Did Colorado leave residents of the Raton Basin with bad water?

Regulators don’t link industry to contamination — but testing shows the pollution came after drilling.

 
These stories were reported and produced by H20 Radio.

Gas drilling came to the Raton Basin in the late 1990s and along with it heavy traffic, noise — and what many locals believe — contaminated water. This story picks up from where H20 Radio reporting in the fall of 2014 left off. Numerous residents had discovered they had a chemical in their water, "tert-Butyl alcohol" or "TBA." No one could figure out how this man-made substance got there — a chemical that wasn't detected until after gas drilling came to the area. It was a mystery, so the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas activities, investigated and published a report suggesting TBA was naturally occurring, among other explanations. Now the case is closed and the report, not only leaves more questions than it answers — it resigns residents to live with water they feel they dare not drink. 
ScreenShot20160202at8.26.47PM.png
An aerial view shows well pads and access roads in Raton Basin west of Trinidad, Colorado.
SkyTruth/EcoFlight