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U.S. EPA settles with Tesla over hazardous waste violations at Fremont, Calif., facility

Company will purchase equipment for City of Fremont first responders

04/01/2019
Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)
415-972-3512

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Tesla Motors Inc. over federal hazardous waste violations at their automobile manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif. Under the agreement, Tesla will take specific steps to properly manage hazardous wastes at its factory.  Tesla will also purchase $55,000 in emergency response equipment for the City of Fremont Fire Department and pay a $31,000 penalty.

“It's vital that businesses comply with hazardous waste laws that keep facilities safe for workers and the community,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “We are pleased that this settlement will bring much needed emergency response equipment to the City of Fremont.”

As a result of the inspections, EPA determined that Tesla:

  • failed to comply with air emissions standards for equipment leaks;
  • failed to comply with management requirements for generators of hazardous wastes; and
  • failed to make an adequate hazardous waste determination for certain solid waste generated at the facility.

In addition to paying the $31,000 penalty, Tesla is required to complete a supplemental environmental project to purchase and provide at least $55,000 worth of emergency response equipment for the City of Fremont Fire Department. This equipment will improve the department’s ability to respond to hazardous materials incidents. The company has since addressed all the identified violations and has come into compliance with RCRA requirements. Tesla also delivered hazardous waste training to over 1,100 paint shop associates, technicians and supervisors at its facility. 

EPA led unannounced inspections at the Fremont facility in 2017 along with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The inspections identified violations of federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. RCRA rules require the safe management of hazardous waste to protect public health and the environment and to prevent costly cleanups. The settlement is part of the EPA’s National Compliance initiative to reduce hazardous air emissions at hazardous waste facilities. 

For more information about the National Compliance initiative, please visit:  https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-reducing-hazardous-air-emissions-hazardous-waste

For more information on RCRA, please visit: www.epa.gov/rcra

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