Tesla Ordered to Pay $1.5 Million After Improper Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Electric vehicle giant Tesla has been ordered to pay $1.5 million as part of a settlement with California prosecutorial offices, including San Diego’s, over allegations of mishandling hazardous waste. The investigation, which began in 2018, found that Tesla had illegally disposed of hazardous materials generated during the servicing and manufacturing of its vehicles.

The improper disposals took place at Tesla’s car service centers, energy centers, and its factory in Fremont. Some of the hazardous used materials included lubricating oils, brake cleaners, used lead acid batteries, aerosols, antifreeze, electronic waste, and waste paint.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, along with other jurisdictions, discovered similar incidents after the initial discovery. District Attorney Summer Stephan emphasized the responsibility of holding companies accountable for environmental protection, stating, “Cooperation and coordination with district attorney offices up and down the state has again resulted in a judgment that will not only stop these illegal practices but also stop it from happening again in the future.”

In addition to the monetary penalty, Tesla will be required to hire an external party to conduct annual waste audits of its trash containers at 10% of its facilities for the next five years. Tesla currently owns and operates approximately 57 car service centers across California, including three in San Diego County.

This settlement serves as a reminder that companies must adhere to environmental regulations and properly dispose of hazardous waste. By implementing waste audits and increasing oversight, Tesla aims to prevent future instances of improper disposal and ensure the clean and safe handling of waste materials.

FAQ:

1. Why was Tesla ordered to pay $1.5 million?
Tesla was ordered to pay $1.5 million as part of a settlement with California prosecutorial offices, including San Diego’s, over allegations of mishandling hazardous waste.

2. What did the investigation find?
The investigation found that Tesla had illegally disposed of hazardous materials generated during the servicing and manufacturing of its vehicles.

3. Where did the improper disposals take place?
The improper disposals took place at Tesla’s car service centers, energy centers, and its factory in Fremont.

4. What were some of the hazardous materials that Tesla improperly disposed of?
Some of the hazardous materials included lubricating oils, brake cleaners, used lead acid batteries, aerosols, antifreeze, electronic waste, and waste paint.

5. What actions will Tesla be required to take as part of the settlement?
In addition to the monetary penalty, Tesla will be required to hire an external party to conduct annual waste audits of its trash containers at 10% of its facilities for the next five years.

6. How many car service centers does Tesla currently own in California?
Tesla currently owns and operates approximately 57 car service centers across California, including three in San Diego County.

Definitions:

Hazardous waste: Waste that poses a substantial or potential threat to public health or the environment and requires special handling and disposal.

Lubricating oils: Substances used to reduce friction between moving parts.

Brake cleaners: Chemicals used to clean brake components and remove brake dust.

Lead acid batteries: Rechargeable batteries commonly used in automobiles and other applications that utilize lead and sulfuric acid.

Aerosols: Products packaged under pressure in a can or container that release a stream of fine particles when sprayed.

Antifreeze: A liquid used in vehicles to lower the freezing point of water in cooling systems.

Electronic waste: Waste resulting from the disposal of electronic devices such as computers, televisions, smartphones, and more.

Waste paint: Unused or leftover paint that requires special handling and disposal due to its potentially harmful effects on the environment.

Related links:

Tesla’s official website

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Hazardous Waste