Tesla Settles the Lawsuit over Hazardous Waste for $1.5 million


Tesla has reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit in California related to hazardous waste for $1.5 million. This legal resolution addresses allegations that the electric vehicle manufacturer violated state environmental laws and regulations in the handling and disposal of hazardous waste at its Fremont factory. The settlement requires Tesla to improve its compliance with these laws, and the company is expected to invest in equipment and systems to enhance hazardous waste management at the facility.

Tesla has agreed to a $1.5 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by 25 California counties. The lawsuit accused the electric vehicle maker of mishandling hazardous waste at its facilities across the state. The settlement, approved by Judge Jayne Lee, addresses allegations that Tesla improperly labeled waste and sent hazardous materials, such as paint materials, used batteries, and diesel fuel, to landfills not equipped to handle such materials. As part of the settlement, Tesla will enhance its compliance with state environmental laws and invest in improved hazardous waste management systems at its Fremont factory.

Tesla has not provided an immediate response to the settlement. In the agreement, Tesla did not admit wrongdoing but has committed to paying a $1.3 million civil penalty and $200,000 to cover the investigation costs incurred by the counties. The company has also pledged to improve its waste management practices and undergo scrutiny by a third-party auditor for five years. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins noted that, despite the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, their manufacturing and servicing still produce harmful waste streams.

The California counties stated that Tesla has cooperated with the investigation and has initiated measures to isolate and screen its waste. The lawsuit claimed that Tesla violated state laws related to unfair business practices and hazardous waste management at approximately 101 facilities, including its manufacturing plant in Fremont. In 2019, Tesla reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over alleged federal hazardous waste violations at the Fremont plant. As part of that agreement, Tesla committed to improving waste management practices at the facility and paid a $31,000 fine.

In 2022, Tesla entered into an agreement with the EPA, agreeing to pay a penalty of $275,000. The agency had cited the company for inadequately maintaining records and implementing plans to reduce air pollutants generated during painting operations at the Fremont plant.

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