In an unannounced inspection in 2017, Tesla was found violating the hazardous waste law discovered at the company’s factory in Fremont, California. To which the company will now have to pay a fine of $31,000 and will also have to buy emergency response equipment for the local fire department of Fremont costing $55,000 according to the settlement announced on Monday.
The two “unannounced inspections” conducted by EPA with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in November and December 2017 found that Tesla was failing to manage hazardous waste and not adequately determining whether some of its solid wastes were hazardous and was violating air emissions standards for equipment leaks resulting in multiple violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a set of regulations drawn up in 1976 that gives the agency “the authority to control hazardous waste from the cradle-to-grave,” according to EPA’s website.
EPA’s Pacific Southwest administrator, Mike Stoker said in a statement that, “It’s vital that businesses comply with hazardous waste laws that keep facilities safe for workers and the community.”
This is not the first time that the company has been fined for violating environmental laws. Tesla has already once paid a BAAQMD fine of $139,500 in 2018 for pollution coming from the Fremont plant. On reaching out to the company for more information, Tesla issued a statement saying it has “made great strides in its environmental program and its on-going compliance” since the inspection 16 months ago.