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

In Flint, trust is lost. And bottled water supplies are running low.

January 30, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A year after Michigan declared Flint’s drinking water “restored” and began encouraging residents to return to their faucets, the city’s demand for bottled water remains sky-high, leading to hours-long waits for dwindling supplies.

Flint residents welcome Nestlé donations. But its ads? Not so much.

January 30, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The water conglomerate is donating millions of bottles of water to Flint. But it’s taking millions of gallons of water from central Michigan and touting its efforts on television. That’s led to mixed feelings.

After Flint, Michigan toughened lead rules. Now water utilities are suing.

January 23, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Detroit-area water providers are challenging Michigan’s rules for lead in drinking water, which are the nation’s toughest. The challenge has high stakes for public health and ratepayers’ wallets.

Dana Nessel moves to drop Michigan from suits fighting EPA clean air rules

January 22, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Three weeks into office, the Democrat attorney general begins to roll back litigation initiated by her Republican predecessor, Bill Schuette.

Six things to know about the federal government shutdown in Michigan

January 18, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Jim Malewitz

From food assistance to weather forecasts, the ongoing shutdown in Washington is beginning to have an impact on Michigan, which could become more profound if closed government extends into February.

Federal government shutdown idles program that could help in Line 5 spill

January 17, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A computer programming system used to protect changes in Great Lakes would predict the direction of oil in the event of a pipeline mishap. But it’s been idled by the shutdown.

Drop in hunting, fishing licenses could harm Michigan economy, reports show

January 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan lawmakers need to do a better job to promote hunting and fishing, which remains a $11 billion industry but is suffering as baby boomers get older.

Gretchen Whitmer vows action on climate. Here’s how warming hurts Michigan.

January 9, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Rising temperatures are impacting Michigan’s roads, sewers, forests and farms, a landmark federal report warns. Gretchen Whitmer promises to create an office dedicated to solutions.

New Midwest governors spur hope for regional fight against climate change

January 9, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Several states elected governors who vow action against warming temperatures, prompting some to wonder whether the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord could see a revival.

Whitmer: State workers must report health threats, and bosses must listen

January 2, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed her first executive directive aiming to improve reporting of threats to public safety and speed agencies’ response. She also took steps to disrupt the newly approved Line 5 tunnel.

Gov. Snyder vetoes Michigan bills criticized as Republican ‘power grabs’

December 28, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The departing governor took a different path from Scott Walker in Wisconsin, rejecting bills to shield dark money and make it easier for the  legislature to enter lawsuits.

Gov. Snyder signs Michigan lame-duck bills opposed by environmentalists

December 28, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Snyder approved one bill that limits the ability of his Democratic successor to enact tougher regulations. But he approved $69 million to help clean up toxic sites.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder gets bill to lift protections on small wetlands

December 21, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The House made major changes to lessen the impact of a bill that would have previously lifted environmental protections on at least 550,000 acres of wetlands and 4,200 lakes.

 

Michigan lawmakers dole out $1B in wee hours, lame-duck spending spree

December 20, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Jim Malewitz

Pennies from heaven? Try millions and millions. Michigan lawmakers approve $1.3 billion in extra funding for toxic cleanups, roads and tons of pet projects.

 

Michigan DEQ staffers to Gov. Snyder: Veto bill to weaken cleanup standards

December 20, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The legislation would “threaten the health and safety of the people of Michigan” and put the agency in an  “untenable position” 82 employees told Snyder in a rare public plea.

Michigan House moves to overhaul standards for toxic cleanups

December 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Industry groups cheer move to require state regulators to use federal standards to determine if sites are safe. Critics say those are looser and the measure would make cleanups less protective.

Michigan House panel votes to gut ‘radical’ wetlands protections

December 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

‘If we don’t do something, we can kiss personal property rights goodbye,’ says sponsor of measure that would remove protections on at least 550,000 acres of wetlands. Critics disagree.

 

Michigan GOP in no hurry to fulfill Rick Snyder’s environmental wish list

December 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The outgoing governor wants to raise taxes and fees for environmental cleanups. His Republican colleagues aren’t biting.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs Line 5 tunnel bill; appoints authority members

December 12, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The Republican signed legislation to create a Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority to oversee a proposed tunnel surrounding the controversial pipeline.

Bill to make it tougher to pass regulations in Michigan heads to Snyder

December 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Republicans say legislation provides uniformity for businesses; Democrats say it would make it harder to respond to threats such as PFAS.

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