Tesla Settles Hazardous Waste Lawsuit In California

Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) has agreed to a $1.5 million settlement in response to accusations of mishandling hazardous waste across its facilities in California. 

This settlement comes after district attorneys from 25 counties in California brought forth allegations in a lawsuit titled The People of the State of California v. Tesla Inc., filed in state court in San Joaquin County.

The lawsuit accused Tesla of improperly disposing of hazardous waste, including spent lead acid batteries, paint, and lubricants, at unauthorized locations. It also alleged that the company failed to correctly label hazardous material containers and did not adequately train its employees on safe handling practices.

As part of the settlement, Tesla is ordered to pay $1.3 million in civil penalties and an additional $200,000 to cover the costs of the investigation. 

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins highlighted in a press statement that Tesla is also mandated to adhere to a comprehensive injunction for the next five years. 

“Injunctive compliance measures include proper training of employees and the hiring of a third party to conduct annual waste audits of its trash containers at ten percent of its facilities. These audits will occur each year for five years and auditors will examine trash containers for hazardous waste,” according to the statement. 

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This settlement shines a light on Tesla’s environmental practices, which appear to contrast its mission to promote sustainable energy. In 2022, the company was fined $275,000 by the EPA for exceeding air toxic emission standards at its Fremont, California assembly plant over a three-year period. 

Moreover, the Political Economy Research Institute ranks Tesla as the 89th biggest air polluter in its Toxic 100 list, based on data from 2021. CEO Elon Musk has been scrutinized for his personal carbon footprint, particularly his frequent use of a private jet.

Information for this story was found via SFDA, CNBC, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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