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.


Michigan environment roundup: Don’t feed the zombie deer

June 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan's 'zombie deer' disease, trapping bloodsucking Grand River lampreys with sex pheromones, and the expansion of a hazardous waste facility in Detroit. This week’s can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources. 

Michigan lawmakers may require schools to test water for lead

June 6, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

House lawmakers voice bipartisan support for legislation to require schools, child care centers, colleges hospitals and veterans centers to test for lead and other contaminants.

New report says Line 5 is Michigan’s risk, but Canada’s benefit

May 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The report from the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities seeks to turn up the heat on state officials weighing Line 5’s future and rebut Enbridge Energy’s contention the pipeline delivers a crucial supply of energy to Michigan.

Great Lakes drownings an ‘epidemic.’ Meet a Michigan man obsessed with ending them.

May 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

At least 640 people have drowned on the Great Lakes since 2010. We know that because of Bob Pratt, a former East Lansing fire marshal who’s on a mission to make Great Lakes beaches safer.

Swim at your own risk. Most Michigan beaches lack lifeguards

May 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan towns along the Great Lakes have eliminated lifeguards at public beaches in recent years, increasing risks, safety advocates say. In New Buffalo, officials briefly considered the idea. Then came the backlash.

How to survive rip currents and other Great Lakes drowning dangers (video)

May 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Dozens die each year in waters that can be fiercer than oceans. Most are men. Most aren’t wearing life jackets. Those aren’t the only surprises.

Michigan environment roundup: Lead paint enforcement spotty in Detroit

May 30, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

Michigan House approves bills letting industry vote on environmental rules

May 23, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The Michigan House on Tuesday backed a plan to fashion private-sector panels — including one populated largely with industry representatives — that could override Department of Environmental Quality rules and permit decisions.

Extra! Extra! costs: Michigan newspapers pinched by newsprint tariffs

May 16, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

A steep import tax on Canadian newsprint could trigger fresh staff cuts, page cuts or worse at Michigan’s community newspapers, publishers warn.

Rural Michigan helped elect Trump. Now, farmers are sweating a trade war.

May 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Michigan farmers went whole-hog for Trump, but fear a Chinese tariffs could wallop bottom lines. Soybean growers have the most to lose.

Michigan environment roundup: Flint water crisis legal tab tops $23M

May 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

Michigan Truth Squad: Democrat candidates blast Nestlé’s ‘free’ water

May 8, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

In the race for Michigan governor, Democrats are widely condemning the state’s decision to allow Nestlé to pump up to 400 gallons per minute of water from one Osceola County well. Does their rhetoric match the facts?

Enbridge fined $1.9 million for inspection woes on Line 5, other pipelines

May 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Enbridge Energy will pay up to settle the federal government’s claims it violated a $177 million settlement for the Kalamazoo River oil spill. The company allegedly failed to properly inspect certain sections of its pipelines — including parts of Line 5.

For small town battling Nestlé, Michigan’s permit doesn’t end water saga

May 2, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Water lawyers are eying several avenues to challenge DEQ’s decision to allow a Nestlé water bottling facility to pump up to 400 gallons per minute from a well outside of Evart. It wouldn’t be the company’s first legal showdown in Michigan.

Michigan isn’t alone. Most states charge little for water bottlers like Nestlé

May 2, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Long-held laws allowing for ‘reasonable use’ to water under land have kept withdrawal fees cheap. But Ontario charges big bucks to bottlers.

Michigan environment roundup: Despite billions, toxic algae chokes Lake Erie

May 2, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

Michigan approves $1B DTE natural gas plant in blow to environmentalists

April 27, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The approval of DTE natural gas plant in St. Clair comes as energy giants are moving away from coal and debate is intensifying about what comes next.

Michigan was once a leader at recycling. Today, it’s the pits.

April 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Nearly 40 years after Michigan implemented its landmark 10-cent deposit law, the state’s recycling rate is among the nation’s worst. What happened? And what is Lansing doing about it?

In northern Michigan, Emmet County seen as model for rural recycling

April 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

At the tip of Michigan's Mitten, the rural county has become a model for keeping trash out of landfills.

Timing could be everything in Michigan fight over DTE natural gas plant

April 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The outcome of a contentious dispute over a $1 billion natural gas plant planned for St. Clair County could hinge on whether DTE Energy must comply with new state guidelines for power plant proposals.