Jim Malewitz

Jim Malewitz reports on the environment for Bridge. Based in Lansing, but with plans to scour both peninsulas, he is looking for stories about how public policy, climate change and other phenomena affect the state’s trove of natural resources – all while leaders tout the “Pure Michigan” brand. Jim joined Bridge in November 2017, returning to his home state after a lengthy absence. He spent four years at the Texas Tribune, where he was an investigative reporter and extensively covered energy and environmental issues. He reported on an oil boom and bust, deadly oil refineries, cross-state border squabbles, invasive zebra mussels and gaping sinkholes. His work there also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, POLITICO Magazine and news outlets across the country. Before moving to Texas, Jim covered energy and the environment for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C. He majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. There, he helped launch the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he currently serves on the board of directors. You can reach Jim at jmalewitz@bridgemi.com or call him at 517-657-3577.

Articles

Michigan waited years to heed warnings on PFAS dangers, expert says

November 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A DEQ veteran sounded alarms about threats to waters in 2010. Seven years later, Michigan took action. ‘I was at the edge of the abyss looking into hell,” scientist testifies.

Mackinac Bridge Authority in no hurry to consider Line 5 tunnel deal

November 8, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

On his way out of office, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder presents Line 5 tunnel deal to bridge authority members, drawing deep scrutiny. 

Gretchen Whitmer and Dana Nessel vowed to shut Line 5. Now’s their chance

November 8, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Halting Enbridge Energy’s oil pumping beneath the Straits of Mackinac was key promise in the Democratic campaigns of Michigan’s next governor and attorney general. Can they deliver?

Five takeaways from Michigan’s 2018 midterm election

November 8, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Jim Malewitz

A blue wave (and pink), polling got it right and Michigan faces a divided Capitol in January. Experts discuss the major implications of Tuesday’s election results.

Overnight, it’s a new Michigan. Women sweep to power in change election.

November 7, 2018 | Ron French, Jim Malewitz, Ted Roelofs, Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Welcome, legalized pot. So long, gerrymandering. Democrats and women score big victories, as ballot measures all pass. Republicans hold onto Legislature, promising divided government.

In Northern Michigan, tribes protesting Line 5 hunker down for winter

November 2, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Representing Native Americans across Michigan and beyond, a small group of “water protectors” say they plan to camp out near the Straits of Mackinac until Enbridge Energy’s oil pipeline is shut down.

Great Lakes drownings peaked in 2018. And the year’s not over.

November 2, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A safety advocacy group has tracked 728 Great Lakes drownings since 2010, including 105 in the first 10 months of 2018.

Truth Squad | Bill Schuette goes foul, claims Whitmer will ‘kill’ Flint case

October 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The Michigan Republican attorney general used an offhand remark from his Democratic rival to make a series of attacks. But his arguments lacked evidence and delves into conspiracy theory.

Comparing the environmental records of Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer

October 23, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Bill Schuette has fought regulations as job-killers, but bucked his party on some Great Lakes issues. Gretchen Whitmer opposed regulatory rollbacks while in the Legislature.

Bill Schuette and Gretchen Whitmer take different tacks to climate change

October 23, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Bill Schuette says Michigan must “better understand the science,” while Gretchen Whitmer promises an Office of Climate Change and partnerships with other governors to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Minnesota has fought PFAS for years. Here’s how its plan can help Michigan.

October 17, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan is planning to sue 3M for manufacturing hazardous chemicals showing up in water systems. Minnesota sued the company years ago and is sharing documents and other information, a top Minnesota regulator says.

Michigan environment roundup: ‘Bee highway’ to the rescue in Detroit

October 17, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Enbridge to build $350M tunnel to protect Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac

October 3, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Rick Snyder announces that he won’t seek shutdown of controversial oil pipeline, opting instead for an agreement with its owners, Enbridge Energy, to protect it with a tunnel.

Truth Squad | Dana Nessel spreads inaccuracies about PFAS in Michigan waters

October 3, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Are the hazardous chemicals a serious threat? Yes. Have 11,000 Michigan sites tested positive for them? Nowhere close.

Michigan PFAS by the numbers: How much is unsafe?

September 26, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Confusion runs rampant about PFAS dangers. The federal government and states can’t agree on how much is unsafe for states. Here’s a primer on what’s known so far.

A slow-moving ‘disaster’ is threatening Lake Superior and way of life

September 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The Buffalo Reef in the Keweenaw Peninsula teems with lake trout and whitefish. But a mountain of waste from a closed mine is slowly seeping into the water, prompting a desperate search for a solution.

Slideshow: In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, mining waste threatens Buffalo Reef

September 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

View photos from the past and present showing how waste from a closed mine is smothering key fish spawning grounds in Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay.

Michigan environment roundup: Could Michigan voters decide Line 5’s fate?

September 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Truth Squad: Bill Schuette is falsely blamed for ignoring PFAS victims

September 17, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A Southfield Super PAC releases an irresponsible ad accusing Republican candidate for governor Bill Schuette of failing to act on the behalf of victims of water contamination. In fact, he has sued on their behalf.

Michigan senator introduces bill to fund $2B in water cleanups

September 5, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Jim Malewitz

The bonding bill, sponsored by Sen. Margaret O’Brien of Kalamazoo County, differs from a plan backed by Gov. Rick Snyder, who prefers to raise needed revenue via higher fees.

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