Bay Area Air Quality Management District settles with Tesla over air quality violations at Fremont

Tesla Fremont
Tesla's Fremont factory - Dai Sugano / Bay Area News Group

Tesla has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty and install a solar roof project in the Bay Area for violating multiple air quality standards at its Fremont factory.

According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAQMD), the settlement covers a total of 33 violations.

“The notices of violation cover a range of violations including emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner.”

The penalties actually amount to more than $1 million. Tesla will pay a $750,000 cash penalty, and also spend $500,000 to install a solar roof project at an undermined location in the Bay Area. That totals $1.25M, but Tesla will receive a 2-for-1 credit for every dollar spent on the solar project, reducing the total to $1M.

“This settlement requires Tesla’s compliance with Air District regulations at its Fremont facility and demonstrates the Air District’s continuing efforts to ensure strict compliance with air pollution regulations while seeking mutually beneficial solutions for the community. As part of this settlement, Tesla has agreed to implement a community microgrid project, which leverages the company’s technological expertise in developing next generation power here in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District.

Although a location has yet to be determined, the solar project will be 160kw in size and paired with a “two-powerpack storage system.” The goal is to help reduce electricity costs as well as localized air pollution emissions within the Bay Area.

As part of the agreement, Tesla also agreed to implement a comprehensive environmental management system to track all applicable regulations. All managers will also be trained on how to stay in compliance.

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