department or agency that may be of use to the Authority in carrying out duties of the Authority;
(4) adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws, rules, and regulations governing the conduct of Authority business and the performance of Authority duties;
(5) request the head of any Federal department or agency to detail to the Authority such personnel as the Authority requires to carry out duties of the Authority, each such detail to be without loss of seniority, pay, or other employee status;
(6) request the head of any State department or agency or local government to detail to the Authority such personnel as the Authority requires to carry out duties of the Authority, each such detail to be without loss of seniority, pay, or other employee status;
(7) provide for coverage of Authority employees in a suitable retirement and employee benefit system by
(A) making arrangements or entering into contracts with any participating State government; or
(B) otherwise providing retirement and other employee benefit coverage;
(8) accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or real, personal, tangible, or intangible property;
(9) enter into and perform such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, or other transactions as are necessary to carry out Authority duties, including any contracts, leases, or cooperative agreements with
(A) any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States;
(B) any State (including a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the State); or
(C) any person, firm, association, or corporation; and
(10) establish and maintain a central office and field offices at such locations as the Authority may select.
(f) Federal agency cooperation 
A Federal agency shall
(1) cooperate with the Authority; and
(2) provide, on request of the Federal cochairperson, appropriate assistance in carrying out this subchapter, in accordance with applicable Federal laws (including regulations).
(g) Administrative expenses 

(1) In general 
Administrative expenses of the Authority (except for the expenses of the Federal cochairperson, including expenses of the alternate and staff of the Federal cochairperson, which shall be paid solely by the Federal Government) shall be paid
(A) by the Federal Government, in an amount equal to 50 percent of the administrative expenses; and
(B) by the States in the region participating in the Authority, in an amount equal to 50 percent of the administrative expenses.
(2) State share 

(A) In general 
The share of administrative expenses of the Authority to be paid by each State shall be determined by the Authority.
(B) No Federal participation 
The Federal cochairperson shall not participate or vote in any decision under subparagraph (A).
(C) Delinquent States 
If a State is delinquent in payment of the States share of administrative expenses of the Authority under this subsection
(i) no assistance under this subchapter shall be furnished to the State (including assistance to a political subdivision or a resident of the State); and
(ii) no member of the Authority from the State shall participate or vote in any action by the Authority.
(h) Compensation 

(1) Federal cochairperson 
The Federal cochairperson shall be compensated by the Federal Government at level III of the Executive Schedule in subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 5.
(2) Alternate Federal cochairperson 
The alternate Federal cochairperson
(A) shall be compensated by the Federal Government at level V of the Executive Schedule described in paragraph (1); and
(B) when not actively serving as an alternate for the Federal cochairperson, shall perform such functions and duties as are delegated by the Federal cochairperson.
(3) State members and alternates 

(A) In general 
A State shall compensate each member and alternate representing the State on the Authority at the rate established by law of the State.
(B) No additional compensation 
No State member or alternate member shall receive any salary, or any contribution to or supplementation of salary from any source other than the State for services provided by the member or alternate to the Authority.
(4) Detailed employees 

(A) In general 
No person detailed to serve the Authority under subsection (e)(6) of this section shall receive any salary or any contribution to or supplementation of salary for services provided to the Authority from
(i) any source other than the State, local, or intergovernmental department or agency from which the person was detailed; or
(ii) the Authority.
(B) Violation 
Any person that violates this paragraph shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
(C) Applicable law 
The Federal cochairperson, the alternate Federal cochairperson, and any Federal officer or employee detailed to duty on the Authority under subsection (e)(5) of this section shall not be subject to subparagraph (A), but shall remain subject to sections 202 through 209 of title 18.
(5) Additional personnel 

(A) Compensation 

(i) In general The Authority may appoint and fix the compensation of an executive director and such other personnel as are necessary to enable the Authority to carry out the duties of the Authority.
(ii) Exception Compensation under clause (i) shall not exceed the maximum rate for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 of title 5, including any applicable locality-based comparability payment that may be authorized under section 5304(h)(2)(C) of that title.
(B) Executive director 
The executive director shall be responsible for
(i) the carrying out of the administrative duties of the Authority;
(ii) direction of the Authority staff; and
(iii) such other duties as the Authority may assign.
(C) No Federal employee status 
No member, alternate, officer, or employee of the Authority (except the Federal cochairperson of the Authority, the alternate and staff for the Federal cochairperson, and any Federal employee detailed to the Authority under subsection (e)(5) of this section) shall be considered to be a Federal employee for any purpose.
(i) Conflicts of interest 

(1) In general 
Except as provided under paragraph (2), no State member, alternate, officer, or employee of the Authority shall participate personally and substantially as a member, alternate, officer, or employee of the Authority, through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise, in any proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, or other matter in which, to knowledge of the member, alternate, officer, or employee
(A) the member, alternate, officer, or employee;
(B) the spouse, minor child, partner, or organization (other than a State or political subdivision of the State) of the member, alternate, officer, or employee, in which the member, alternate, officer, or employee is serving as officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee; or
(C) any person or organization with whom the member, alternate, officer, or employee is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment;

has a financial interest.

(2) Disclosure 
Paragraph (1) shall not apply if the State member, alternate, officer, or employee
(A) immediately advises the Authority of the nature and circumstances of the proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, or other particular matter presenting a potential conflict of interest;
(B) makes full disclosure of the financial interest; and
(C) before the proceeding concerning the matter presenting the conflict of interest, receives a written determination by the Authority that the interest is not so substantial as to be likely to affect the integrity of the services that the Authority may expect from the State member, alternate, officer, or employee.
(3) Violation 
Any person that violates this subsection shall be fined not more than $10,000, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(j) Validity of contracts, loans, and grants 
The Authority may declare void any contract, loan, or grant of or by the Authority in relation to which the Authority determines that there has been a violation of any provision under subsection (h)(4) of this section, subsection (i) of this section, or sections 202 through 209 of title 18.

7 USC 2009aa2 - Economic and community development grants

(a) In general 
The Authority may approve grants to States and public and nonprofit entities for projects, approved in accordance with section 2009aa–8 of this title
(1) to develop the transportation infrastructure of the region for the purpose of facilitating economic development in the region (except that grants for this purpose may only be made to a State or local government);
(2) to assist the region in obtaining the job training, employment-related education, and business development (with an emphasis on entrepreneurship) that are needed to build and maintain strong local economies;
(3) to provide assistance to severely distressed and underdeveloped areas that lack financial resources for improving basic public services;
(4) to provide assistance to severely distressed and underdeveloped areas that lack financial resources for equipping industrial parks and related facilities; and
(5) to otherwise achieve the purposes of this subchapter.
(b) Funding 

(1) In general 
Funds for grants under subsection (a) of this section may be provided
(A) entirely from appropriations to carry out this section;
(B) in combination with funds available under another Federal or Federal grant program; or
(C) from any other source.
(2) Priority of funding 
To best build the foundations for long-term economic development and to complement other Federal and State resources in the region, Federal funds available under this subchapter shall be focused on the activities in the following order or priority:
(A) Basic public infrastructure in distressed counties and isolated areas of distress.
(B) Transportation infrastructure for the purpose of facilitating economic development in the region.
(C) Business development, with emphasis on entrepreneurship.
(D) Job training or employment-related education, with emphasis on use of existing public educational institutions located in the region.

7 USC 2009aa3 - Supplements to Federal grant programs

(a) Finding 
Congress finds that certain States and local communities of the region, including local development districts, may be unable to take maximum advantage of Federal grant programs for which the States and communities are eligible because
(1) the States or communities lack the economic resources to provide the required matching share; or
(2) there are insufficient funds available under the applicable Federal law authorizing the Federal grant program to meet pressing needs of the region.
(b) Federal grant program funding 
Notwithstanding any provision of law limiting the Federal share, the areas eligible for assistance, or the authorizations of appropriations of any Federal grant program, and in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, the Authority, with the approval of the Federal cochairperson and with respect to a project to be carried out in the region
(1) may increase the Federal share of the costs of a project under the Federal grant program to not more than 90 percent (except as provided in section 2009aa–5 (b) of this title); and
(2) shall use amounts made available to carry out this subchapter to pay the increased Federal share.
(c) Certifications 

(1) In general 
In the case of any project for which all or any portion of the basic Federal share of the costs of the project is proposed to be paid under this section, no Federal contribution shall be made until the Federal official administering the Federal law that authorizes the Federal grant program certifies that the project
(A) meets (except as provided in subsection (b) of this section) the applicable requirements of the applicable Federal grant program; and
(B) could be approved for Federal contribution under the Federal grant program if funds were available under the law for the project.
(2) Certification by Authority 

(A) In general 
The certifications and determinations required to be made by the Authority for approval of projects under this Act in accordance with section 2009aa–8 of this title
(i) shall be controlling; and
(ii) shall be accepted by the Federal agencies.
(B) Acceptance by Federal cochairperson 
In the case of any project described in paragraph (1), any finding, report, certification, or documentation required to be submitted with respect to the project to the head of the department, agency, or instrumentality of the Federal Government responsible for the administration of the Federal grant program under which the project is carried out shall be accepted by the Federal cochairperson.

7 USC 2009aa4 - Local development districts; certification and administrative expenses

(a) Definition of local development district 
In this section, the term local development district means an entity that
(1) is
(A) a planning district in existence on December 21, 2000, that is recognized by the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce; or
(B) where an entity described in subparagraph (A) does not exist
(i) organized and operated in a manner that ensures broad-based community participation and an effective opportunity for other nonprofit groups to contribute to the development and implementation of programs in the region;
(ii) governed by a policy board with at least a simple majority of members consisting of elected officials or employees of a general purpose unit of local government who have been appointed to represent the government;
(iii) certified to the Authority as having a charter or authority that includes the economic development of counties or parts of counties or other political subdivisions within the region
(I) by the Governor of each State in which the entity is located; or
(II) by the State officer designated by the appropriate State law to make the certification; and
(iv) 
(I) a nonprofit incorporated body organized or chartered under the law of the State in which the entity is located;
(II) a nonprofit agency or instrumentality of a State or local government;
(III) a public organization established before December 21, 2000, under State law for creation of multi-jurisdictional, area-wide planning organizations; or
(IV) a nonprofit association or combination of bodies, agencies, and instrumentalities described in subclauses (I) through (III); and
(2) has not, as certified by the Federal cochairperson
(A) inappropriately used Federal grant funds from any Federal source; or
(B) appointed an officer who, during the period in which another entity inappropriately used Federal grant funds from any Federal source, was an officer of the other entity.
(b) Grants to local development districts 

(1) In general 
The Authority shall make grants for administrative expenses under this section.
(2) Conditions for grants 

(A) Maximum amount 
The amount of any grant awarded under paragraph (1) shall not exceed 80 percent of the administrative expenses of the local development district receiving the grant.
(B) Maximum period 
No grant described in paragraph (1) shall be awarded to a State agency certified as a local development district for a period greater than 3 years.
(C) Local share 
The contributions of a local development district for administrative expenses may be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including space, equipment, and services.
(c) Duties of local development districts 
A local development district shall
(1) operate as a lead organization serving multicounty areas in the region at the local level; and
(2) serve as a liaison between State and local governments, nonprofit organizations (including community-based groups and educational institutions), the business community, and citizens that
(A) are involved in multijurisdictional planning;
(B) provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions and potential grantees; and
(C) provide leadership and civic development assistance.

7 USC 2009aa5 - Distressed counties and areas and nondistressed counties

(a) Designations 
Not later than 90 days after December 21, 2000, and annually thereafter, the Authority, in accordance with such criteria as the Authority may establish, shall designate
(1) as distressed counties, counties in the region that are the most severely and persistently distressed and underdeveloped and have high rates of poverty or unemployment;
(2) as nondistressed counties, counties in the region that are not designated as distressed counties under paragraph (1); and
(3) as isolated areas of distress, areas located in nondistressed counties (as designated under paragraph (2)) that have high rates of poverty or unemployment.
(b) Distressed counties 

(1) In general 
The Authority shall allocate at least 75 percent of the appropriations made available under section 2009aa–12 of this title for programs and projects designed to serve the needs of distressed counties and isolated areas of distress in the region.
(2) Funding limitations 
The funding limitations under section 2009aa–3 (b) of this title shall not apply to a project providing transportation or basic public services to residents of one or more distressed counties or isolated areas of distress in the region.
(c) Nondistressed counties 

(1) In general 
Except as provided in this subsection, no funds shall be provided under this subchapter for a project located in a county designated as a nondistressed county under subsection (a)(2) of this section.
(2) Exceptions 

(A) In general 
The funding prohibition under paragraph (1) shall not apply to grants to fund the administrative expenses of local development districts under section 2009aa–4 (b) of this title.
(B) Multicounty projects 
The Authority may waive the application of the funding prohibition under paragraph (1) to
(i) a multicounty project that includes participation by a nondistressed county; or
(ii) any other type of project;

if the Authority determines that the project could bring significant benefits to areas of the region outside a nondistressed county.

(C) Isolated areas of distress 
For a designation of an isolated area of distress for assistance to be effective, the designation shall be supported
(i) by the most recent Federal data available; or
(ii) if no recent Federal data are available, by the most recent data available through the government of the State in which the isolated area of distress is located.
(d) Transportation and basic public infrastructure 
The Authority shall allocate at least 50 percent of any funds made available under section 2009aa–12 of this title for transportation and basic public infrastructure projects authorized under paragraphs (1) and (3) of section 2009aa–2 (a) of this title.

7 USC 2009aa6 - Development planning process

(a) State development plan 
In accordance with policies established by the Authority, each State member shall submit a development plan for the area of the region represented by the State member.
(b) Content of plan 
A State development plan submitted under subsection (a) of this section shall reflect the goals, objectives, and priorities identified in the regional development plan developed under section 2009aa–1 (d)(2) of this title.
(c) Consultation with interested local parties 
In carrying out the development planning process (including the selection of programs and projects for assistance), a State may
(1) consult with
(A) local development districts; and
(B) local units of government; and
(2) take into consideration the goals, objectives, priorities, and recommendations of the entities described in paragraph (1).
(d) Public participation 

(1) In general 
The Authority and applicable State and local development districts shall encourage and assist, to the maximum extent practicable, public participation in the development, revision, and implementation of all plans and programs under this subchapter.
(2) Regulations 
The Authority shall develop guidelines for providing public participation described in paragraph (1), including public hearings.

7 USC 2009aa7 - Program development criteria

(a) In general 
In considering programs and projects to be provided assistance under this subchapter, and in establishing a priority ranking of the requests for assistance provided by the Authority, the Authority shall follow procedures that ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, consideration of
(1) the relationship of the project or class of projects to overall regional development;
(2) the per capita income and poverty and unemployment rates in an area;
(3) the financial resources available to the applicants for assistance seeking to carry out the project, with emphasis on ensuring that projects are adequately financed to maximize the probability of successful economic development;
(4) the importance of the project or class of projects in relation to other projects or classes of projects that may be in competition for the same funds;
(5) the prospects that the project for which assistance is sought will improve, on a continuing rather than a temporary basis, the opportunities for employment, the average level of income, or the economic development of the area served by the project; and
(6) the extent to which the project design provides for detailed outcome measurements by which grant expenditures and the results of the expenditures may be evaluated.
(b) No relocation assistance 
No financial assistance authorized by this subchapter shall be used to assist a person or entity in relocating from one area to another, except that financial assistance may be used as otherwise authorized by this chapter to attract businesses from outside the region to the region.
(c) Reduction of funds 
Funds may be provided for a program or project in a State under this subchapter only if the Authority determines that the level of Federal or State financial assistance provided under a law other than this subchapter, for the same type of program or project in the same area of the State within the region, will not be reduced as a result of funds made available by this subchapter.

7 USC 2009aa8 - Approval of development plans and projects

(a) In general 
A State or regional development plan or any multistate subregional plan that is proposed for development under this subchapter shall be reviewed and approved by the Authority.
(b) Evaluation by State member 
An application for a grant or any other assistance for a project under this subchapter shall be made through and evaluated for approval by the State member of the Authority representing the applicant.
(c) Certification 
An application for a grant or other assistance for a project shall be approved only on certification by the State member that the application for the project
(1) describes ways in which the project complies with any applicable State development plan;
(2) meets applicable criteria under section 2009aa–7 of this title;
(3) provides adequate assurance that the proposed project will be properly administered, operated, and maintained; and
(4) otherwise meets the requirements of this subchapter.
(d) Approval of grant applications 
On certification by a State member of the Authority of an application for a grant or other assistance for a specific project under this section, an affirmative vote of the Authority under section 2009aa–1 (c) of this title shall be required for approval of the application.

7 USC 2009aa9 - Consent of States

Nothing in this subchapter requires any State to engage in or accept any program under this subchapter without the consent of the State.

7 USC 2009aa10 - Records

(a) Records of the Authority 

(1) In general 
The Authority shall maintain accurate and complete records of all transactions and activities of the Authority.
(2) Availability 
All records of the Authority shall be available for audit and examination by the Comptroller General of the United States and the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture (including authorized representatives of the Comptroller General and the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture).
(b) Records of recipients of Federal assistance 

(1) In general 
A recipient of Federal funds under this subchapter shall, as required by the Authority, maintain accurate and complete records of transactions and activities financed with Federal funds and report on the transactions and activities to the Authority.
(2) Availability 
All records required under paragraph (1) shall be available for audit by the Comptroller General of the United States, the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture, and the Authority (including authorized representatives of the Comptroller General, the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture, and the Authority).
(c) Annual audit 
The Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture shall audit the activities, transactions, and records of the Authority on an annual basis.

7 USC 2009aa11 - Annual report

Not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Authority shall submit to the President and to Congress a report describing the activities carried out under this subchapter.

7 USC 2009aa12 - Authorization of appropriations

(a) In general 
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Authority to carry out this subchapter $30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012, to remain available until expended.
(b) Administrative expenses 
Not more than 5 percent of the amount appropriated under subsection (a) of this section for a fiscal year shall be used for administrative expenses of the Authority.

7 USC 2009aa13 - Termination of authority

This subchapter and the authority provided under this subchapter expire on October 1, 2012.