STORIES IN THIS SERIES

CLEAN WATER ACT

'A Texas-sized development on top of the Continental Divide'

RIO GRANDE NATIONAL FOREST, Colo. — Fights over a planned luxury resort in the network of babbling streams and spongy wetlands here have spanned 40 years, but the end may be in sight. If environmentalists lose their latest court battle over the project, one of the last remaining avenues to stop the development is the Clean Water Act — an option that may not be on the table much longer.

CLEAN WATER ACT

'The river disappears, but the pollution doesn't'

BUTTE COUNTY, Idaho — This region is home to many geological oddities, including the Big Lost River which flows from Idaho's tallest peaks to the desert here where it simply ends. The disappearing river has long confounded federal regulators, but the confusion could soon end under the Trump administration's Waters of the U.S. rule, which would eliminate Clean Water Act protections for many waterways, including the Big Lost.

ABOUT THIS SERIES

A look at three Western waters caught in regulatory limbo.

ARIEL WITTENBERG: Before diving into coverage of water issues like infrastructure funding, drought and ecosystem restoration, Ariel wrote about transportation and defense for E&E News. She worked previously for The Standard-Times in New Bedford, Mass., where her coverage focused on the offshore wind industry and toxic waste. In 2013 and 2014 the New England Newspaper and Press Association awarded her first place in environmental reporting and second place in investigative reporting, respectively, for her coverage of the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site.

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