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.

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State officials are trying a new approach to a long-running issue -- the effects of air pollution on public health -- with a new commission that met virtually for the first time Thursday night. 

The ad-hoc Emissions Commission includes Democratic and Republican state lawmakers, plus members of state agencies and major health, business and environmental organizations.

EversourceNH

Update: Thursday, 5:10 p.m.: About 5,000 customers of Eversource and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative are still without power in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday night. 

Previous updates continue below: 

NH Fish & Game / Facebook

The N.H. Fish and Game Department has a new executive director, following a contentious nomination process.

North Country dairy farmer Scott Mason was confirmed by a 3 to 1 vote at the Executive Council Wednesday.

Mason's nomination had support from business leaders and Republican lawmakers.

Dmoore5556 / Creative Commons

President Trump on Tuesday signed a bipartisan bill that permanently funds the nation's biggest natural resource conservation program.

State environmental groups say the Great American Outdoors Act, backed by New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation, is a milestone that's been decades in the making.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists says hundreds of coastal Superfund sites – including several in New Hampshire – face new risks of flooding due to climate change.

The analysis looked at federal toxic waste sites within 25 miles of the East and Gulf Coasts, and found that New Jersey, Florida and New York have the most sites at risk of extreme flooding. Many are concentrated along the I-95 corridor. 

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

Several New Hampshire towns will vote this week on whether to require residents to wear face masks in public. The votes come as New Hampshire remains the only state in the region without a statewide mask mandate.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

NHPR’s new climate change reporting project, By Degrees, begins in the midst of a global pandemic, mass protests against systemic racism, a presidential election and an economic crisis.

We need your help to tell new stories of how New Hampshire is living through climate change at this historic moment.

What are we missing? What do you want to know? How is climate change affecting you right now? 

350 New Hampshire

Liberty Utilities says it will not build the proposed Granite Bridge natural gas pipeline in Southern New Hampshire, after finding a cheaper way to serve new customers by using existing infrastructure.

The company told the state of the change in plans in a Public Utilities Commission filing Friday afternoon. 

The $340-million pipeline plan dated to late 2017 and drew fierce opposition from climate change activists, who oppose any expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the region.

Hemera Collection

The state is launching a broad new effort to find ways to reduce the air emissions that drive respiratory disease and climate change in New Hampshire.

The non-partisan Emissions Commission meets for the first time next week and will include members of state agencies, utilities and the legislature, along with health, business and environmental advocates.

Nature Conservancy NH / Screenshot

Advocates are marking the 30th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act with plans for a new accessible trail in Manchester.

The Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire is building the project at its Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve.

When it opens next summer, it’ll include a new trail and upgrades to some of the existing path, plus a new boardwalk, city bus stop and larger parking lot.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The state of New Hampshire is analyzing the ventilation systems at its long-term care facilities that have seen coronavirus outbreaks.

State health and fire officials will conduct the two-week review, which was announced at a press conference Tuesday.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

As more businesses and the rest of New England begin to require the wearing of face masks, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu says he still thinks a statewide mandate is not needed.

At a press conference Tuesday, Sununu and health officials urged people to wear masks when they are out in public. But Sununu said he thinks this would be hard to enforce as a requirement.

“At the end of the day, it's still up to each of us to take that personal responsibility seriously and wear it as often as we can, as much as we can,” Sununu said.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Environmental groups want federal regulators to reconsider a new water discharge permit for New England’s largest coal-fired power plant – Merrimack Station in Bow.

The Environmental Protection Agency permit was issued in May after many years of delay.

It dictates how the power plant uses water from the Merrimack River – burning coal to heat the water into steam that generates electricity, before putting that hot water back into the river.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Reusable shopping bags will be allowed again at New Hampshire grocery stores, after Gov. Chris Sununu lifted the state’s COVID-19 ban on reusable bags Monday.

Joy Jackson / Unsplash

Gov. Chris Sununu handed down another expected veto of a clean energy plan Friday.

He rejected a bill that would expand New Hampshire's Renewable Portfolio Standard and increase how much solar power utilities must use.

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Teatotaller / via Instagram

A Somersworth café has won its state Supreme Court challenge against Facebook, in a unanimous ruling Friday that sends the contract dispute back to a district court.

Emmett Soldati, owner of the Teatotaller café, challenged Facebook in Dover’s small claims court, saying he was owed damages after the company deleted the café’s Instagram account in 2018.

Dan Barrick / NHPR

Nearly half of New Hampshire is still in a drought.

But the dry conditions are getting a little better, according to the latest data from the National Drought Monitor.

It says 49 percent of the state is in a moderate drought, and 92 percent is abnormally dry.

A month ago, nearly three-quarters of the state was in that moderate drought category.

The dry conditions are concentrated in the Southern tier and lower Lakes region, along with parts of the Upper and Monadnock Valleys.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Gubernatorial candidate Andru Volinsky is singling out the Granite Bridge natural gas pipeline proposal as a dividing line in that race’s Democratic primary, holding a campaign event Friday that his opponent, state Sen. Dan Feltes, dismissed as a political stunt.

The project, from Liberty Utilities, involves a 27-mile gas pipeline between Stratham and Manchester, along Route 101. It would connect two existing gas arteries that follow Interstates 93 and 95 and would also include a large liquefied natural gas storage tank in Epping.

FLORIANHUAG / FLICKR/CC

Governor Chris Sununu has signed an omnibus bill that will reinstate new drinking water standards for toxic PFAS chemicals.

Democrats hailed the signature of the bill, which was opposed by some business groups. The legislation enacts some of the strictest PFAS drinking water standards of any of the handful of states that have such rules.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was in New Hampshire Wednesday, touring the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Bernhardt’s visit came just before the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps New Hampshire and other states fund ecological and cultural conservation projects.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

PEXELS

Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill that makes permanent some parts of the expanded telehealth system put in place for COVID-19.

The bill requires equal insurance coverage for medical visits done remotely and in person, including for Medicaid users.

Get stories about coronavirus in N.H. in your inbox - sign up for our newsletter today.

It also adds parameters for telehealth to state law, including spelling out where and how treatment can be given and received. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Escrito originalmente en inglés por Annie Ropeik. Publicado el 7 de julio del 2020.

Traducido al español por María Aguirre 

El nuevo proyecto de NHPR sobre cambio climático, By Degrees, empieza durante una pandemia global, protestas masivas en contra del racismo, elecciones presidenciales y una crisis económica. 

Necesitamos tu ayuda para contar nuevas historias sobre cómo New Hampshire atraviesa el cambio climático en este momento histórico. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Massachusetts recently announced that it was ending its pandemic moratorium on reusable shopping bags, saying towns could go back to reinforcing their bans on single-use plastic bags. 

Meanwhile, New Hampshire and many other states are still not letting shoppers bring their reusable bags to stores. But is that actually helping to slow the spread of coronavirus?


File photo

Today, Monday, could be one of the hottest days of the year, and with that comes high demand for electricity. Using less power in the heat could lower your bills – as well as carbon emissions.

Electricity bills carry a fee based on the peak demand within the year. Consultant Emily Manns of Nashua-based Standard Power says it’s possible that fee will be set today, at the peak hours: between 4 and 7 p.m.

Businesses and factories may pay a penalty for using more power during that time, but it has an effect on residential customers, too:

Wikimedia Commons

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory in effect until 8 p.m. on Monday.

This kind of heat index, in the mid-90s or higher, poses a serious health risk to the elderly, young children, and those with respiratory issues or other preexisting health conditions. These people should find somewhere to stay cool inside and drink plenty of water.

Flicker CC / https://flic.kr/p/drsrm8

Federal regulators have declined to act on a challenge to a pro-solar energy law from a group with ties to conservative New Hampshire politics and Gov. Chris Sununu.

The New England Ratepayers Association’s petition to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dealt with net metering, where customers can generate and sell their own, often renewable power back to the grid to save on their utility bills.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is seeing more heat waves due to climate change. And staying cool is even harder this year because of COVID-19. Our new climate change reporting project, By Degrees, has this look at how New Hampshire's cities are coping. 

wikimedia commons

Congresswoman Annie Kuster is co-sponsoring a new plan to add toxic PFAS chemical standards to the next federal defense spending bill.

The amendment mirrors a bill that passed the House earlier this year. Speaking on a press call Tuesday, Kuster said that bill has stalled in the Senate.

Courtesy Cottage Hospital

Parts of New Hampshire saw intense rain Tuesday morning, leading to some flash flooding, including at a hospital.

Cottage Hospital in Woodsville experienced flooding early this morning as bands of thunderstorms and “torrential rainfall” moved through the area.

“Our staff responded swiftly to mitigate damage. Patient rooms were not affected,” says Dr. Maria Ryan, the hospital’s CEO, in a statement. “The water has now receded. Thankfully, no equipment was damaged.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Our new climate change reporting initiative, By Degrees, begins in an unprecedented time – one where people are making seismic shifts in their lifestyles and attitudes in response to COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Many of our listeners have wondered: why haven’t people reacted the same way to the climate emergency, and could that be about to change? 

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