Annie Ropeik | New Hampshire Public Radio

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.

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Annie Ropeik / NHPR File Photo

A new federal permit for New Hampshire's largest coal-fired power plant will not require the installation of cooling towers, which advocates say are vital to protect the Merrimack River.

The Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t updated Merrimack Station’s five-year water quality permit since the 1990s. The permit regulates water intake and discharge between the plant and the adjacent Merrimack River.

UNH Carsey School

A recent poll says New Hampshire residents' trust in science and government advice hasn't changed much, even as the coronavirus spreads.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Survey Center polled about 1,800 residents in March and April.

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New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation is opposing a federal petition that would erode states’ control of a major solar energy policy.

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State water regulators say New Hampshire businesses may need to flush their pipes as they reopen for the first time since March.

The Department of Environmental Services says water may have stagnated in pipes that got little or no use in recent weeks.  This can lead to unsafe levels of lead and copper or conditions where bacteria like Legionella can grow.

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Jim Cleveland / US Navy

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will help the Army manufacture thousands of COVID-19 diagnostic test swabs.

The facility in Kittery, Maine will 3D print up to 10,000 swabs a day using surgical grade resin.

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The long, bristled swabs are inserted into a person’s nose to get a sample that can determine if they have COVID-19. There have been widespread shortages of these swabs during the pandemic. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Eversource has notified the state that it plans to power up its new Seacoast transmission line at the end of this month, on May 29.

The Seacoast Reliability Project runs about 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with a mile buried underwater beneath Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

Eversource proposed the project in 2015 as part of its response to a call for more reliable infrastructure from the regional grid operator, ISO-New England. The utility says the line will help carry electric load and back up other transmission lines in the area.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

A federal judge says immigrants detained at the Strafford County jail in Dover are entitled to bail hearings if they’re especially vulnerable to COVID-19. The ruling comes amid news that a jail employee has tested positive for the virus.

No cases are reported among inmates.

Friday’s court order affirms that people in federal immigration detention at the Dover prison can seek release on bail if they’re at high risk of coronavirus infection.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new lawsuit seeking to end New Hampshire's stay-at-home order will get a hearing in Superior Court.

The suit comes from Mary Rivard, who owns a hair salon in New London. Her complaint is against Gov. Chris Sununu’s recent declaration extending the stay-at-home order while allowing some businesses to reopen under new parameters.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire retail stores, hair salons, and barbershops will be permitted to allow customers back inside on Monday for the first time since Gov. Chris Sununu instituted limits to curtail the spread of coronavirus nearly two months ago.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

When New Hampshire reopens parts of its economy in the next couple of weeks, the public beaches on the Seacoast will stay closed. It's sparked debate in seaside towns like Rye over what restrictions are warranted.


Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Laboratory

New Hampshire’s energy efficiency sector is shedding jobs due to COVID-19, but advocates also say that industry could help the state dig out of the recession.

The state lost more than 750 energy-related jobs in March, according to the research firm BW. New England lost nearly 15,000 energy jobs overall that month, mostly in Massachusetts.  

NH State Parks

New restrictions for New Hampshire campgrounds are easing some -  but not all - fears in North Country towns about the spread of coronavirus.

Under new state orders, campgrounds must run at half capacity and can only open to New Hampshire residents or private members.

NHPR file

Top Democratic state lawmakers want a judge to reconsider their challenge to Governor Chris Sununu’s authority over federal coronavirus aid.

In their initial lawsuit, the legislators argued that they have a constitutional right to approve how the funds are used – even during a state of emergency.

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New England saw a big drop in energy prices and demand in March, as the coronavirus pandemic coincided with mild late-winter weather.

The region's grid operator, ISO-New England, says March had the lowest electricity prices since 2003, when the current market structure began.

The regional grid runs mostly on natural gas, and gas prices were 60 percent lower in March of this year than last.

Dan Tuohy | NHPR

Good weather kept police on New Hampshire's seacoast busy this weekend as they tried to enforce beach restrictions related to COVID-19.

Related: What has changed in New Hampshire's stay-at-home order?

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A federal challenge to a policy that benefits solar energy – from a conservative lobbying firm with New Hampshire roots – is attracting attention from around the country.

The New England Ratepayers Association, or NERA, is based in Boston but active in Granite State politics. They formed in 2016 and do not disclose their membership.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is laying out a potential phased plan for resuming normal operations at state parks and other outdoor recreation sites, with new controls to protect public health.

Most state parks have remained open and well trafficked, including by out-of-state visitors, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, many public and private campgrounds, beaches and other amenities and attractions have closed.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Star Island resort on the Isles of Shoals will not open this summer, for the first time in decades.

The seasonal facility off the coast near Portsmouth is only accessible by boat. It typically hosts thousands of people each summer for conferences, retreats and more.

This year, that will change due to fears about the spread of coronavirus.

The Telegraph's online header

The Nashua Telegraph will scale back its print editions to Sundays only as the coronavirus continues to reshape the local news industry in New Hampshire.

Many local print outlets have laid off staff and cut production due to a loss of advertising revenue. Now, The Telegraph says it will turn its focus to its online edition and begin printing only on Sundays.

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Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Two new COVID-19 clusters have been reported at New Hampshire nursing homes, as officials announced that long-term care facilities account for 60 percent of all coronavirus-related infections in the state. 

ESA

The University of New Hampshire has won a $6-million-dollar federal contract to build a space weather sensor for a satellite that will orbit the Sun.

The instrument, called a magnetometer, will help monitor the sun’s outer atmosphere or “corona.” This generates solar wind and can create storms, according to a UNH press release.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file

Fifty years ago, millions of people in New Hampshire and nationwide celebrated the first Earth Day.

Today, this celebration is now international and looks a lot different - we're in the midst of a pandemic that’s interrupted the world’s growing response to climate change and brought much of society to a standstill. 

NHPR has been talking to activists and concerned citizens of all ages about how COVID-19 has reshaped their thinking about global warming and the future of efforts to fix it. 

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Democratic state lawmakers say they'll push for renewable energy development as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.

State senator and gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes addressed the issue during a virtual Earth Day town hall Wednesday.

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Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Members of Congress from Massachusetts want details on how Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant is handling COVID-19.

Seabrook Station is currently offline and in the midst of a periodic refueling. That process requires a large extra workforce.

The plant’s owner, NextEra, has said it’s operating under its pandemic plan but it hasn’t offered more details.

Courtesy Gabby Bradt

Before school closure, Dr. Susan Pike’s classrooms were loud, and she prided herself on it.

Students in her high school science classes at the private school St. Thomas Aquinas High School, in Dover, would do calculations together on the white board, bounce between group experiments, and crowd over microscopes to inspect pond scum.

“One of the favorites is the pond water [lessons], where we're looking at different species and then doing things with food webs, and they're all looking at microscopes and finding these disgusting worms,” she says. “And people are talking to each other and sharing their ideas.”

Courtesy Cristin Zaimes

For some healthcare providers in New Hampshire, the COVID-19 pandemic has jump-started a move to something they’ve wanted for years: more telemedicine. 

But the state's insurance system has been slow to catch up - and it's still unclear if it can last. 

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Annie Ropeik / NHPR File

Before the coronavirus pandemic, another global crisis was capturing more and more of the world’s attention: climate change. 

Now, the virus is reshaping our response to global warming -- changing how we think about everything from disaster preparedness, to the role of science in public policy.

NHPR wants your help to tell this story, starting this Wednesday, April 22, on a special edition of The Exchange for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

BOEM.gov

A fishing industry group wants New Hampshire and neighboring states to put off planning offshore wind development during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, or RODA, sent a letter to the governors of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts on Tuesday. The group represents the fishing industry in states with offshore wind development.

Courtesty of Wilmington, Mass.

The city of Concord is suspending its pay-as-you-throw trash program during the COVID-19 pandemic, as other cities seek to limit traffic at their transfer stations and recycling centers.

The change starts April 20 and will run until a week after the governor's stay-at-home order ends. Concord residents won't have to buy new city bags during this period and can use any bag for trash pickup.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

As the number of coronavirus-related deaths at New Hampshire nursing homes continues to rise, state officials are instituting new policies they say will limit future infections at long-term care facilities, which have proven particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

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