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EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies on May 20 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it will not regulate or limit a toxic chemical compound linked to infant brain damage in drinking water.

The big picture: The Trump administration has revoked or rolled back 66 environmental regulations, per a New York Times analysis. Eight of the regulation reversals have taken place since late April, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Details: The EPA says that levels of the toxic compound — perchlorate — have already been reduced in the U.S. through drinking water regulations in California, Nevada and Massachusetts, and improved storage for drinking water disinfectants.

  • In 2011, the Obama administration said that perchlorate caused by runoff contaminated drinking water for as many as 16 million Americans, PBS reports.
  • The EPA says its health impact analysis shows that a higher concentration of perchlorate is necessary to cause health problems than concentrations found in 2011.

What they're saying: “Today’s decision is built on science and local success stories and fulfills President Trump’s promise to pare back burdensome ‘one-size-fits-all’ overregulation for the American people,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

  • “State and local water systems are effectively and efficiently managing levels of perchlorate. Our state partners deserve credit for their leadership on protecting public health in their communities, not unnecessary federal intervention," Wheeler said.

The other side: “Today’s decision is illegal, unscientific and unconscionable,” Erik Olson, senior strategic director for health at the advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, said on Thursday, per the New York Times.

  • “The Environmental Protection Agency is threatening the health of pregnant moms and young children with toxic chemicals in their drinking water at levels that literally can cause loss of I.Q. points."

Go deeper ... NYT: EPA will not limit chemical compound linked to fetal damage

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.