SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico dairy farmers, environmentalists and the state have settled a dispute over the regulation of dairy farm waste.

New Mexico Environment Department Secretary David Martin says the agreement to amend rules passed last year under Gov. Bill Richardson will protect New Mexico's ground water "in an efficient and business-friendly manner."

The rules announced today will still require all dairies to install monitoring wells. But they exempt existing dairies without histories of pollution from having to install liners in their waste reservoirs

The rules are just the latest in a series of Richardson-era environmental initiatives to face a rollback under Martinez, who has vowed to make the state more business friendly.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.