ST. PAUL — State Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, was among 11 retiring legislators honored by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy during a Tuesday, Dec. 6, ceremony at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Minnesota state Reps. Ami Wazlawik, Steve Sandell, Todd Lippert, Jim Davnie and Alice Hausman, as well as Sens. Ruud, David Senjem, Chris Eaton, Chuck Wiger, Patricia Torres-Ray and Ann Johnson-Stewart were all celebrated at the annual event in the Rotunda. The organization recognized the legislators for their commitment to protecting the health of the state’s environment and the people who depend on it, a news release stated.
Sens. Eaton, Torres-Ray and Ruud and Reps. Wazlawik, Lippert, and Hausman attended. Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy’s Legislative Director Andrea Lovoll handed out engraved wooden paddles to the honorees in attendance after describing some of their individual impacts over the years.
The lawmakers accomplishments mentioned included:
- Ruud’s work to reduce chloride pollution in lakes, rivers and streams from oversalting roads in the winter.
- Eaton’s work to remove the conflict of interest inherent in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ previous duties to both promote and regulate the mining industry.
- Torres-Ray’s transformative work on behalf of environmental justice as the first Latina woman to serve in the state Senate, as well as her role in creating the first statewide map of all parks and trails.
- Lippert’s efforts to let the concerns of youths inform his work, as well as his reputation as “the healthy soil guy.”
- Wazlawik’s efforts to make Minnesota the first state to ban the toxic chemical trichloroethylene as well as strengthen protections from the group of chemicals known as PFAS.
- Hausman’s contributions to develop Minnesota’s first wind and solar farm in Prairie Island.
“Thank you to all of you for being defenders of Minnesota — its environment and health of its people. We are honored to have had the privilege to work with you and to build a friendship with you over the years,” Lovoll said Tuesday, according to the release.A few of the honorees urged legislators they are leaving behind to keep the environment and the accelerating climate crisis in the forefront as they make upcoming decisions about resources and policy.“The planet is here, the question is will the human race be,” Eaton stated. “I’m retiring, so it’s up to the new folks coming in to take up the work.”