Environment

Minnesota—in protecting freshwater resources and leading the way in creating a clean energy economy—has always been at the forefront of crafting responsible environmental policy. Sen. Smith carries this spirit to Washington and continues to fight for federal policies that seek to combat climate change, preserve clean air and clean water, and protect our most precious natural landscapes.

Despite the great work being done in states like Minnesota, environmental challenges persist every day. Terrible accidents like the Flint water crisis where cost-cutting measures led to dangerous levels of lead in Michigan homes, and sweeping challenges like climate change, make clear that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting our environment. Ignoring this responsibility would put our natural treasures, our public health, and even our economy at risk.

Part of this responsibility means fighting back against efforts to rollback responsible environmental policy. Decisions like pulling out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want. Sen. Smith will fight back against policies that threaten our environment and our public health, but she stands ready work with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure our environmental policies work better for Minnesotans and all Americans.

Latest Releases

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Federal Funds to Increase Outdoor Access in Minnesota

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant new federal funding to support outdoor access and recreation in Minnesota following Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s visit to the state. The new projects include outdoor recreation additions to the North End Community Center in St. Paul, improvements to Soldiers Field Park in Rochester, and an expansion and renovation of Willard Park in Minneapolis. “With our state’s lakes, parks, and trails, getting outside is central to Minnesotans’ way of life,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By expanding green spaces and creating new outdoor recreational opportunities, this funding will help ensure that all Minnesotans, regardless of zip code, can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.” “Everyone should have access to outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities,” said Sen. Smith. “Yet too often these spaces are unequally distributed between wealthy and underserved communities. These new projects will help create more green spaces in economically distressed areas where our kids can play and families can enjoy the outdoors.” The $8.7 million in grant funding is available through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program. The ORLP program enables urban communities to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities. During her visit to Minnesota, Secretary Haaland joined Senators Amy Klobuchar, Senator Tina Smith, Governor Tim Walz, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, and Representative Betty McCollum at the recently completed Midway Peace Park in St. Paul, which received ORLP funding in 2020. More details on the Minnesota projects are below: Rice

Sens. Klobuchar, Smith Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Chronic Wasting Disease

WASHINGTON – Last week, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) joined a group of their colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to support both the research and management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal neurological illness that impacts members of the deer family. Since its discovery in the 1960s, CWD has spread geographically. The bill, led by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) would authorize $70 million per year, split evenly between these dual purposes. The USDA would administer the funds through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and agriculture departments. The legislation, The Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act, also includes an authorization for USDA and state and tribal agencies to develop educational materials to inform the public on CWD and directs USDA to review its herd certification program (HCP) within 18 months. “Chronic Wasting Disease poses a serious threat to our state’s deer and elk populations and we need a stronger understanding of how to address and prevent this fatal illness. This bipartisan legislation will help bolster research into surveillance, prevention and management practices, ensuring that we have the most effective tools in place to combat this highly contagious disease,” said Klobuchar. “Chronic Wasting Disease is a serious threat to the health of deer, elk and other animals—some of which are important food resources in communities,” Smith said. “This bill would help support states and tribes research, address, and prevent spread of the disease. This bill has broad support, and hopefully can start addressing

Sen. Tina Smith Receives First Annual Climate Change-Maker Award

WASHINGTON [3.23.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement after receiving and accepting the first annual “Climate Change-Maker” award for her leadership in pushing for urgent federal investments to address climate change, build a clean energy economy, and spur economic development. “If we continue business as usual, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster,” said Senator Smith. “Yet this crisis also presents enormous opportunities to grow our economy, improve public health, address environmental injustices, and pass on a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.  A clean energy future is coming, the

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Major Federal Funding for Great Lakes Restoration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will use federal funding secured through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act to restore environmentally degraded Areas of Concern (AOC) within the Great Lakes. This funding will specifically help clean-up and work to delist the St. Louis River Area of Concern in Duluth-Superior, the second largest AOC in the United States. “The Great Lakes are a major part of Minnesotans’ way of life, providing clean drinking water, a home for fish and wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Senator

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces $1 Billion Investment in Climate-Smart Farming

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/09/22]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced $1 billion in funding for a new program that will support climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in Minnesota and across the country. As part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will launch pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. Senator Smith encourages eligible public and private entities in Minnesota to apply now that project applications are

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins 190+ Congressional Democrats in Brief to The Supreme Court Defending EPA’s Clean Air Act Authority

WASHINGTON, DC [1.25.22] — Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with more than 190 congressional Democrats, submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The brief supports EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to protect the public from harmful pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and address the climate crisis. It also rejects spurious arguments made by congressional Republicans in their own amicus brief, in which they wrongly challenge the EPA’s authority to address climate pollution. “For more than fifty years, the Clean Air Act has reduced pollution and

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