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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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 Historic Investment in Minnesota Climate-Smart Commodities and Rural Projects

WASHINGTON [9.27.22] – Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced historic federal funding that will expand climate-friendly agriculture in Minnesota and around the country. “Our farmers and agricultural communities are critical to our state economy,” said Klobuchar. “These investments will help create new markets for our agricultural products and encourage voluntary farming practices that help protect our environment.” “From educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies and producer groups to technology startups, a broad range of Minnesota organizations are at the cutting edge of research into climate-smart agriculture,” said Sen. Smith. “These investments will accelerate the growth of environmentally sustainable agriculture in our state and around the country while taking important steps to reduce emissions and fight climate change.”  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making historic investments in 70 selected projects around the country under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. Projects from the second funding pool will be announced later this year. The investments will create market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart production practices. These projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers. The selections announced this week reflect a broad set of applicants, from non-profits and government entities to farmer cooperatives and environmental groups. Many of the recipients are based in Minnesota or partner with Minnesota businesses and organizations such as Land O’ Lakes, Minnesota Board

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small for Visits to Wadena and Menahga

MINNEOSTA — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small to visit Wadena and Menahga in Central Minnesota. Photo and video footage from the visits can be found here. They started the day in Wadena, where they toured ­Tri-County Health Care’s new $72 million project. Named Astera Health, this will be a new 125,900 square-foot facility designed to integrate new technology, create a healthy environment that improves the patient experience and efficiency for staff, and ensure a sustainable future for health care in the area. Tri-County Health Care received a $42 million direct loan from the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities program. After their visit with Tri-County Health Care, they toured Ten Finns Creamery in Menahga to learn about their specialization in A2 milk production and sustainable farming practices. Owned and operated by Joel and Amanda Hendrickson, their namesake comes from their Finnish ancestry and ten kids who play a big role in the daily care of their cows. Their specialization in A2 milk production produces dairy products for people with milk sensitivities to enjoy. They currently have whole milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, and butter available as products. They pride themselves on sustainable farming practices, which include refusing to use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides and planting cover crops to keep carbon in the soil and out of our atmosphere. “It was great to have Under Secretary Torres Small here to see a glimpse of what rural Minnesota

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

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

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