Annie Ropeik

Reporter: 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

NOAA Fisheries

New Hampshire is drafting plans for how its lobster fishery will help meet new federal goals for protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales.

Seacoast lobstermen weighed in on the proposal at a meeting Thursday night in Portsmouth with the state Department of Fish and Game.

Courtesy CDC

The state of Maine saw a record number of Lyme disease cases last year, according to preliminary data released this week.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Senator Jeanne Shaheen wants the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed up dredging projects for two Seacoast harbors in the coming year.

Shaheen pushed last year for the Corps to dredge Hampton Harbor. That project was recently completed.

Now, she says dredging is overdue for Rye Harbor and the Piscataqua River, home to the Port of New Hampshire in Portsmouth.

The Saint-Gobain plastics factory in Merrimack says it will continue voluntarily complying – in part – with the state’s halted PFAS chemical limits.

New Hampshire’s strict standards for the toxic chemicals are on hold under a court injunction.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Journalists voiced strong opposition Wednesday to a bill that seeks to make New Hampshire media outlets update online crime stories with not-guilty verdicts.

The bill’s sponsor is Brookline Republican Rep. Jack Flanagan. He says he filed it, at constituents’ request, out of concern that news media were not required by law to issue updates, retractions or corrections when someone is acquitted of a crime.

Governor Chris Sununu has joined bipartisan calls for Congress to permanently fund a key federal land and water conservation program.

The decades-old Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, has provided nearly $40 million in grants for hundreds of New Hampshire's state parks, heritage sites and other outdoor preservation projects.

Alix Contosta / UNH

Scientists say winter warm spells – like the one the Northeast saw this past weekend – are in line with predictions for climate change.

Nearly every New Hampshire city and many in surrounding states set daily high temperature records on Saturday and Sunday, with peak warmth in the high 60s.

AscendedAnathema / Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will not hear an equal rights appeal from three New Hampshire women who were arrested for going topless at Weirs Beach in 2016. 

The high court rejected the "Free the Nipple" case Monday, along with dozens of other cases it's declined to hear in its upcoming term.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs says other, similar cases are still proceeding in lower courts around the country. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Air Force says it will study whether people stationed at Pease Air Base in recent decades got cancer at unusually high rates.

Former service members have been calling for a study like this for more than a year.

F-16s Virginia with KC-135R New Hampshire via Wikimedia Commons

As relations between the United States and Iran remain tense, New Hampshire's military personnel and veterans are also considering the implications for the two nations.

New Hampshire veteran Kevin Grady spent 25 years in the Air Force. He says nobody dislikes going to war more than those in uniform.

"Because we're the ones who have to go out and do the actual fighting" Grady says. "So we always are big fans of somebody figuring out a way that the shooting doesn't start, and we get by our differences and move on. We're big fans of that."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new study points to a range of options for easing traffic and improving economic development around the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The land use study was spearheaded by the town of Kittery, Maine. It's designed to help local officials plan improvements and seek federal funding.

Larry Dennis is president of the engineers' union at the shipyard, where nearly 7,000 people work.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal regulators are proposing a new way to limit water pollution from a dozen towns surrounding Great Bay.

The draft general permit from the Environmental Protection Agency marks a big step forward in the years-long effort to clean up the degraded estuary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has a new plan to expand renewable energy net metering for towns and businesses. It’s an alternative to a plan he’s blocked the past two years.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR News

Candidates campaigning in the final stretch of the New Hampshire presidential primary are redoubling their focus on environmental issues that have long been priorities for local voters.

Janet Bland via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/22SfbXM

New Hampshire legislators this session will consider requiring bottled water brands in the state to be tested and labeled for toxic PFAS chemicals.

The industrial compounds have been linked to health problems and can persist in the environment, but aren't subject to binding federal regulations.

Last year, New Hampshire regulators found high levels of PFAS chemicals in local bottled water brands sourced from a spring in Massachusetts.

Courtesy Alex Ritchie

The state is recruiting businesses to move into a former North Country mill, which will soon be the site of a hydrogen-to-energy power plant.

The plant, in the village of Groveton, has been in the works since 2018 and is set for completion next summer.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of voters turned out to see 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar speak in Dover on Sunday, at the first of seven town halls she has scheduled throughout the state in the next few days.  Klobuchar cast herself as a pragmatist who can draw votes in purple states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. 

The fight over a new contract for the New Hampshire state employees' union crossed paths with the 2020 presidential race Friday in Concord.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called for an end to the union's impasse with Gov. Chris Sununu. The State Employees Association wants a 4 percent wage increase over the next two years, as recommended by an independent fact-finder's report on the stalled contract negotiations. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The New Hampshire state employees' union says they may not endorse a presidential candidate in the 2020 primary race.

file

For the third year running, net metering is set to be a top renewable energy issue at the State House in 2020.

Advocates have tried for the past two years to pass expansions of net metering for towns and businesses.

Net metering would let these large customers generate more of their own power and save on their bills by selling the excess back to the regional grid.

Keng Susumpow via Flickr CC

State lawmakers will try again to pass restrictions on single-use plastic items in the coming legislative session.

The House last year approved a bill saying plastic straws should only be given out on request. But state Senators of both parties agreed to block the measure.

They argued it wasn’t needed -- that public opinion in the state was already turning against excessive plastic use.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

State legislators in the coming session will consider making the state's new lead testing standards for schools and daycares more strict.

The current rule went into effect this past summer. It requires childcare facilities to test their water for lead and take action if they find it above 15 parts per billion.

Tom Irwin is New Hampshire director of the Conservation Law Foundation and helped push for that new law. But he says it doesn't go far enough.

Eversource

The fight against Eversource’s new Seacoast transmission line is winding down, with construction nearly complete.

Environmental advocates withdrew their state Supreme Court appeal against Eversource’s Seacoast Reliability Project in mid-December.

The court challenge had been unsuccessful in blocking the most controversial part of the project – a process known as “jet plowing,” which buried the transmission line under Little Bay.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR News

UPDATE: The draft permit was issued Dec. 31 and is open for public comment until Feb. 14, 2020. Click here for details. Original story continues below: 

A state fish hatchery facing a federal water pollution lawsuit will soon receive a key new permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit comes from neighbors of the state's largest fish hatchery, Powder Mill in New Durham.

File photo

The state is warning that southwestern New Hampshire will see unhealthy levels of particulate air pollution this weekend.

The Department of Environmental Services says the poor air quality will especially affect Keene and other valley communities. It could potentially last into early next week.

Officials say it's a result of heavy use of wood-burning stoves and boilers, combined with cold temperatures and calm winds. They say residents should consider using alternate heating sources if possible, "until winds increase and air quality improves."

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A power plant in Bow -- the largest coal-burning plant left in New England -- has been the target of protests and civil disobedience in recent weeks. 

This month, activists from across New England have twice attempted to block trains carrying shipments of coal to the plant. Protests on the train tracks and at the plant have so far resulted in dozens of arrests.   

The activists say Merrimack Station should close. Its owners argue that criticism is misplaced. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

People in New Hampshire and hundreds of communities around the country held rallies Tuesday night in support of the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The House of Representatives is expected to approve articles of impeachment Wednesday. The Senate would then act as jurors for a trial.

Mike Mackey from Newfields stood in the snow in Portsmouth’s Market Square with a sign that read “Save Our Democracy.” He said he hopes members of Congress will successfully impeach and remove the president.

upupa4me via Flickr CC

Public comment is open on a new regional framework for limiting carbon emissions from vehicles – the largest source of planet-warming greenhouse gases in the Northeast.

Gov. Chris Sununu already says he won't commit New Hampshire to joining the program, known as the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI.

It would limit and price emissions from vehicle fuel distributors. Revenues from that price would be reinvested by the states – as they are under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that caps and prices emissions from power plants in the Northeast.

FILE

The cities of Rochester, Dover and Somersworth are considering a new way to provide temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness during the coldest parts of winter.

Rochester was the first of the Tri-Cities to adopt a new permit on the issue. It lets private properties become emergency shelters during cold weather for up to 48 hours, so long as the building that wants to house people meets fire protection requirements.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The state of New Hampshire says it will not require that public water supplies be tested for toxic PFAS chemicals by the end of the year, contrary to earlier advice.

The state’s strict new PFAS standards will be suspended Dec. 31 under a court injunction, after industry and municipal groups challenged the rules earlier this fall.

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