Annie Ropeik | New Hampshire Public Radio

Annie Ropeik

Reporter: Climate, Energy, Environment, Seacoast

Credit Samantha Searles / NHPR

Annie Ropeik joined NHPR’s reporting team in 2017, following stints with public radio stations and collaborations across the country. She has reported everywhere from fishing boats, island villages and cargo terminals in Alaska, to cornfields, factories and Superfund sites in the Midwest.

Her work has appeared on NPR, the BBC and CNN, and earned recognition from PRNDI and multiple state press clubs.

Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Annie caught the public media bug during internships at NPR in Washington and WBUR in Boston. She studied classics at Boston University and enjoys a good PDF, the rule of threes and meeting other people’s dogs.

Ways to Connect

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

By the time today's teenagers turn 50, New England's climate will feel very different. 

Under current warming trends, states like New Hampshire will have shorter winters with less snow. Some coastal areas will be underwater. And it will all be worse without swift action to stop fossil fuel emissions. 

This possible future is calling more and more of New Hampshire's young people to act -- and they're getting results. 

FranklinSites.com

Officials in the town of Thornton have rejected a proposed cell tower on land owned by Gov. Chris Sununu’s family at the edge of the White Mountain National Forest.

Eversource

Eversource is joining a group of utilities aiming to build a national network of high-speed electric vehicle chargers.

The company, which is New Hampshire’s largest electric provider, is the first in the Northeast to join the Electric Highway Coalition, launched last month by utilities in the Southeast, Gulf Coast and Midwest.

NHPR Photo

New Hampshire’s U.S. senators are asking federal regulators to allow state and local governments to spend pandemic stimulus funds on addressing PFAS chemical contamination.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan joined a bipartisan group making the request to theTreasury Department this week.

Rochester city councilor Doug LaChance
City of Rochester / RochesterNH.net

A Rochester city councilor is facing calls for his resignation after being accused of sexually abusing boys two decades ago.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state says it hasn't been following its own rules in notifying people of potential water contamination near the Saint-Gobain plastics factory in Merrimack.

Regulators say they’re working to correct the problem and think most affected properties are already aware of the issue. But citizen advocates are worried that some in the area may be unknowingly drinking contaminated water as a result of the lapse.

Liberty

Liberty Utilities has suspended a home weatherization program for its natural gas customers because of delays at the Public Utilities Commission in approving expanded energy efficiency goals for the state.

Other electric and gas utilities say they could soon face similar choices that will affect their customers if regulators continue to leave the issue undecided.

Emerson Aviation view of Lake Winnipesaukee ice out
Emerson Aviation

This week's ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee is part of a trend toward earlier spring thaws in New Hampshire due to climate change.

The lake was declared ice-free and navigable by boat on Monday, April 5. It's about two weeks earlier than the average ice-out date over the past hundred-plus years.

Graphic showing a fire danger scale with an arrow pointing showing a moderate level of fire danger
NH Forest Rangers

Responders have put out at least two small brush fires in New Hampshire this week amid dry conditions and high winds.

One was in Cornish, near homes on Route 12-A. The other destroyed a barn in Hinsdale.

Fire danger has been rated at least moderate in the state this week. And there's little rain in the forecast in the coming days. The state is well below average on precipitation for the year, with another potential drought in the works this spring.

Combined with gusty winds, the state says it means any open burning can easily catch and spread uncontrolled.

NHPR File

In a federal whistleblower complaint, a former attorney for the Saint-Gobain plastics company claims he was told to “look the other way” on potential water contamination like the kind that’s affected New Hampshire and Vermont. 

The New Hampshire House meets this week to vote on dozens of bills, prime among them is a state budget full of conservative policies.

The conservative budget plan reflects the fact that Republicans now enjoy unified control of the New Hampshire State House. But beyond that, the party's health is less clear.

NHPR File Photo

In a report released Tuesday, New Hampshire’s Attorney General ruled a police officer was justified in shooting and killing a man in Meredith last November. It was the fifth police-involved shooting the state has investigated in about a year.

NHDES

New Hampshire is likely headed into an early spring drought despite recent rain and snow, according to the latest national forecast – and state officials are already warning of the potential drinking water impacts.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

President Biden’s $2-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan could bring expanded Amtrak train service to New Hampshire and Northern New England.

Amtrak, the publicly funded national rail operator, released a new map this week of expansions it could offer by 2035 under Biden’s proposal.

Great Bay National Estuarine Reserve

New runoff controls are coming to Great Bay after three adjacent cities reached an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation to avert an appeal of a key federal water quality permit.  

The Environmental Protection Agency issued the long-awaited permit for a dozen towns around Great Bay last year.

A Seabrook man who shouted racist threats at a family last year violated the state's Civil Rights Act, the Rockingham Superior Court has ruled.

According to a complaint released by the Department of Justice in January, John Doran, unprovoked, began shouting slurs at a car containing a family returning from a beach trip last July.

When one victim approached him, Doran pointed a gas hose at them, threatened to burn them and said "go back to Africa."

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is re-introducing a bill to give more federal support to multi-state climate change programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

EPA New England

A former chemical industry lobbyist and top official in the Trump Administration's Environmental Protection Agency will serve as the assistant commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

State transportation officials are considering a plan to open the shoulders on the I-95 Bridge between Portsmouth and Maine for travel during peak congestion times.

The Maine and New Hampshire Departments of Transportation are working together on the project. It would cost about $8 million and be set for completion by Memorial Day of 2023.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state and the Saint-Gobain plastics factory in Merrimack will settle a dispute over chemical treatment technology with a consent decree.

The agreement, filed Friday in Hillsborough County Superior Court, comes after the factory missed a February deadline to make upgrades that would prevent excess emissions of toxic PFAS chemicals.

AlaskaBirchSyrup.com

Scientists at the University of New Hampshire are studying ways to tap trees and make syrup with species other than maples, in hopes of developing new niche markets for small producers as climate change reshapes the state’s current sugaring industry.

The researchers have been tapping and monitoring trees like beeches, birches, walnuts and sycamores this winter.

Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Labs

The New Hampshire state Senate on Thursday advanced a plan to require utility investment in large offshore wind energy projects and other renewable sources. The proposal for what’s known as a "procurement program" passed on a bipartisan 23 to 1 vote.

Pease Air National Guard tower
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

At the former Pease Air Base in Portsmouth, scientists are resuming a pair of pioneering research studies on chemical contamination in drinking water. It could provide some of the best evidence to date of risks posed by the industrial compounds known as PFAS. 

But despite more than a year of effort, organizers say they're having trouble recruiting enough families to join, which could hamper efforts to treat a growing public health crisis.

Melissa Lombard / USGS

New federal research shows drought can increase the risk of unsafe arsenic levels in private drinking water wells -- especially in New Hampshire, Maine and the Midwest, where arsenic in wells is already a problem.

The study from the U.S. Geological Survey comes as forecasters predict the country's worst spring drought since 2013, affecting tens of millions of people, especially in the Western half of the country.

Bob Basile / NH Audubon

New Hampshire Audubon has a new study on the status of the many migratory and local bird species that are commonly found across the state’s varied habitats.

It shows conservation measures that have been effective to improve some species’ populations, as well as the pressures from climate change and human development that threaten others.

Forest Service

Managers in the White Mountain National Forest are planning a series of controlled burns aimed at protecting homes in Conway from the growing risk of climate-drive wildfires. 

The proposal aims to prevent fires in a developed area on the forest boundary, where the pine-driven ecosystem is prone to burning.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal officials say they’ve definitively linked three contaminated water wells in Greenland to the Seacoast’s Coakley Landfill Superfund site.

The Environmental Protection Agency gave a public update on the site Wednesday night, for the first time since 2019.

Utility poles blown over
EversourceNH

Nearly 20,000 people in New Hampshire were still without power due to high winds early Tuesday evening.

Most of the outages are with Eversource in Portsmouth and other parts of the Seacoast. The New Hampshire Electric Co-op also has large outages in the Lakes Region and Eastern White Mountains, including, as of 5:30 p.m., nearly 3,000 in Alton.

No Coal No Gas / 350NH

New Hampshire’s coal-fired power plant, the last of its kind in New England not set to retire, will now remain online through at least 2025, despite calls from climate change activists for it to close. 

The news comes from a federal filing in late February by the regional grid manager, ISO-New England.

Plane crash at Hampton Airfield
North Hampton Police Department

Two men suffered minor injuries when their small airplane overturned on landing at Hampton Airfield this morning.

The 70-year pilot and his 68-year-old passenger took off from Skylark Airport in Connecticut, according to North Hampton rescue officials. They flew in what’s known as a kit-plane – an amateur-built aircraft with one engine and two seats.

Responders say the plane crashed in Hampton and was found flipped over in the snowy median beside the runway. They say both passengers wore seatbelts and could get out of the plane on their own.

Pages