I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
NM dairy industry gears up for fight over new clean water regs
A dairy industry group is claiming up to half of New Mexico’s dairies could be driven out of business by new regulations proposed by the state Environment Department, the Associated Press and KOB reported Sunday. The claims come just ahead of New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission hearings on the proposed ground water protections, scheduled to begin Tuesday.
Cows produce more nitrate-rich manure than milk every day, and managing that waste can be a challenge. New Mexico has roughly 300,000 milk cows, most of them in the state’s southern counties, according to a December report on NPR’s Morning Edition. They produce 5 million gallons of feces each day.
More than 65 percent of New Mexico’s dairies have ground water pollution, according to Environment Department records.
Proposed new regulations would more strictly control discharge of dairy waste water, requiring dairies to obtain additional permits and to comply with new monitoring, emergency planning and record keeping rules.
The regulations were prepared at the direction of the 2009 state Legislature.
The Dairy Industry Group for a Clean Environment questioned, but did not specify problems with, the science behind the proposed regulations. Alva Carter, the group’s president, said the new regs are not backed up by “sound science.”
The Group was registered with the state as a nonprofit consulting organization in September 2009.
Also see: News from around the state (April 6, 2010)