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What’s Up and Underground?

In Featured, Morning Magazine

What’s Up and Underground?: A Man-Made Chemical Finds its Way into Groundwater in the Raton Basin.

Produced by Frani Halperin and Jamie Sudler and H20 Radio.

The Raton Basin under the Colorado/New Mexico border has seen intense natural gas drilling and production recently. In 2008, a homeowner near Trinidad, Colorado, who was having his water well tested learned that it was contaminated by a chemical known as “Tert-butyl alcohol” or “TBA.” TBA is a man-made substance found in many household items. But one place it shouldn’t be found? Underground and in well water.

Little is known about the health effects of ingesting TBA. Government officials are content to tell homeowners that having it in their water is a low risk to their health based on limited studies on lab animals. Whether it’s a health risk or not, residents in the area are scratching their heads wondering how this industrial chemical got in their water, given that the only industry around them is gas drilling and production.

For transcripts, maps, and photos, visit H20 Radio.

Listen to Part 1 that aired Monday September 15th

Listen to Part 2 that aired Tuesday September 16th