Concern Over Plan To Change Water Protection

New Mexico – An effort by New Mexico lawmakers to change the way the state adopts rules for protecting water resources is causing concern among environmentalists.

The effort comes just months after the state's Water Quality Control Commission handed environmentalists two major victories. One of those was aimed at establishing tougher rules for the dairy industry and the other put in place special protections for hundreds of miles of rivers and streams, lakes and wetlands in federal wilderness areas around the state.

Supporters of the legislation say the effort to dissolve the commission and transfer its authority to the state environment secretary and other existing state agencies is not a backlash over the panel's recent decisions.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.