Ambar Espinoza

Environmental Reporter

Ambar Espinoza’s roots in environmental journalism started in Rhode Island a few years ago as an environmental reporting fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting. She worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for a few years covering several beats, including the environment and changing demographics. Her journalism experience includes working as production and editorial assistant at National Public Radio, and as a researcher at APM’s Marketplace.

Espinoza joins Rhode Island Public Radio most recently from Seattle, WA, where she earned a master of education with a focus on science education from the University of Washington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. Espinoza was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

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Environment
10:57 am
Wed November 12, 2014

EPA: Agency Has Done A Good Job Of Taking Action on Westerly Quarry

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Westerly's Copar Quarries, now named Armetta, LLC., paid a hefty $80,000 for violating federal clean air standards. The agency also reports the quarry operation is now meeting clean air rules. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has the EPA’s response to affected neighbors who disagree with the agency's assessment.

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Environment
7:50 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Residents Suing Westerly Quarry Request New Investigation

Neighbors of Armetta, LLC, a quarry formerly known as Copar Quarries, say this aerial photo taken from a private plane depicts a plume of stone dust coming from the quarry shortly after a blast.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Dubois

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Copar Quarries in Westerly has paid $80,000 in penalties for violating federal clean air standards. According to EPA officials, the quarry is now in compliance. Not so, say neighbors who live near the quarry. Their lawyer is calling for a new investigation into dust and other concerns associated with the operation.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Rhode Island College Project To Address Honeybee Population Decline

Rhode Island College recently opened an outdoor Bee Education Center, which will serve as a hub for programming to promote the honeybee’s crucial role in crop production and solutions to the alarming decline of the U.S. honeybee population.
Credit Courtesy of Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College is on a mission to improve the state’s declining honeybee population. Honeybees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. They pollinate nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The honeybee population has declined dramatically nationwide by more than 50 percent over the last 75 years.

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Environment
4:30 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Westerly Quarry Agrees To Settle EPA Claims

A quarry in Westerly has agreed to settle claims by the Environmental Protection Agency that it violated federal clean air standards. 

The EPA cited Copar Quarries, LLC, last year for failing to do three things: to notify the EPA that it started up business in 2011, to conduct the required emissions testing, and to keep proper inspection log books.

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Rhody Votes 2014
9:33 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Latino Voters Important As Ever In Rhode Island Elections

The Latino vote could prove very influential in Rhode Island's elections.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Latinos in Rhode Island make up 8.6 percent of eligible voters in the state. And that is why the Ocean State is one of 12 where the share of eligible Latino voters is larger than the current polling margin between gubernatorial candidates, according to a report by Latino Decisions, a survey research organization specializing in voting behaviors among Latinos.

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Environment
3:04 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Where To Recycle Light Bulbs With Mercury

Credit Kevin Rector / Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Wondering what to do with burnt-out light bulbs that contain mercury? Thirteen hardware stores across the state are now collection sites for recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs and linear bulbs up to 4 feet long. Mercury is a neurotoxin. It can affect memory, cognitive thinking, and fine motor skills. The most common exposure to mercury is through eating contaminated fish.

    

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Politics
8:10 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Rhody Votes '14: Ballot Measures About The Environment

Voters will need to vote on two ballot measures related to the environment on Tuesday. The bonds would fund projects to better treat wastewater, promote healthy communities, and strengthen the state's transit system.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

On Tuesday, voters will not only vote on candidates running for public office, they will also vote on a series of bond issues--two of them related to the environment. As part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza joined Rhode Island Public Radio Morning Edition Host Elisabeth Harrison to talk about them.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you: news@ripr.org

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Westerly Homeowners' Complaints Against Neighboring Quarry Protected

Neighbors of a quarry in Westerly say the quarry was never quarried in its past as intensely as the current operators are quarrying it today.
Google Earth Images

A Superior Court judge recently ruled homeowners in Westerly seeking remedy for alleged nuisance from a neighboring quarry operation have the right to do so.

When two families filed a lawsuit against the quarry owner, Westerly Granite Inc., the quarry operators, Armetta LLC, formerly known as Copar Quarries, LLC, and the subconstractor Maine Drilling and Blasting, Westerly Granite responded with a counter complaint.

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Science
7:39 am
Fri October 24, 2014

URI To Lead Seafloor Research Examining Historic Climate Changes

A research team led by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography will embark on an expedition on the R/V Knorr to collect sediment samples of the deep seafloor beginning tomorrow for 38 days.
Tom Kleindinst © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A research team led by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography will embark on an expedition to collect sediment samples of the deep seafloor beginning tomorrow for 38 days. The team wants to reconstruct how and why the earth’s temperature has changed over the last 20,000 years.

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Politics
7:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Rhody Votes '14: Next Governor Faces Environmental Challenges

Gov. Lincoln Chafee along with state officials and environmental advocates celebrating the passage of the Resilient Rhode Island Act at the ceremonial signing of the bill.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Rhode Island's high unemployment rate is at the top of many voters’ minds this election season. This year’s gubernatorial candidates have offered different ways to create jobs. But the Ocean State’s next governor will also need to tackle a wide range of environmental issues. As part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza explores what those issues are.

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