Pollution Scandal as Tesla Hit with California Lawsuit

Two lawsuits have been filed against Tesla over environmental pollution at its California-based auto factory.

A Problematic Year

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ulf Wittrock

In a difficult year for the world’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer, two pending lawsuits in California could be set to make things even worse.

Environmental Democracy Project

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

On Monday the Oakland-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group Environmental Democracy Project (EDP) took Elon Musk’s company to federal court on the grounds that it has violated the federal Clean Air Act hundreds of times via its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.

Second Lawsuit in a Month

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Worawee Meepian

The lawsuit comes shortly after the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, a regulatory body in the state, formally accused the company of violating air quality restrictions earlier this month.

Accusations of Pollution

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BearFotos

The EDP alleged that Tesla has been releasing numerous harmful chemicals into the air around the plant. They claim that local residents and workers at the plant have been frequently exposed to these emissions.

“Extensive and Ongoing” Exposure

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

“Tesla has exposed residents and workers in the area surrounding the Fremont Factory to excess amounts of air pollution, including nitrogen oxides, arsenic, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals,” the suit claimed. “These exposures are extensive and ongoing.”

Seeking Injunction

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Prilutskiy

They are seeking a federal injunction that will force Tesla to address it’s alleged pollution issues, as well as civil fines for violating the Clean Air Act.

Going Against the Brand

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

It’s a bad look for the EV manufacturer, which has always presented itself as a climate-aware company seeking to make the automotive industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly by reducing the number of gas-reliant vehicles in the world.

Not the First Time

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2

However, these two recent lawsuits are far from the first to rake Tesla over the coals for its environmental impact, particularly where the Freemont plant is concerned.

Past Legal Troubles

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

Back in 2019, Tesla reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over hazardous waste violations discovered at the very same plant.

Compliance, Fines, and Training

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Matej Kastelic

The company was forced to show compliance with hazardous waste laws as well as pay a $31,000 fine and carry out hazardous waste training for its paint shop associates, technicians, and supervisors.

Pollution Still Ongoing?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

This recent lawsuit asserts that the same facility is still polluting surrounding areas, and has been doing so since 2021, just two years after the EPA lawsuit.

Two Paint Shops Responsible

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BlueSkyImage

The EDP was particularly concerned about two paint shops on the site, which it believes have produced all of the pollutants that have violated the Clean Air Act since 2021.

Repeated Failings

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PIC SNIPE

Claims like these will no doubt be emboldened by the earlier Bay Area AQMD suit, which found that the paint shop had repeatedly failed to destroy emissions from the coat-painting process, which is how they ended up in the surrounding atmosphere.

160 Air Permit Violations

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PreciousJ

According to Bloomberg, the AQMD had found that Tesla violated its Title V air permit over 160 times between 2012 and 2024. The AQMD is responsible for the governance of these permits.

Shutting Down Emission Safeguards

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

What’s more, Tesla has also been accused of programming the paint shops to shut down the abatement systems (which are responsible for destroying emissions) in the event of certain production malfunctions.

Leaked Into the Atmosphere

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Borri_Studio

Once the abatement system is shut down, emissions are leaked out into the environment instead, which the AQMD claims has produced smog in surrounding Freemont.

Damaging Effect on Health

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com

Smog, which is a type of intense visible air pollution found at ground level in the atmosphere, can contribute to respiratory issues and other diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

No Responses Yet

Image Credit: Shutterstock / vchal

Tesla has not responded to any requests for comments. But if the lawsuits are successful, they will be the next in a long line of headaches for the EV company.

The Next Problem for Tesla

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

While the company has made headlines for flagging quarterly sales, Cybertruck recalls, reduced prices on Tesla models, and Elon Musk’s controversial bid for a $55 billion compensation package, it has also been under fire for environmental practices at its sole European manufacturing plant.

Protests in Germany

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

Just last week 800 protestors demonstrated at the Tesla gigafactory in Grünheide, Germany, leading to multiple arrests. Protestors claimed that a new expansion for the German plant would cause environmental degradation to surrounding forests and the local water supply.

Remote No More: 19 Companies Returning to the Office

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

As the pandemic wanes, companies are recalling remote workers back to the office, sparking debates on fairness, costs, and convenience. However, there are also notable productivity, coworking, and mental health benefits to consider. Feeling the effects of these changes? Remote No More: 19 Companies Returning to the Office

8 Costco Must Buys and 8 to Leave Behind

Image Credit: Pexels / Gustavo Fring

Ever wandered Costco’s aisles, questioning if that giant jar of pickles is a real bargain? Or debated buying tires where you get your rotisserie chicken? Welcome to the definitive guide to Costco shopping—a journey to save money, prevent regrets, and offer quirky insights into bulk buying. 8 Costco Must Buys and 8 to Leave Behind

23 Reasons Texas Is the Next Big Thing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Texas is becoming a beacon of opportunity, blending cultural heritage with economic growth. From its landscapes to its industries, the Lone Star State offers a dynamic lifestyle. Here are 23 reasons why Texas stands out, attracting entrepreneurs, artists, tech professionals, and families seeking new beginnings. 23 Reasons Texas Is the Next Big Thing

15 Top Sites to Sell Your Unwanted Goods Besides Craigslist

Image Credit: Shutterstock / GaudiLab

Selling your unwanted items can declutter your space and boost your income. While Craigslist is popular, there are many alternatives with unique features and wider audiences. Explore these 15 Craigslist alternatives for selling everything from furniture to electronics, finding the perfect platform to turn clutter into cash. 15 Top Sites to Sell Your Unwanted Goods Besides Craigslist

Work from Anywhere: 19 Companies Still Supporting Remote Work

Image Credit: Shutterstock / insta_photos

Tired of commuting and craving work flexibility? You’re not alone. Many companies now offer remote work, benefiting both employees and employers. Ever wondered how this shift could enhance your work-life balance? Work from Anywhere: 19 Companies Still Supporting Remote Work

The postPollution Scandal as Tesla Hit with California Lawsuit first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kittyfly.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

Leave a Comment