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Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Biden administration is pushing to increase federal environmental protections for "streams, marshes and other wetlands," effectively reversing a Trump-era rollback, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move is likely to restart a "decades-long battle over how far federal officials can go to stop contaminants from entering small streams and other wetlands," per the Post.

The state of play: Under President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency expanded protections that curbed the use of polluting chemicals near wetlands, streams and other bodies of water, per the New York Times.

  • Trump repealed these protections in a move that was seen as a boon to big business and real estate developers.
  • Now, Biden is trying to help "stem the staggering loss of wetlands" in the U.S., per the Post.

The big picture: EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement that the Trump administration's reversal of the protections led to "significant environmental degradation," per the Post.

  • The EPA, alongside the Army Corps of Engineers, will begin crafting a new set of protections for waterways subject to federal protection, per the Post.

Of note: Deciding which streams and wetlands fall under federal protections and regulations has been a subject of intense political debate across the U.S. since the 1970s, and it's been known to land Democrats in hot water with American farmers, according to Politico.

  • Regan said he aims to strike a "delicate balance between conservation and development" with the new regulations, per the Post.

Go deeper

Alaska Native group reaches deal to protect land from massive Pebble Mine project

The Newhalen River, located about 20 miles from the proposed Pebble Mine site. Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Pedro Bay Corporation, an Alaska Native group that owns land near Bristol Bay, sold conservation easements on more than 44,000 acres to the environmental nonprofit Conservation Fund, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The deal makes a large portion of the land, where backers of the Pebble Mine had hoped to build a gold mining road, off-limits to future development, standing in the way of Pebble Limited Partnership's massive project.

3,000 unruly passenger reports made to FAA this year

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airlines have reported some 3,000 cases of unruly behavior by passengers to the Federal Aviation Administration this year — including 2,300 for refusing to comply with face mask mandates, the FAA announced Monday.

Why it matters: Passenger numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels. But the FAA is investigating the highest number of suspected federal law violations since it began recording unruly passenger incidents in 1995, per ABC News.

Cashier killed after face mask policy dispute in Georgia grocery store

An Atlanta area grocery store cashier was killed and three other people were injured in a shooting following a dispute over a face mask policy in the supermarket Monday, police said.

Driving the news: DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said during a news conference that the female cashier was working at the Big Bear Supermarket in Decatur when she was shot following a "confrontation" over the wearing of masks.