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

Molly Jacobson / UNH

New research shows a decline among some of the wild bees that pollinate important New England fruit crops.

A study of 125 years of records – one of the first of its kind – shows 14 native bee species are in decline in the Northeast.

UNH Assistant Professor Sandra Rehan says the world has thousands of wild bee species – such as bumblebees. Most are solitary, and don’t build hives like honeybees.

N.H. DES

Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control will be in Portsmouth Tuesday to talk about their latest report on health risks from past water contamination at Pease International Tradeport.

That report agrees with existing research that says it's very possible that toxic PFAS chemicals from military activities created health risks for children and adults at the Tradeport.

Hampton school officials have rejected a local family’s request for tuition reimbursement after allegations of racist bullying.

The family says their daughter, who is black, was bullied for her race by other students in her third-grade class.

The parents say the school district didn’t do enough to respond. They transferred their daughter to a private school in Massachusetts last month.

They asked the Hampton school board to help cover their new tuition with a reimbursement of the district's per-pupil cost, under what’s called a manifest hardship designation.

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee says it won’t reconsider its recent approval of a new transmission line on the Seacoast.

The Eversource proposal is known as the Seacoast Reliability Project. It's a 13-mile-long, high-voltage power line between Madbury and Portsmouth, partly buried underwater.

The Site Evaluation Committee approved the project in December. But opponents appealed for a new hearing, arguing in part that the SEC didn't fairly consider how the power line could affect the Great Bay ecosystem.

The SEC declined that appeal Thursday.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Public comment closes today on New Hampshire’s proposed limits for four types of toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

The Department of Environmental Services has suggested recent science from Minnesota could lead to stricter standards for testing and treatment of PFAS at public water systems.

State Impact

An effort to force the region's powerful energy stakeholder group to hold public meetings has been shot down by federal regulators.

An energy trade publication, RTO Insider, had argued the New England Power Pool, or NEPOOL, is violating the Federal Power Act with its closed-door meeting policy.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

At a state listening session on diversity last night, Hampton residents said communities like theirs need more resources to confront issues of prejudice.

The event was held amid ongoing controversy over allegations of racist bullying in a local elementary school.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

For the growing field of Democrats running for president, the early stage of the campaign includes an important choice: whether to try and inspire with grand ideas, or focus on the details of policy from the get-go.

Candidates who've been in New Hampshire recently are landing on very different sides of that question -- but some voters would rather have it both ways.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A group of wood-burning power plants wants the New Hampshire Supreme Court to intervene in a dispute over a controversial new state law.

The law, in part, would require Eversource to buy power from the state’s biomass plants at a discounted rate for three years.

courtesy UNH Agricultural Experiment Station

A new study from the University of New Hampshire says bobcats now roam in very different parts of the state than they did a generation ago – showing how human development can reshape a species' behavior.

The research is by UNH doctoral candidate Rory Carroll. It says New Hampshire’s bobcats now thrive in the northern part of the state, and move south to find new territory.

Genetic data collected by the state in the ‘50s and ‘60s shows the pattern used to be reversed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg drew a big crowd in Manchester Friday night.

The South Bend, Indiana mayor has campaigned here before, but has become a center of media attention in recent days. His meet and greet was originally planned for a local brewery, and was moved to the Currier Museum of Art to accommodate more people.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand criticized Gov. Chris Sununu Saturday for his plan to veto a family medical leave proposal backed by Democrats in the New Hampshire Legislature. 

The New York senator was on a panel in Laconia with advocates for what’s known as Senate Bill 1. It would fund family and medical leave for New Hampshire workers through a payroll tax. 

Vanessa Johnson

The conservationists who help maintain New Hampshire’s landscapes for public use will be in Alton this weekend for their sold-out annual conference.

Conservation specialist Amanda Stone of UNH Extension says they’ll focus in part on adapting to climate change and exposing new demographics to the outdoors.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal lawmakers want more health care for veterans exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals, including at the former Pease Air Force Base.

Around 400 military installations, including Pease, are thought to have PFAS contamination stemming from use of firefighting foam.

 

There’s a red flag warning in effect for much of Southern and Central New Hampshire until 8 p.m. Thursday.

 

It means fires could spread quickly, due to high winds, sunny, dry weather -- and a lack of snow cover. 

 

Fire risk is elevated in parts of the White Mountains, too. The National Weather Service says people in affected areas should avoid starting fires until the winds die down. 

 

Some gusts have been above 40 mph during the windstorm over the past two days.

 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A new kind of solar array has begun to pop up in New Hampshire in the past few years.

It's known as a low-income solar project: Grants and donations pay the up-front installation cost, and the savings the array generates go straight to low-income residents.

Jack Rodolico / NHPR

The state is fining real estate developer Brady Sullivan $500,000 for breaking environmental regulations.

The case stems from construction of the Mill West apartments in Manchester, where tenants settled with the company in 2017 for lead exposures.

Josh Carloni / NHFG

Regulators are taking comments on plans to expand a lucrative new crab fishery that’s stirring interest in the Gulf of Maine.

Jonah crabs are a native species that, until recently, was mainly caught as bycatch – by accident – in lobster pots.

Now, as warming waters push the lobster fishery north, more fishermen – especially in southern New England – are targeting Jonah crabs on purpose to supplement their income.

New Hampshire Fish and Game biologist Josh Carloni says in Northern New England and the Gulf of Maine, lobster is still king – but that could change.

File Photo, NHPR

The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative will get $2.8 million in disaster funds to cover damage to its infrastructure from the Halloween storm of 2017.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the grant will cover more than three-quarters of the Co-op's repair costs. FEMA says it's given New Hampshire more than $7.2 million dollars total under a federal disaster declaration for the storm which caused widespread flooding, infrastructure damage and power outages at the end of October 2017.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has set oral arguments in the fight over the Northern Pass transmission line for this May.

Eversource is appealing regulators’ denial last year of the Northern Pass project -- a 200-mile power line that would bring Canadian hydropower through the White Mountains to New England.

The case goes before the state’s highest court on May 15.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Energy industry players announced big plans for the future of New Hampshire’s electric grid at a conference in Concord Thursday -- even as some progressive energy ideas continue to stir controversy in state government. 

A major offshore wind developer says it plans to explore the possibility of involving Pease International Tradeport in its business.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Democrats are calling on Governor Chris Sununu to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging President Trump's plans to fund a border wall.

Five state senators wrote to Sununu about the issue Monday, saying the president’s plan could jeopardize $223 million in projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Sununu has said it's unfortunate that planned upgrades at the shipyard may be up for grabs as the federal government looks for money to put toward the president's wall proposal.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Pease Air National Guard Base said goodbye to the oldest individual plane in the U.S. military’s inventory Sunday.

Hundreds gathered to watch the end of an era, as an old KC-135 Stratotanker mid-air refueling plane took off from the base in Portsmouth for the last time.

File Photo, NHPR

Efforts to expand net energy metering in New Hampshire are gaining steam in the state legislature. The Senate takes up a key proposal this week, after the House passed its version of the bill by a wide margin.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Democratic voters packed a bar in Newmarket last night to see former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper make his case to be the next president.

Federal lawmakers want Portsmouth Naval Shipyard spared from budget cuts tied to plans for a wall at the southern border.

President Trump hopes to use his recent emergency declaration to reallocate potentially billions of dollars from military projects and other funding areas.

In a recent fact sheet, the Department of Defense says it won't consider tapping into any projects slated for funding before September.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

At an annual breakfast Friday in Durham, environmentalists said more federal and local action is needed to slow the effects of climate change.

New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Chris Pappas both spoke at the event, saying climate change demands a local response but poses a global existential threat.

Pappas says the Trump administration should engage more on the issue with other world powers – such as China and India, both top contributors of carbon emissions.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Eversource wants to increase its electric rate to cover the cost of major upgrades made over the past decade. The company began the lengthy rate review process with a request to the state Public Utilities Commission on Friday.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

The state's highest court will soon decide whether to hear arguments in the fight over the Northern Pass transmission line.

Thursday was a key deadline in the project's appeal to the state Supreme Court. Opponents of the proposal have now filed all their briefs in the case.

The filings are from stakeholders like the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and towns along the power line's nearly-200-mile proposed route through the White Mountains into Central New Hampshire.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The melty weather in New Hampshire this winter has been a big problem for some kinds of seasonal recreation -- and it’s all part of a long-term warming trend.

As this season comes to an end, some of the region's favorite pastimes are preparing for an uncertain future.

Windblown Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing is tucked into the hills of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, not far from the Massachusetts border.

On a bright, brisk Friday in late February, the parking lot is thawing into mud – but the snowy trails that lead into the woods are crisp and freshly groomed.

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