Environmentalists file criminal charges against Tesla over alleged illegal work at Giga Berlin

A group of environmentalists in Germany is once again taking up issue with Giga Berlin, filing two criminal charges against Tesla accusing the automaker of illegal construction work and potentially impacting the region’s drinking water.

The charges were filed with the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt (Oder) on Friday, and include a third charge against Sascha Gehm, the first deputy of the Oder-Spree district and head of Department III Construction, Order and Environment “due to a lack of supervision and control” at Giga Berlin. The charges were first reported by the German publication Moz.de.

Tesla is no stranger to environmentalists in Germany, having butted heads with several groups during the construction of the factory. Now it is The Association for Nature and Landscape in Brandenburg’s turn, who have taken an issue with two of Tesla’s latest projects at Giga Berlin.

The first is the solar array set to cover the parking lot. As we reported last month Tesla was ordered to halt construction at the project after it was discovered they were driving concrete piles without the appropriate permits. The group says this posed a threat of contamination to the groundwater supply and put the public near Giga Berlin “in danger,” which was a violation of paragraphs 324 and 330 of the Criminal Code (StGB), the group alleges.

The second charge against Tesla accuses them of starting construction of the “Tesla-Süd” work shuttle before receiving the appropriate permits. According to the complaint the permit was issued on February 10, but the group says a large part of the construction, including the track bed, retaining walls and the breakpoint had already been built by that date.

From the charges it appears a large part of the group’s evidence comes from drone flyovers of Giga Berlin, which keep a close eye on construction progress at the factory complex. Those drone flights were banned last month, and according to our sources it was because the company wanted to keep prying eyes away from the factory and the ongoing construction.

Tesla has not responded to the charges. But as we reported earlier this morning Tesla has now set up a new department at Giga Berlin to make sure the appropriate building permits are in place before construction begins on any new projects.

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