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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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

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 question is whether we lead or follow. I, for one, want us to lead.  I want to thank the Climate Action Campaign for this recognition. I will continue to do everything I can to pass strong federal legislation that meets the urgency of this moment and helps ensure the United States is a leader in the 21st century economy.”  The 2022 Climate Change-Maker Award recipients were chosen based on their climate leadership, dogged advocacy, and for their work with President Biden and their colleagues in Congress to champion critical investments in our clean energy economy and cut the carbon pollution that exacerbates climate change. The award was presented by the Climate Action Campaign on behalf of the following organizations: Center for American Progress, Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Backs Administration Decision to Complete Two Year Mining Safety Study, Which She’d Pushed For

MINNESOTA [10/20/21]— U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said today that she backs the decision by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Interior (DOI) to complete a two-year study that will determine the safety of copper-nickel mining in the watershed that feeds the world-renowned Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), which is she pushed for earlier this year. The safety study was abruptly halted in 2018, without explanation. In March, Sen. Smith pushed U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to direct key agencies under their jurisdictions to finish the study. Sen. Smith released the following statement on

Smith, Klobuchar Announce Major Federal Investment in Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in Minnesota Rural Communities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $10 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in Cromwell, Russell, Cosmos, Murdock, Wood Lake, and Jeffers, Minnesota.  The infrastructure improvements will be financed by the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to help eliminate outdated pipes and service lines to safeguard public health and safety in rural communities.  “Safe drinking water and wastewater management is essential to public and environmental health,” Senator Smith said. “This investment will help six Minnesota communities make improvements to

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Say $4 Million Federal Grant Will Deploy More Electric Buses in Metro Area

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7/22/21]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said that Minnesota’s Metro Transit has been awarded $4,190,839 to add more electric buses to its fleet. This U.S. Department of Transportation grant will help purchase buses that have larger battery capacity, allowing them to complete routes more easily.   The senators said that the transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Electric busses will reduce the sector’s carbon footprint and improve air quality. “Investments in clean transportation infrastructure serve as down payments on the long-term economic and environmental well-being of our state and

Smith, Klobuchar Announce $9M in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting applications for a total of $9 million in grants to fund up to 24 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) projects. These funds will address stormwater runoff pollution from land into the Great Lakes.  “Lake Superior is the world’s largest fresh water lake, playing a critically-important role in our state’s character and economy by connecting Minnesota’s people and goods to the world,” said Smith. “These grants are important because they will help ensure the lake’s water quality remains healthy and vibrant by restoring vegetation near

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