Tesla has reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency on hazardous waste discovered at the company's factory in Fremont, California. Tesla has agreed to pay a fine of $ 31,000, and under the agreement, it will also purchase emergency equipment for the Fremont Fire Department worth $ 55,000.
The EPA announced that they have conducted "unannounced inspections" together with the DTSC (California Department of Toxic Substances Control) and the BAAQMD (Bay Quality Management District – BAAQMD) at Tesla's Fremont plant in 2017. Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a 1
Tesla has failed to comply with RCRA regulations in three ways, according to the EPA. The agency says, Tesla: the air leakage standards for equipment leaks not respected, the management requirements for producers of hazardous waste not respected and made no adequate determination of hazardous waste for certain solid waste generated in the plant. The EPO did not specifically state that Tesla did not comply with the rules in each of these capacities. The Fire Department of Fremont, DTSC and BAAQMD did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Tesla said in an email to The Verge that it had raised all the issues raised by the inspections. "In the 16 months since the EPO visit, Tesla has significantly advanced its environmental program and ongoing compliance under Laurie Shelby, our vice president of environment, health and safety," said a spokesperson for the company. "We are pleased to have partnered with EPA Region 9 and are particularly proud that the city of Fremont will benefit from the agreed settlement."
This Tesla was not fined for the first time by the EPA. The company had to pay a fine of $ 275,000 in 2010 after failing to obtain proper certification for the original Tesla Roadster. Tesla also paid BAAQMD a $ 139,500 fine from the Fremont plant in 2018 for environmental pollution.
Tesla has also argued with other government agencies. The California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) imposed a fine of $ 71,000 in 2013 after three employees were burned by molten aluminum. Cal-OSHA also imposed a Tesla fine of $ 29,365 this year for security threats discovered in an outer tent that the company built in 2018 where Model 3s is assembled, and reports reportedly have more workers Investigations have been repeatedly criticized for its safety measures in the workplace. The Center for Investigative Reporting has released several investigative reports documenting allegations of lax safety standards and signed violations. Four unnamed employees also said Bloomberg in 2018 (in some of the decisive months of the Model 3 production ramp) that they were instructed by managers to run through sewage at the factory. In any case, Tesla said he did not know the allegations or rejected them completely.