The North Carolina House and Senate have found another area of disagreement to go along with the budget. One of the legislature’s top priorities—a bill to address coal ash—failed to advance to the governor’s desk Monday night.

Electric utilities and renewable energy developers are facing off this week in front of the North Carolina utilities commission over the price of renewable energy, and how much companies like Duke Energy should have to pay for it. The dispute has drawn in both national environmental organizations and Google.

Julie Rose / WFAE File Photo

The worms at Charlotte Douglas International Airport could soon be under new management, as the airport seeks a new contractor to run its recycling program.

Duke Energy

The question about what to do with coal ash around the state came to the North Carolina House floor last night. In a contentious three hour debate, Republican lawmakers defended controversial changes to the bill they received from the Senate and defeated more than a dozen amendments. As the bill nears becoming law, here are four things to know about the latest version.

Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy reports it cost about $30 million to comply with North Carolina’s renewable energy requirement last year. As that requirement doubles next year, Duke is petitioning for an increase in rates.

Mark Rumsey / WFAE

The North Carolina Senate tentatively approved a bill last night that would determine what happens to the coal ash ponds at all 14 of Duke Energy’s coal plants in the state. The debate was far more rancorous than the final vote.

Jenn Durfey / Flickr/

A new North Carolina law could allow two water contamination lawsuits to go forward, after they were stymied by a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this month.

Dot Griffith / Waterkeeper Alliance

A story has been making the rounds this week about a Rowan County community called Dukeville. Environmentalists found toxic heavy metals in drinking water wells near Duke Energy’s retired Buck coal plant, suggesting contamination from coal ash. One metal found in all the wells has generated the most attention.  

“A cancer-causing chemical, called hexavalent chromium,” WCNC reported.

Chromium’s “most toxic form,” an Associated Press investigative story reads.

WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey to discuss problems with these reports.

Duke Energy

The state has cited Duke for 11 leaks at the Riverbend, Allen, Marshall, Cliffside, and Buck plants. Bridget Munger, spokeswoman for the state Division of Dam Safety, says they range in size and significance.

Mike Linksvayer / Flickr

North Carolina fell a bit in the most recent rankings of solar energy production across the nation but despite the dip, the solar landscape still looks strong, at least this year.