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

Poisoned Michigan: How weak laws and ignored history enabled PFAS crisis

Poisoned Michigan: How weak laws and ignored history enabled PFAS crisis

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jim Malewitz

Michigan lawmakers said ‘never again’ after an agricultural mishap sparked one of the worst poisonings in history in 1973. But serious reform never came and some mistakes of that crisis are being repeated with the PFAS threat befouling state waterways.

 In a Michigan town with a toxic legacy, residents fought for decades to heal

In a Michigan town with a toxic legacy, residents fought for decades to heal

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jim Malewitz

In the town of St. Louis, a  group of rabble-rousers ensured state and federal authorities didn’t forget their toxic legacy. The work is only half done, but could be a lesson for communities now battling PFAS contamination.

Michigan found PFAS in Oscoda in 2010. There’s still no plan to clean it up.

Michigan found PFAS in Oscoda in 2010. There’s still no plan to clean it up.

November 18, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

An ignored 2010 report about PFAS is just one of several bureaucratic hurdles that has slowed Michigan’s response to the chemical that is now befouling waters. The delays are reminiscent of those that prolonged the PBB contamination of livestock in the 1970s.

Letter suggests Bill Schuette shrugged off request to sue 3M over PFAS

Letter suggests Bill Schuette shrugged off request to sue 3M over PFAS

November 18, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

As he left office, the former attorney general told Rick Snyder he couldn’t sue because the governor’s staff never greenlighted a lawsuit — even though Snyder himself requested the suit.

Marquette girds for climate change in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Marquette girds for climate change in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

November 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Marquette may become a destination as high heat and drought drive folks from southern communities more vulnerable to a shifting climate. But it still faces challenges — from intensifying rains to disease-carrying pests.

Old mines, perilous drains in Michigan’s Copper Country, which now eyes a fix

Old mines, perilous drains in Michigan’s Copper Country, which now eyes a fix

November 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Epic floods devastated Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. Foundations are now stepping in to fix a unique vulnerability: century-old drainage systems — built by mining companies — that sat neglected after mines shuttered and towns shrank.

Experts: Pay teachers more to curb Michigan’s long-term substitute ‘crisis’

Experts: Pay teachers more to curb Michigan’s long-term substitute ‘crisis’

November 7, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Long-term subs have spiked in recent years. Paying more could help solve the issue –  and so could stopping ‘talking about teachers as if they’re idiots,’ according to a panel of experts convened by Bridge.

 

 Enbridge vows to cover costs in ‘unlikely’ case of Michigan Line 5 rupture

Enbridge vows to cover costs in ‘unlikely’ case of Michigan Line 5 rupture

November 6, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The promise came days after Nessel released a 120-page report raising questions about Enbridge’s financial obligations under a series of agreements that its U.S.-based companies signed with Michigan.

Michigan judge rules Enbridge Line 5 construction is constitutional

Michigan judge rules Enbridge Line 5 construction is constitutional

October 31, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The victory, which could pave the way for the tunnel plan to proceed, is a setback for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who halted work on the project in March. Attorney General Dana Nessel released a 120-page report and vowed to appeal.

Michigan environment roundup: Judge bars public from Wolverine World Wide PFAS hearing

Michigan environment roundup: Judge bars public from Wolverine World Wide PFAS hearing

October 29, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Here’s what Gretchen Whitmer’s new PFAS water rules mean for Michigan

Here’s what Gretchen Whitmer’s new PFAS water rules mean for Michigan

October 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week proposed limits for seven types of the harmful “forever chemicals” that have been found in drinking water supplies. Just four other states have adopted similar regulations.

Michigan environment roundup: Great Lakes water levels may surge higher

Michigan environment roundup: Great Lakes water levels may surge higher

October 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Michigan fish fight: Bills would squeeze commercial fishers, help anglers

Michigan fish fight: Bills would squeeze commercial fishers, help anglers

October 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A key point of contention: Should lawmakers give commercial fishing companies access to lake trout, walleye and yellow perch? Advancing legislation would keep those fish off limits, reserving them exclusively for sportfishing.

A U-M researcher gets public’s help tracking deadly balloons in the Great Lakes

A U-M researcher gets public’s help tracking deadly balloons in the Great Lakes

October 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

What goes up must come down, and balloon debris is killing wildlife, says Lara O'Brien. She launched a survey in June that’s already found more than 1,000 pieces of balloons along Michigan’s Great Lakes — as far away as Isle Royale.

Michigan environment roundup: Bringing solar power to the Upper Peninsula

Michigan environment roundup: Bringing solar power to the Upper Peninsula

October 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

How a U.S. scientist unknowingly starred in an Enbridge Michigan ad campaign

How a U.S. scientist unknowingly starred in an Enbridge Michigan ad campaign

September 30, 2019 | Craig Mauger, Jim Malewitz

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it didn’t give Enbridge Energy permission to feature an agency researcher in a statewide advertising campaign to protect the Line 5 oil pipeline. One person who worked with the researcher called the ads “dishonest.”

DTE Energy vows ‘net zero’ on carbon emissions for electric business by 2050

DTE Energy vows ‘net zero’ on carbon emissions for electric business by 2050

September 26, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

 DTE Electric Co., the state’s largest power provider, said it hopes other utilities will pursue similar goals to slow the earth’s warming from greenhouse gases. The plan drew praise and some skepticism

Besieged Michigan farmers back new trade pact with Canada and Mexico

Besieged Michigan farmers back new trade pact with Canada and Mexico

September 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Farmers say they need help following heavy rains, a trade war and falling prices. They say the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement could provide some desperately needed assistance.

 

Memo to Ted Nugent: Not all hunters hate Michigan’s deer bait ban

Memo to Ted Nugent: Not all hunters hate Michigan’s deer bait ban

September 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

 A ban on deer baiting is prompting fears of a plunge in hunting (and objections from the Motor City Madman) but conservation groups say the move is necessary to stop chronic wasting disease from decimating the herd.

Audit: Michigan Office of the Great Lakes didn't keep track of money

Audit: Michigan Office of the Great Lakes didn't keep track of money

August 30, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The government agency is supposed to restore wetlands, but hasn’t updated action plans for years and failed to keep tabs on grants, an audit finds.

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