Alex Brown

Alex Brown

Alex Brown is a Michigan native who covers environmental issues for Stateline. Prior to joining Pew, Brown wrote for The Chronicle in Lewis County, Washington state. He’s won awards for investigative reporting and feature writing from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association.

It may have just gotten harder to protect minority communities from pollution

By: - August 30, 2023

In recent years, some states have invested in air quality monitoring, applied extra scrutiny to permitting decisions and steered cleanup funding to minority communities that have borne the brunt of pollution for decades. Now, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down race-conscious college admissions policies, state lawmakers are facing a […]

Offshore wind in the Midwest? Some Great Lakes leaders think so.

By: - May 29, 2023

Years from now, when Chicagoans stroll the Lake Michigan waterfront, they may see the blades of wind turbines glinting on the horizon. Clevelanders could glimpse wind farms over Lake Erie. And cities like Milwaukee and Buffalo could be vying to attract a burgeoning offshore wind industry on the Great Lakes. That’s the vision some regional leaders have […]

Workers repairing lead pipes in Flint

Lead pipe removal speeds up as federal stimulus dollars flow

By: - October 7, 2021

Since 2018, tests have found that scores of homes in Benton Harbor have dangerously high lead levels in their drinking water. With nearly 6,000 known lead service pipes in the city, local officials were left staring at a $30 million problem — a cost many times greater than their annual budget. The Southwest Michigan city […]

Trees: The critical infrastructure low-income neighborhoods lack

By: - July 8, 2021

As the Pacific Northwest sweltered through a record-breaking heat wave last week, many residents here in America’s least air-conditioned city sought relief under the shade of cedars and maples in city parks. But in some areas of Seattle, that shelter was hard to come by. “If you look at aerial photographs, north Seattle looks like […]

Flush with federal cash, states invest in their crowded parks

By: - June 29, 2021

For years, Michigan officials have fretted about the ever-growing list of overdue maintenance needs at their 103 state parks: roads and trails, water and sewer systems, restrooms and electrical infrastructure. All are in dire need of replacement or repair — with a price tag that exceeds a quarter-billion dollars. “A lot of these parks are […]

A bipartisan push could change state wildlife protection

By: - March 5, 2021

Scientists say the world is on the precipice of a mass extinction. The United Nations estimates that 1 million species are on the verge of being wiped out, threatened by climate change, habitat loss, pollution, invasive species and poaching. In the United States, the federal government has oversight of the more than 1,600 species listed […]

Environmentalists make long-shot attempt to ban new factory farms

By: - February 23, 2021

Iowa has a poop problem. The Hawkeye State’s pigs, cows and chickens produce about as much waste as 134 million people — nearly the population of Russia. Most of that manure is spread onto fields as fertilizer, where significant amounts of it wash into Iowa waterways. The city of Des Moines uses one of the most […]

Once-ignored promises to tribes could change environmental landscape in Michigan, other states

By: - December 3, 2020

Last month, Michigan officials announced plans to shut down a controversial Line 5 oil pipeline that runs below the Great Lakes at the Straits of Mackinac. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats, cited several reasons for the decision, including one that got the attention of tribal leaders in Michigan who have […]

Rising waters threaten Great Lakes communities

By: - October 22, 2020

Along a shoreline that stretches farther than the combined length of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, waters driven by climate change have risen as much as 6 feet in less than a decade, washing away houses, destroying roads and threatening critical infrastructure such as water treatment plants in towns large and small. The ongoing disaster […]

Lawmakers open groundwater fight against bottled water companies

By: - March 10, 2020

Washington state, land of sprawling rainforests and glacier-fed rivers, might soon become the first in the nation to ban water bottling companies from tapping spring-fed sources. The proposal is one of several efforts at the state and local level to fend off the fast-growing bottled water industry and protect local groundwater. Local activists throughout the […]

Paris disagreement: States split on climate, so U.S. to miss emissions target

By: - January 6, 2020

When the United States formally withdraws from the 2015 Paris Agreement in less than a year, almost half of states — or at least their governors — will remain committed to meeting the goals of the global compact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Collectively, the 24 […]