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EPA Reaches Settlement with Tesla Over Hazardous Waste

April 3, 2019
Company must take steps to mitigate hazardous waste at its Fremont, Calif. plant.

Tesla must pay a penalty and purchase equipment after a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation.

The automaker settled with the EPA after numerous hazardous waste and air emissions violations were discovered at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. manufacturing plant.

“It's vital that businesses comply with hazardous waste laws that keep facilities safe for workers and the community,” said Mike Stoker, EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator, in a statement to the press. “We are pleased that this settlement will bring much needed emergency response equipment to the City of Fremont.”

Investigators found the violations at the facility in 2017 during an unannounced inspection. The EPA found that Tesla:

  • failed to comply with air emissions standards for equipment leaks;
  • failed to comply with management requirements for generators of hazardous wastes; and
  • failed to make an adequate hazardous waste determination for certain solid waste generated at the facility.

The violations resulted in $31,000 in penalties. In addition, Tesla must provide $55,000 in emergency response equipment to the city of Fremont.

 “In the 16 months since the EPA visit, Tesla has made great strides in its environmental program and its ongoing compliance under Laurie Shelby, our VP of Environmental, Health & Safety,” the company said in a response to the public.

An EPA statement confirmed the company has corrected the violations and now is compliant with federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations.

The settlement is part of the EPA’s National Compliance initiative to reduce hazardous air emissions at hazardous waste facilities. 

About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

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