Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday repealed an Obama-era water protection that curbed the use of polluting chemicals near wetlands, streams and other bodies of water, the New York Times reports.

The big picture, per the Times: Trump's "administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses." Trump campaigned on Thursday's rollback, deeming the regulation an infringement on property rights — especially for farmers.

  • The Waters of the United States rule, enacted in 2015, limited crop selection and agricultural techniques, and it required farmers to obtain EPA permits to use certain fertilizers and pesticides if they were near a protected area.
  • It sought to ward off pollution in roughly 60% of America's water bodies, protecting about 1/3 of the drinking water in the U.S.
  • The Trump administration has weakened a number of other environmental protections, including automobile regulations and rules for toxic ash disposal. Per a New York Times analysis, more than 50 rollbacks have been completed under Trump, with another 30 in progress.

What's next: The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are expected to propose a replacement law later this year that keeps federal protections for large bodies of water, but eliminates regulations for smaller streams and isolated wetlands.

  • Per the Times: "Lawyers said the interim period between the completion of the legal repeal of the Obama rule and the implementation of the new Trump rule this year could be one of regulatory confusion for farmers and landowners."

Go deeper: Meet the Obama environmental policies Trump isn’t rolling back

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,439,274 — Total deaths: 744,941— Total recoveries: 12,632,604Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,180,226 — Total deaths: 165,510 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin called her, White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

The latest: Around 3 p.m., Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued a statement saying that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had initiated a phone call and made clear that the White House is "not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package."

New Jersey governor allows schools to reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Phil Murphy in December 2019. Phoot: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Wednesday he will sign an executive order allowing private and public K-12 schools and universities to reopen for in-person learning in September.

The big picture: New York and New Jersey have now authorized school districts to begin reopening. Both states and Connecticut ordered travelers from 31 states to quarantine before crossing their state borders after they were able to manage the pandemic.