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.

Ways to Connect

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A Connecticut-based company operating at a Westerly quarry embroiled in controversy since 2010 has been gone for nearly a year. But residents are still restless about the stockpiles of stone dust they left behind and the potential impacts to their health. The family that owns the quarry is now renting it to another company tasked with cleaning it up. Local, state and federal officials got a tour of the progress.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is opposing National Grid’s proposal to build a natural gas liquefaction facility at Field’s Point in Providence.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling against a request by utilities to charge electricity users for expanding natural gas pipelines is already affecting a similar request in Rhode Island.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a motion at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to dismiss National Grid’s proposal to secure gas contracts and recover costs for its Access Northeast Project.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

One of the early supporters of the proposed power plant in Burrillville has ended negotiations with the company that wants to build it. The Pascoag Utility District decided against supplying water to Invenergy's power plant.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Four of five turbines that will produce energy off the coast of Block Island later this fall have been completely installed.

If the weather cooperates, the fifth will also be up by the end of the week, said GE Offshore Wind CEO Anders Soe-Jensen during a small media boat tour yesterday of Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm.

Adewole Akinbi was 14 years old when he started working for Heather Gaydos at an environmental education program he joined through Groundwork Providence and the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation. Now 27, Akinbi lives downstairs from Gaydos, who he views as family.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

National Grid has come under fire for two proposals related to natural gas. The utility company's goal is to bring down the cost of electricity in the wintertime, but some state lawmakers and environmental groups aren’t convinced.

Christopher Irwin / Creative Commons License via Flickr

For a year and a half, tens of thousands of people in Flint, Michigan were exposed to drinking water with dangerously high levels of lead. In the wake of the crisis, water sampling methods have come under scrutiny. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza sat down with the chief of the center for drinking water quality at the Rhode Island Department of Health to learn how Rhode Island has changed its testing protocols post-Flint.

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Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

  Three of the state’s largest environmental groups have announced their opposition to the proposed power plant in Burrillville, citing concerns over threats to the climate, forest habitats and biodiversity.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

At a private tour at ProvPort, state officials got a close look at blades that will eventually spin at the Block Island Wind Farm, contracted to the company Deepwater Wind.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The doctor-turned-politician from Massachusetts is running for a second time as the Green Party presidential candidate. 

The city’s planning commission has approved a 21-megawatt solar farm, covering 60 acres. City planners say the solar panels will provide renewable energy. But some residents opposed the project. They say the solar farm will harm land that could be set aside for conservation. Douglas Doe, a neighbor of the property, said the project will harm visitors’ enjoyment of the nearby forests.  

“So anybody going to enjoy the conservation land that we paid for is going to be confronted by one chain link fence, a gravel road, and anywhere from 40-60,000 solar panels,” said Doe.

John Bender / RIPR

The Port of Providence operator has updated its expansion plans to address concerns flagged by environmental advocates at Save the Bay. 

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