Toxic Scandal: The Environmental Cost of 101 Tesla Plants

Electric car manufacturer Tesla is again being sued for its mishandling of toxic waste, this time by 25 different counties in California that found violations in 101 plants.

Tesla’s Hazardous Waste Mismanagement 

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Allegations surrounding Tesla’s mishandling of hazardous waste have led to a legal dispute, leading to 25 counties in California filing lawsuits against the company.

25 Counties File Lawsuits

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25 counties took legal action against Tesla, accusing the company of unlawfully disposing of hazardous waste, resulting in a $1.5 million settlement.

Breach of Health and Safety Codes

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The California counties claim that Tesla violated state health and safety codes by disposing of hazardous waste in unauthorized locations. 

Throwing Waste in Non-Permitted Sites

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The company is accused of improper disposal in dumpsters or compactors that led to hazardous substances entering non-permitted landfills.

California’s Strict Waste Laws

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California’s laws surrounding toxic waste mishandling can lead to fines of up to $70,000 per day for each time a law is broken.

Elon Musk-led Tesla Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million

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Tesla, led by Elon Musk, agreed to a $1.5 million settlement to resolve the accusations of purposefully mishandling the toxic waste.

Irony of Environmental Issues

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The electric vehicle manufacturer insists that Tesla cars are better for the environment than usual petrol or diesel vehicles, making it ironic that the company would mishandle waste in such a way.

Musk Looking for Sustainability

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that he wants Tesla to drive the world toward sustainable vehicles and “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Tesla Allegedly Dumped Dangerous Fluids

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According to the counties, the dangerous materials mishandled in Tesla factories included used batteries, brake fluid, anti-freeze, and diesel fuel.

Tesla Outpaces Expected Violations

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Environmental expert Eric Roesch argued, “At a complex factory like an auto plant, you may expect occasional violations,” but admitted that Tesla was going above and beyond the usual violations.

Getting The Basics Wrong

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Roesch argued that “Tesla is not even doing basic stuff,” and that every auto body shop worker should know about “labeling and management of things like used oil, spent batteries, used paint.”

Tesla “Should Know Better”

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Expert on Hazardous Waste Christopher Kohler said, “These rules and regulations have been around for gosh… almost 50 years, and they should know better by now.”

101 Facilities Charged

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101 facilities in California are accused of mishandling waste, and this isn’t the first time that Tesla has been accused of mishandling hazardous waste at its Californian plants.

2019 Lawsuit in Fremont

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Back in 2019, Tesla was sued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its role in mishandling waste at its Fremont plant.

$31,000 Settlement Plus Terms

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After the lawsuit was filed, Tesla agreed to pay a $31,000 settlement while also agreeing to properly dispose of toxic waste chemicals going forward, but in 2022, they were caught red-handed.

Air-Pollution Records Missed

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Once again, Tesla was accused of not keeping proper air pollution records while painting car bodies at the Fremont plant, resulting in a whopping $275,000 penalty.

Covering Investigation Costs

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The current lawsuit will set Tesla back $1.5 million, with the company paying an additional $200,000 to the counties for investigative costs.

Things Could Get Worse

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The lawsuit argued that Tesla knowingly violated waste management laws over the years both “intentionally” and “negligently,” resulting in potentially even more consequences. 

Above and Beyond the Fines

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“The state’s accusation that Tesla continued to violate environmental rules for years ‘intentionally’ and ‘negligently’ suggests that the company’s liability could go beyond civil penalties like fines,” According to Roesch.

Future of Tesla’s Waste Penalties

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Tesla is consistently negligent of its waste disposal activities, and with this most recent lawsuit, things could be snowballing badly for the sustainable car company.

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The post Toxic Scandal: The Environmental Cost of 101 Tesla Plants first appeared on EcoHugo.

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