Michigan Environment Watch


Emails cast doubt about Michigan’s ties to Enbridge in Line 5 debate

July 11, 2018 | Craig Mauger, Jim Malewitz

As a deadline looms for Gov. Snyder to decide the future of a pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, he has touted efforts to weigh the issue transparently and independently. But his administration has given Enbridge Energy plenty of avenues to influence the debate.

‘History of failure’ highlights Line 5 risks outside Straits of Mackinac

July 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz, Craig Mauger

Last year, the controversial pipeline sprung two small leaks, illustrating lingering questions about a pipeline that crosses nearly 400 bodies of water in Michigan and the state’s power to oversee it. But Enbridge Energy says it’s significantly improved safety.

He told Flint to ‘relax.’ Now, Michigan is paying him to lead media training.

July 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz, Craig Mauger

A former Michigan spokesman who resigned because of “callous” statements about Flint was paid by a state contract to train government employees on how to communicate with media, records show.

Michigan environment roundup: Climate change to blame for U.P. flooding?

July 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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

Listen: Bridge discusses Great Lakes drowning ‘epidemic’

June 15, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Dozens drown every year in the Great Lakes, and most Michigan beaches lack lifeguards. Hear an interview of Bridge Magazine discussing the problem.

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.

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.

Low milk prices are a big headache for Michigan’s family dairy farms

May 15, 2018 | Tim Jagielo

A milk surplus is shrinking margins and making life even harder for Michigan’s 1,600 dairy farms.

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.

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.