reports New Mexico dairy environmental regulations that would take effect at the end of the month could drive farms to relocate in other states.

The Court of Appeals and the Water Quality Control Commission will make a decision requiring dairy farms to install linings for wastewater lagoons and monitor wells for lagoon leaks. Consultants estimate a 2,000-cow dairy would pay $30,000 to $40,000 extra per year for paperwork and reporting, plus $400,000 to $600,000 for facility changes in the first five years.

The Dairy Industry Group for a Clean Environment filed an appeal stating New Mexico’s Environment Department failed to consult other stakeholders before completing draft regulations. Gov. Susana Martinez issued an executive order to stop publishing the dairy environmental rules, but was overruled by the Supreme Court who said the regulation was too far along the process.

The regulations will start at the end of February and would apply to dairy farmers as they apply for permit renewals unless the Water Quality Control Commission grants the stay.

The added costs would make starting a dairy in the state too expensive and would likely move current farmers to neighboring states.