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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  • Trump repealed these protections in a move that was seen as a boon to big business and real estate developers.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

EPA to ban pesticide chlorpyrifos use on food crops over health concerns

EPA administrator Michael Regan. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday banned the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops after it was linked to neurological damage in children.

Why it matters: Children who have chlorpyrifos, one of the most common pesticides, in their blood were reported to have more developmental delays and disorders than those who do not, according to the National Pesticide Information Center.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 8 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.