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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Michigan, Great Lakes at risk for oil spills beyond Line 5, report says

Michigan, Great Lakes at risk for oil spills beyond Line 5, report says

December 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

As Michigan lawmakers race to create a deal to protect Line 5, a new report flags 15 areas across the Great Lakes where habitats are vulnerable to oil spills.

Michigan lawmakers send Line 5 tunnel plan to Gov. Snyder’s desk

Michigan lawmakers send Line 5 tunnel plan to Gov. Snyder’s desk

December 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The House and Senate quickly approved a bill Tuesday to help Gov. Snyder lock-in a plan to swap out twin pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac and protect them in a bedrock tunnel. Critics decry a rush before a Democrat becomes governor.

Republicans: Michigan shouldn’t regulate more strictly than Washington

Republicans: Michigan shouldn’t regulate more strictly than Washington

December 10, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Supporters call House Bill 4205 a transparency measure that’s good for business. Critics worry it would remove tools to tackle problems such as PFAS contamination.

Michigan Republican Senator: I’m no anti-environmental villain

Michigan Republican Senator: I’m no anti-environmental villain

December 5, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Sen. Tom Casperson, the powerful Michigan Republican behind a slew of bills to deregulate the environment, calls himself a champion of private property rights and disagrees with his portrayal in news media.

Michigan Senate approves plan to preserve Line 5 before foes take office

Michigan Senate approves plan to preserve Line 5 before foes take office

December 5, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Rick Snyder cleared a hurdle in his race to lock-in a plan to swap out twin pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac and protect them in a bedrock tunnel.

Michigan lawmakers: ‘Every little thing’ doesn’t need environmental protection

Michigan lawmakers: ‘Every little thing’ doesn’t need environmental protection

December 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

With little debate, legislation is sailing through the Legislature to deregulate wetlands, loosen rules for cleaning toxic sites and secure Line 5. The changes are ‘unprecedented," a critic says. 

As he exits, Michigan lawmaker wants to gut wetland protection, boost waste

As he exits, Michigan lawmaker wants to gut wetland protection, boost waste

December 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Term-limited Republican Sen. Tom Casperson’s lame-duck bills would cut wetland protections in half in most counties, raise allowable levels of radioactive landfill waste 10-fold and limit local zoning of mining activity.

Mackinac Bridge Authority shouldn't oversee Line 5 tunnel, Michigan Republicans say

Mackinac Bridge Authority shouldn't oversee Line 5 tunnel, Michigan Republicans say

December 3, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Facing pushback and scrambling to complete his tunnel plan before leaving office, Michigan’s governor scraps plan to have bridge authority oversee project.

 

This Michigan lawmaker is pushing a bill that will save his business $9,000

This Michigan lawmaker is pushing a bill that will save his business $9,000

November 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A state representative who also owns a convenience store is crusading to dump Michigan’s bottle deposit law. Michigan has no law preventing lawmakers from passing laws that directly benefit them.

Flint finds replacing lead pipes isn’t easy. Even when state promises to pay

Flint finds replacing lead pipes isn’t easy. Even when state promises to pay

November 28, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Momentum has stalled, costs are rising dramatically, and state officials are threatening to halt funding for efforts to replace all of Flint’s water lead pipes.

Michigan environment roundup: Climate change spells trouble for Midwest farmers

Michigan environment roundup: Climate change spells trouble for Midwest farmers

November 28, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

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

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.

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