Tesla Settles with EPA in Emission Standards Case

Tesla, the automobile manufacturer, has settled with the EPA after numerous hazardous waste and air emissions violations were discovered at the company’s Fremont, CA manufacturing plant.

EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator, Mike Stoker, said that the settlement will bring urgently needed emergency response equipment to the City of Fremont.

Investigators found the violations at the facility in 2017 during an unannounced inspection, which concluded that the company:

  • 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.

California’s emissions standards are stricter than the federal EPA requirements – they’re more stringent on hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions — which become smog — from vehicles, and they have heavier requirements that older construction vehicles be retrofitted so that they operate cleaner.

California’s gasoline also has less sulfur, benzene and hydrocarbons than most gasoline sold elsewhere in the U.S.

In addition, Tesla must provide $55,000 in emergency response equipment to the city of Fremont.

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