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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday repealed an Obama-era water protection that curbed the use of polluting chemicals near wetlands, streams and other bodies of water, the New York Times reports.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

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 2 hours ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.