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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Dead River Company

New Hampshire's heating fuel industry is trying to recruit workers at a time of low unemployment.

The Dead River Company, which serves Northern New England, is expanding a program to employ and train recent trade school graduates as fuel technicians or truck drivers.

At the same time, training director Dan Carrigan says his company and the industry as a whole are looking to the future of home heating, amid a push to transition away from fossil fuels.

Sargent Corporation

House lawmakers heard sharply divided testimony Thursday on plans to limit the development of private landfills in the state.

State regulators are monitoring how this winter’s low snowpack could affect water supplies in the dry summer months.

The state has between 60 and 75 percent less snow on the ground than average right now. State water division director Tom O’Donovan says that's just one source of the state’s drinking water and other water supplies – in reservoirs, lakes and wells.

Michael Kappel/Flickr CC

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative has taken the rare step of adjusting its winter electric rate mid-season, due to warm temperatures and low prices. 

Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association

State officials say too much salt is being applied to New Hampshire roads this winter, and they worry that warmer, wetter winters could make the problem worse in future.

Kim Reed / UNH

State officials are using federal money to look at how rising seas will threaten major highways and connecting routes on the Seacoast.

The project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will build a "vulnerability assessment" for the I-95, Route 1 and Route 1A corridors, and local connector roads, including Routes 101 and 286.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Organizers are canceling a long-standing sled dog race in the North Country due to poor weather conditions.

Kit Morgan is on the board of the Tamworth Outing Club, which holds the annual race on Lake Chocorua.

He says there's too much water and thin ice on top of the lake for mushers to get through safely.

Amy Quinton / NHPR file photo

State lawmakers worked on a bill Monday to make condominium and homeowners associations allow the installation of solar arrays.

The bill comes from Brentwood Democratic Rep. Liz McConnell, with bipartisan co-sponsors and backing from Senate Democrats.

It says HOAs must treat requests to install solar as they would any other architectural change, and can't restrict them for aesthetic reasons.  

Stuart Meek; Wikimedia Commons

House lawmakers worked on a bill Monday that would require more insurance coverage for tick-borne disease testing – focusing on more than just Lyme disease.

The bill comes from Rep. Megan Murray, a first-term Democrat from Amherst. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Seacoast towns are expected to raise concerns about a new federal water pollution permit for Great Bay at a public hearing tonight in Portsmouth.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it's trying a new method with this permit, which has been in the works for years.

Paul LaRochelle (screenshot)

Alton Bay's famous ice runway will stay closed this winter due to unsafe ice conditions.

Paul LaRochelle is the state official in charge of the seasonal runway on Lake Winnipesaukee – the only one in the Lower 48 states.

He says the ice around the runway needs to be 12 inches thick to support maintenance vehicles and hundreds of aircraft.

This year, LaRochelle says warm weather has made the ice inconsistent – so he's keeping the runway closed.

NH Fish & Game

Environmental groups say a new state rule, which has support from the construction industry and could become permanent, puts endangered species at greater risk from development.

For years, state regulation has mandated that development projects “not result in adverse impacts” to a list of more than 50 critters that the state considers threatened or endangered.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Climate activists are facing new charges after appearing in district court in Concord Friday.

They’ve held a series of protests against a coal power plant in Bow that’s the largest left in New England.

Dozens of activists crowded outside the Concord courtroom Friday. Many wore red – not just for Valentine's Day, but to show solidarity, they said.

MountWashingtonAvalanchecenter.org

Avalanche danger was listed as “considerable” on Mount Washington Thursday.

With back country snow sports on the rise in the Whites, and a recent rash of avalanches in ski areas out West, the Mount Washington Avalanche Center is reminding people to be cautious. Center director Frank Carus says the White Mountains haven't seen as unusual an avalanche rate as places like Colorado have this season.

Andreas Levers via Flickr CC

The state Senate passed two key bills on PFAS chemical contamination Thursday.

One bill, which passed unanimously, would re-establish new state rules that set limits on PFAS in drinking water. These limits were the strictest of their kind in the country at the time.

Annie Ropeik | NHPR

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang ended his campaign for the White House Tuesday night, soon after polls closed in New Hampshire.

To a cheering crowd in Manchester, Yang said he wouldn't keep taking donations for a race he couldn't win - but that his message on economic change has shaken up the race.

"This is the beginning - this movement is the future of American politics, this movement is the future of the Democratic party," he said.

Rob_ / Flickr CC

Governor Chris Sununu on Monday vetoed a bill on net energy metering that was held over from last year's legislative session.

It’s his first veto of the 2020 session, on top of a record number in 2019.

The bipartisan bill was one of lawmakers' latest attempts to increase the limit on how much renewable energy towns and businesses can generate themselves and use to save money.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR file photo

New research shows the Northeast is the only part of the country where winter snowfall is increasing, not decreasing – but the data the snowy season is also getting shorter.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The head of the Democratic National Committee’s new climate change council was in New Hampshire just ahead of the primary, quietly kicking off efforts to reshape the party’s environmental platform in 2020.

Party leaders voted unanimously to form this council last summer, after taking widespread criticism for declining to hold a climate-focused presidential debate.

It’s a sign of progress for the council’s elected chair, Michelle Deatrick of Michigan. She worked for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and later campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

Rye Police

Rescuers in Rye safely moved a young seal that made its way onto Route 1A during a high tide Friday morning.

Marine mammal rescuers at the Seacoast Science Center helped get the gray seal pup out of harm’s way near Rye Harbor while local police directed traffic around him.

Rescuers say they've seen this weanling a couple times in the past few days, at beaches in Hampton. He's thought to be about six weeks old and still figuring out life away from his mother.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Voters heard new specifics and a sense of urgency around climate change from several Democratic candidates at a youth-focused forum in Concord Wednesday.

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, businessman Andrew Yang were among the candidates present; others were represented by surrogates. 

With national media and top climate activists watching, they laid out their plans to tackle global warming and related equity issues, and took questions from students involved in sustainability fields and climate science.  

Annie Ropeik / NHPR News

Many of the Democratic presidential candidates will be in Concord Wednesday for a marathon town hall on climate change.

The day-long forum focuses on young voters – especially students working in or studying climate and clean energy issues.

Each candidate will get about an hour to talk about their climate change plans and take questions from students in related fields.

NHPR

A plan to offer loans for New Hampshire towns to cover the cost of new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water got bipartisan support from state lawmakers Tuesday.

The state's strict PFAS limits were supposed to take effect last fall, but are on hold under a court injunction.

Eversource file photo

Eversource says recent infrastructure improvements helped reduce power outages by nearly 40 percent in New Hampshire last year.

The utility, which is the state’s largest, wants customers to pay for those upgrades as part of a pending rate increase.

Eversource says it saw fewer than 300,000 customer service interruptions of five minutes or longer in 2019, compared to 475,000 in 2018.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Most presidential candidates have been in Iowa this week, just days out from that state's caucuses.

But a few are still focused on New Hampshire – including Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. The Democrat has been holding events almost daily for the past couple of weeks.

Forest Service

The Forest Service welcomes public input at a meeting tonight on some upcoming logging and trail work near Waterville Valley.

Federal officials are planning a round of activities for the southeastern edge of the White Mountain National Forest.

Saco District Ranger Jim Innes says the parcel hasn't seen this kind of attention since the 1990s.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New England used more wind and solar power than ever last year, but fossil fuels still make up half the electricity generated in the region.

In new data, power grid operator ISO-New England says 49% of electricity generated in New England last year was from natural gas. Less than 1% was from coal or oil. 

Natural gas use has roughly plateaued in the region in the past few years. It peaked in 2015.

File photo

New Hampshire environmentalists and lawmakers say a new Trump administration rule could lead to more drinking water pollution.

The rule is a replacement for the Obama-era regulation known as Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS. Trump has long argued it was too burdensome to farmers and developers.

Trump’s now-final WOTUS replacement will remove federal oversight from millions of miles of wetlands and streams that don't feed directly into navigable waterways.

NHPR Staff

Lawmakers on Tuesday heard two opposing plans for bolstering state highway revenues, in response to a decline in gas tax revenue and road maintenance funding as vehicles get more efficient or go electric.

Courtesy Michael Behrmann / Clean Energy NH

Most New England states have been investing in alternative energy sources for years. But New Hampshire has been slower to act in response to climate change.

Now, the Granite State is looking to be a leader in a major new source of renewable energy: offshore wind.

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