U.S. EPA settles with Tesla over Clean Air Act violations at Fremont, Calif., facility
SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 22, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Tesla Motors Inc. EPA found Clean Air Act violations at their automobile manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif. This settlement aligns with EPA’s National Compliance Initiative, Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants. Under the settlement, Tesla agreed to pay a $275,000 penalty.
“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.”
People living in communities that are near sources of hazardous air pollutants may face significant risks to their health and environment. The list of hazardous air pollutants, or “air toxics”, includes over 180 chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Tesla’s facility applied coating materials containing formaldehyde, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, and xylene.
Based on several information requests to Tesla, EPA determined that the company violated federal Clean Air Act regulations known as National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Surface Coating of Automobiles and Light-Duty Trucks from October 2016 through September 2019 by:
- Failing 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.
- Failing to correctly perform required monthly emissions calculations needed to demonstrate that the facility’s coating operations complied with federal hazardous air pollutant standards.
- Failing to collect and keep all required records associated with the calculation of the hazardous air pollutants emission rate for Tesla’s coating operations.
Compliance monitoring is one of the key components EPA uses to ensure that the regulated community follows environmental laws and regulations. Today’s case is another example of the Agency’s years-long compliance oversight of this facility. Tesla has corrected the violations noted in both settlements and returned to compliance.
For more information on EPA’s Clean Air Act enforcement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/air-enforcement
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