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

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people across New Hampshire turned out at Climate Strike events Friday to lend their voice to calls for action on climate change. 

Carrying handmade signs, pushing strollers and handing out leaflets, they joined striking protesters around the world in a coordinated effort to kick off a week of climate activism.  

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Dover High School on Thursday unveiled its new solar array, the largest rooftop installation in the state.

It can generate close to a megawatt of power, enough to meet 40 percent of the school’s electricity needs. Any excess generation is sold back to the grid to help lower the schools energy bill.

That process is called net metering, and it’s currently capped at one megawatt for large arrays like Dover’s. This week, state legislators declined for the second year in a row to raise that cap.

Maria-Jose Viñas / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

People in nearly a dozen New Hampshire cities and towns are rallying for action on climate change Friday, as part of a global week of strikes and protests, urging policy-makers to do more to lower carbon emissions.

Climate strikes are planned all over the state, led by activists, businesses, students and parents.

FERC.gov

Federal regulators said Thursday that a state law passed last year to subsidize biomass power plants is invalid, marking the second big defeat in two days for New Hampshire's forest products industry. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is siding with New Hampshire's ratepayer advocate and a conservative lobbying group, which filed the petition against the 2018 subsidy law.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Updated 5:50 PM — State lawmakers have overturned the governor's veto of a bill that would get rid of the three-month waiting period before a patient can get prescribed medical marijuana from a provider.

It was the lone bill overturned this week by both the House and Senate. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Executive Council voted unanimously Wednesday to put a top state attorney in charge of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission.

The new PUC chair will be Dianne Martin. She's currently chief of staff to state Attorney General Gordon MacDonald.

Martin has worked with the Department of Justice since 2002, most recently overseeing the state's public contracts division.

Chairing the PUC means Martin will work with federal regulators to manage utility rates and other energy, water and telecommunications issues.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire state lawmakers have upheld the governor's veto of a plan to subsidize New Hampshire's small biomass power plants.

The proposal was attached to a bill that would have set up a study committee on microgrids.

It would have required utilities to add a small fee to customers’ bills. That fee would have subsidized six of the state’s wood-fired power plants for the next three years.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld laid out his climate change platform in New Hampshire this weekend, joining several Democrats who did the same in recent weeks.

The former Massachusetts governor wants to rejoin the Paris Climate agreement and make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2050.

State legislators hope to override vetoes of five bills they say are key to combating climate change and developing new sources of energy in New Hampshire.

One bipartisan measure advocates want to push through would expand net energy metering, letting towns and businesses save more on their energy costs by generating more of their own solar, wind and hydropower.

courtesy Flickr/NCinDC.

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked New Hampshire to respond to the appeal of three protesters from the “Free the Nipple” movement.

The women were arrested in Laconia after going topless at Weirs Beach. They argued that the city’s law banning the exposure of female nipples is unconstitutional.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Seacoast towns are testing out a new state framework to help plan for rising seas, stronger storms and other coastal risks expected to increase with climate change.

Courtesy of SAU 90

A parent in Hampton wants the state attorney general to intervene after, she says, local school board officials restricted her right to free speech.

The school district is in turmoil as officials investigate a claim their middle school principal created a hostile environment.

Parents have taken to social media to call the investigation unfair, instead criticizing Hampton superintendent Kathleen Murphy’s handling of the situation.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Editor's note: This is the second story in a two-part series. Click here to read part one

We heard yesterday about a family who left the Hampton school district this past spring, saying school officials mishandled their daughter's reports that she was bullied for being black. 

Hampton administrators say they didn't break any rules. But for the past couple years, they've been trying to improve their policies around diversity and equity. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Editor's note: This is the first story in a two-part series. Here is part two

The schools in Hampton are in the midst of debate over how to handle racism and prejudice. 

The issue came into focus earlier this year, when the white parents of a black third-grader said school officials had mishandled their reports of racist bullying. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A new state report says rising seas are on track to cause widespread problems in New Hampshire's coastal communities within decades.

Now, regulators want public input on how the latest scientific findings could guide local resilience planning in the future.

Heather Hayward / U.S. Air Force

Governor Chris Sununu signed two bills Tuesday banning the use of some products that contain harmful PFAS chemicals.

The industrial compounds have been linked to a wide array of health problems.

File Photo

A trial run of the first major federal health study on PFAS chemicals is ready to begin at Pease International Tradeport.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office said Thursday that the project at the former air base in Portsmouth had received final approval from federal budget officials.

High levels of PFAS were found in drinking water at Pease in 2014. Research has linked the industrial chemicals to a range of diseases.

BOEM.gov

Governors from a handful of East Coast states, including New Hampshire, want the federal government to speed up its permitting of the Vineyard Wind project.

The $2.8 billion, 800-megawatt wind farm would be built off the coast of Massachusetts and would be the first commercial-scale wind project in U.S. federal waters.

bagsgroove via Flickr CC

Seacoast residents are protesting a plan to kill as many as two dozen deer on New Castle Island next month.

A petition says the condo managers at Wentworth by the Sea have recruited four archers to shoot deer that have been eating people's gardens on the property. This would coincide with the state's legal archery hunting season for deer, which begins September 15th.

N.H. DOJ

Governor Chris Sununu says he'll nominate the New Hampshire Attorney General's chief of staff, Dianne Martin, to be the next chair of the Public Utilities Commission.

Martin is the Department of Justice’s lead attorney on state agency contracts and procurements. Before that, she spent five years as an attorney in the AG's transportation and construction bureau.

Eversource

A new federal lawsuit is the latest effort by environmentalists to block Eversource from building a new power line on the Seacoast.

The Clean Water Act suit from the Conservation Law Foundation targets a federal permit that Eversource got last month to build the underwater part of its Seacoast Reliability Project.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang tried to set his climate change plan apart from the rest of the Democratic field at an event in Portsmouth on Monday. Yang had been criticized recently for saying on the Democratic debate stage that the solution to climate change is to "move to high ground."

On the banks of the Piscataqua River Monday, the venture capitalist said that stance is about accepting some harsh scientific truths.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people protested outside a federal immigration detention center in New Hampshire this weekend, after spending a week marching to the facility from across New England in a show of solidarity with migrants at the southern border.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Voters at a presidential campaign forum about climate change Thursday night say the issue still isn't getting enough attention.

The event, at yogurt-maker Stonyfield's factory in Londonderry, featured Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, both Democrats.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had been slated to appear, but ended his climate-focused campaign earlier this week.

Voters like Elizabeth Deutsch, a nurse from Vermont, worry the issue will remain sidelined in the race.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Three women who were arrested for going topless at a Laconia beach in 2016 hope to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The women are affiliated with the Free the Nipple movement. They’re appealing to the country’s highest court after the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld their convictions earlier this year.

Courtesy DOROTHY HEINRICHS | ORANGENH.US

Governor Chris Sununu is asking for a federal disaster declaration after heavy rainfall caused flood damage in Grafton County last month.

Sununu's letter to President Donald Trump says the storm on July 11 and 12 dumped inches of rain on several communities.

Crews had to rescue some campers and homeowners from the floodwaters. The rain caused severe damage to dozens of roads, culverts and snowmobile trails... including at Cardigan Mountain State Park.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For the second year in a row, Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed a plan to subsidize New Hampshire's biomass power industry. 

The proposal was attached to a bill that would have set up a study committee on microgrids - local, isolated energy systems. 

CEYHUN (JAY) ISIK / CREATIVE COMMONS

 

The town of Rollinsford holds a forum Monday night on long-standing concerns about its drinking water. 

 

Residents in the local water-sewer district say their tapwater is often discolored or has a chemical smell.

 

The water comes from three local wells and runs through six miles of pipe, some of which dates to the late 1800s. 

 

An engineering analysis says the system could need millions of dollars in new infrastructure and treatment. 

 

Harry McCoy via NOAA Fisheries

A first-of-its-kind survey shows New Hampshire residents generally favor removing dams from local rivers.

Researchers from UNH asked 1,500 residents about whether they’d prefer to see a hypothetical dam removed, allowing for a free-flowing river, when presented with various alternatives.

They asked if residents would want dams to remain in place for hydro-electric generation or historic preservation, or to maintain property values or recreational opportunities.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The solid waste company Casella says it's running out of space for Northern New England's trash. So it's taking the rare step of planning a brand-new landfill, in the small Coös County town of Dalton.

Lots of locals agree – they don't want the landfill. But they're divided on one potential tool to block it: zoning.

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