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

Federal researchers are now recruiting for a first-of-its-kind health study on PFAS chemical exposure in drinking water at Pease International Tradeport. 

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control gave an overview of what they're calling "the Pease study" in Portsmouth last night, with at least 150 residents in attendance.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts will work together on large-scale offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. Stakeholders from the three states met today in Manchester talk about the possibilities and obstacles for that new industry.

The event was hosted by the Environmental Business Council of New England at the state headquarters of Eversource, which is developing several large offshore wind projects elsewhere in the Northeast.

Images by John 'K' via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/9sRHR1

As the state works toward sharply lowering its limit on arsenic in drinking water by mid-2021, recent testing data shows dozens of public water systems will likely be out of compliance with that new standard.

New Hampshire is only the second state, after New Jersey, where lawmakers have approved a lower arsenic standard of 5 parts per billion. That’s half of the current federal default of 10 ppb.

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Federal engineers have begun a $4.6 million dredging project in Hampton-Seabrook harbor.

Vessel owners in the state's largest fishing port say the emergency dredge is long overdue.

They say sandy shoals that have built up on the bottom of the harbor are creating navigational hazards and hurting their businesses.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has advocated for the project. She filmed a video Monday near the dredge site.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Update, 5 p.m. Monday: Saint-Gobain has agreed to pursue one of the protesters' main demands — saying it will work to set up a new community group for Merrimack residents to weigh in on hazardous waste cleanup at the factor.

In a letter to those protesters, the company says it often sets up what it calls community advisory groups with residents and government officials near its major facilities. Saint-Gobain says it'll reach out to the town of Merrimack to start the process. They say the group could be a forum to address protesters' other concerns.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A Superior Court judge heard arguments Friday against New Hampshire's strict new limits on PFAS chemicals in public water supplies.

The major chemical company 3M and a group of local stakeholders want an injunction against the recently implemented rules.

3M's attorney laid out their arguments inside Merrimack Superior Court, as protesters outside denounced the involvement of the corporation that pioneered PFAS.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Two of the state’s wood-fired power plants are going offline and laying off staff, after subsidy plans failed in the legislature.

Now, the state is offering job training resources to affected workers – and a new proposal would put more funds toward helping affected workers in the timber industry.

James Jordan / Flickr CC

Another case of a mosquito-borne illness called Jamestown Canyon Virus has been identified in New Hampshire. The diagnosis, which was made in the Lakes Region, is the second case of so-called JCV in the state this year. The first was in Kingston in August.

NHPR Photo

Senator Jeanne Shaheen will be in Portsmouth Friday to talk about an upcoming federal health study on the effects of PFAS chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control are piloting their first national PFAS study on people who were exposed to the compounds at Pease International Tradeport.

File photo

A new study from the Audubon Society says climate change could push some state birds out of their home ranges – including New Hampshire’s purple finch.

The report, released Thursday in a major follow-up to a less detailed 2014 Audubon study, says even a moderate warming scenario could push the iconic finch out of much of New Hampshire.

But senior conservation biologist Pam Hunt with the state Audubon society cautions that the true climate picture for birds may be more complicated than that.

A big water company merger has closed in Connecticut – leaving Eversource out to dry.

New Hampshire's biggest electric utility wanted to buy Connecticut Water. It had tried to beat out a California-based company called SJW Group for the acquisition.

But the SJW deal is now complete. The company's merger with Connecticut Water creates the third-biggest investor-owned water utility in the country.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state says Eversource should be allowed to proceed with a controversial plan to bury a new transmission line under Little Bay -- but it's not the last hurdle the utility must clear before construction begins.

Eversource wants to bury a mile of its 13-mile Seacoast Reliability Project power line underwater, between Durham and Newington.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Update: Republican Michael Vose defeated Democrat Naomi Andrews to win a special election for a state House seat representing Epping.

Vose won, 880 votes to 806, according to the New Hampshire Secrertary of State's office. Vose, a former state representative, is a retired software technical writer and U.S. Air Force veteran.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Portsmouth became the latest U.S. city to ban the use of some disposable plastic containers after the City Council voted Monday night to outlaw Styrofoam city-wide.

Supporters of the new law say they believe it’s the first of its kind in New Hampshire.

The ordinance will take effect at the end of next year. It’ll ban most Portsmouth businesses – except some nonprofits – from distributing single-use Styrofoam.

It’ll also ban the distribution of single-use plastic straws and containers, but only on city property.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Environmental Protection Agency will move forward on a plan to cap toxic waste at a former industrial site in Nashua.

In a recently released cleanup plan, the agency says it plans to split the cost of remediating the former Mohawk Tannery with the city and a private developer.

Credit Bricky Cement / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire and other Northeast states are considering a carbon pricing system to curb emissions from passenger vehicles.

The transportation sector is New England's top source of the greenhouse gases that exacerbate the effects of climate change.

In New Hampshire, transportation – especially passenger vehicles – contributes more than 40 percent of emissions, while electricity generation contributes around 20 percent.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission is moving forward with a study of local renewable energy generation. It could help clarify cost issues that have been a sticking point in the state legislature.

The study focuses on net metering, which allows energy customers to generate their own power – using technologies like solar or hydro – and sell it back to the grid. It can save money for consumers, but it saps revenue from electric utilities.

NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan is spearheading a bill to reinstate a homeowner tax credit for energy efficiency upgrades.

The bill would also increase and update the credit, which expired in 2017. It would give tax refunds to homeowners who invest in weatherization or efficient heating and cooling systems.

Hassan, a Democrat, has bipartisan co-sponsors on the bill, including Republican Susan Collins of Maine.

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New Hampshire was hit with a lawsuit over its new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water on the same day the new regulation took effect.

The suit, filed in Merrimack Superior Court, comes from the Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District, a farmer in Center Harbor and a fertilizer company in Holderness, as well as 3M, the original maker of PFAS compounds.

CEYHUN (JAY) ISIK / CREATIVE COMMONS

New state limits are now in effect for PFAS chemicals in public drinking water supplies.  The now-common industrial contaminants have been linked to health risks. 

New Hampshire's new standards are the nation’s strictest, and largely the first of their kind. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Watchdog groups and neighbors of the Seabrook nuclear power plant had what they called their day in court last week.

A federal administrative hearing with a panel of judges wrapped up Friday. It focused on whether Seabrook owner NextEra has adequately studied the degrading concrete at the plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved NextEra's concrete monitoring plan based on that study and relicensed the plant earlier this year.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Nearly 70 people were arrested during a protest at a coal-fired power plant in Bow Saturday.

The activists had marched onto the grounds of Merrimack Station, the largest coal-burning facility left in New England that is not set to retire.

Hundreds more people from across the region protested outside the plant’s main gate and in nearby Memorial Field, decrying the continued use of the fossil fuels that accelerate the harmful effects of climate change.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A group of New Hampshire biomass power plants say they're dropping a state Supreme Court challenge over an embattled subsidy plan.

It comes after federal regulators ruled the subsidies were invalid under national energy law.

The wood-fired power plants had wanted state regulators to enforce the subsidies while that federal challenge was ongoing.

The Department of Education’s civil rights office will investigate an allegation of racism at a school in Hampton, stemming from complaints made by the parents of a young girl.

John and Julie Cochrane say their daughter Kora was bullied for her race at two different Hampton elementary schools, starting in between 2016.

Kora is black and her adoptive parents are white.

Joanne Glode / Nature Conservancy

New Hampshire’s coastal towns are beginning to think about adapting to climate change. It’ll mean finding new ways to protect critical pieces of infrastructure from rising seas, heavier rains and stronger storms.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has this story of the lessons from a major road project in Newmarket that’s one of the first in the state to focus on climate resilience.


NHPR Staff

Neighbors of the Seabrook nuclear power plant called for more transparent, independent monitoring of the facility’s degrading concrete at a federal hearing Monday.

They spoke before a panel of administrative judges, who will spend the week weighing whether Seabrook’s owner, NextEra, has adequately studied the cracks forming in the plant’s concrete.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

A legislative committee gets back to work Tuesday on a proposed carbon price and dividend program for New Hampshire.

The bill, HB735, was held over in the House Science, Technology and Energy committee earlier this year. It'll be on legislators' agenda again in 2020, and it's getting some work sessions in the meantime. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will take public comment Monday night at the start of a week-long hearing about degraded concrete at the Seabrook nuclear power plant.

The hearing is before a panel of administrative law judges. It was requested by the Seabrook watchdog group C-10.

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.

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