Contamination from Congregated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)
According to the New Mexico Environment Department, 63% of the dairies in New Mexico are operating in violation of existing regulations. Dairy cows in Chaves County alone produce as much waste as the human population of Los Angeles and Philadelphia combined. This amount of waste is alarming because of potential groundwater contamination. 90% of New Mexico’s population relies on groundwater for drinking.
In the 1992 Clean Water Act Congress regulated CAFOs. New Mexico’s regulations require a synthetic liner for manure-filled wastewater impoundments, and minimum setbacks from important water resources such as drinking water wells.
NGOs Working on CAFO Issues:
New Mexico Environmental Law Center