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Tesla Sued Yet Again – This Time Over Paint Shop Emissions

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla is facing a lawsuit over emissions at its Fremont facility, accused of violating the Clean Air Act with harmful emissions.
  • An environmental advocacy group is seeking an injunction to limit emissions with daily fines if Tesla does not comply.
  • Tesla has a long history of environmental violations in California, resulting in millions in fines and penalties.

Tesla is in the news again, this time for a lawsuit related to emissions at its Freemont facility, where vehicles including the Model S and Cybertruck are produced. The suit was filed by the Environmental Democracy Project, which is an East Oakland non-profit organization. The group focuses on advocacy, education, and when necessary, litigation to address environmental concerns in the East Oakland area.

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Its claim is that Tesla is violating the federal Clean Air Act, and it’s not something that only recently started. The suit accuses Tesla of releasing a wide range of harmful chemicals including nitrogen oxides, arsenic, and cadmium as far back as January 2021. Factory emissions can be a challenge for companies, with Tesla needing a special permit to operate its Nevada factory and stay within legal guidelines.


Concerns Over Air Pollution

The group is trying to get an injunction to limit further emissions. It’s also looking to have civil fines assessed against the company in the amount of $121,275 per day for every day Tesla continues to violate the Clean Air Act.


Tesla’s German Gigafactory Is Facing Criminal Allegations From Environmentalists

One of those charges involves digging for additional water.

This isn’t the first lawsuit Tesla has faced regarding environmental concerns in California. It settled a case with the Bay Area Quality Management District back in 2021. That settlement saw Tesla paying $1 million as a penalty and installing solar panels on its roof after it was found to have 33 violations at its Fremont facility.

Tesla Model Y white on-road beauty shot

A History Of Violations

Then in 2022, Tesla was found in violation of the Clean Air Act by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for multiple issues.These included failing to minimize hazardous air pollutant emissions properly, failing to perform monthly emissions calculations to ensure compliance, and incomplete record keeping. The EPA assessed a $275,000 penalty for those violations.

As recently as February, the company paid $1.5 million to settle with 25 California counties that filed suit over improperly labeled hazardous waste products from diesel fuel to lead-acid batteries. This new suit was filed on Monday, so no violations have been confirmed nor any penalties assessed – yet.

Tesla Cybertruck gravel road

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