Tesla settles with EPA and will pay $275,000 penalty for Clean Air Act violations

Tesla Fremont
Credit: Dai Sugano /Bay Area News Group

Tesla has agreed to pay a $275,000 fine to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over violations of the Clean Air Act at its facility in Fremont, California.

The settlement, announced today by the EPA on its website, covers violations of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Surface Coating of Automobiles and Light-Duty Trucks.

In particular, the EPA says Tesla used coating materials containing formaldehyde, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, and xylene, all of which are included in a list of over 180 chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects.

According to the EPA, between October 2016 and September 2019, Tesla failed to:

  • develop and/or implement a work practice plan to minimize hazardous air pollutants emissions from the storage and mixing of materials used in vehicle coating operations.
  • correctly perform required monthly emissions calculations needed to demonstrate that the facility’s coating operations complied with federal hazardous air pollutant standards.
  • collect and keep all required records associated with the calculation of the hazardous air pollutants emission rate for Tesla’s coating operations.

The EPA says Tesla has corrected the above noted issues and has “returned to compliance.”

“Today’s enforcement action against Tesla reflects EPA’s continued commitment to ensure compliance with federal clean air laws,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman.“EPA takes seriously every company’s obligation to safeguard our environment and protect our most vulnerable communities.”

This isn’t the only settlement Tesla has had to make over its operations at Fremont.

In May last year Tesla settled with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District over 33 violations, agreeing to pay a $750,000 cash penalty, and also spend $500,000 to install a solar roof project at a location in the Bay Area.

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

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