Tesla’s Fremont Factory Is Ignoring 112 Notices of Pollution Violations

Mark Landers
By Mark Landers

Environmental Watchdog Targets Tesla for Emissions

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has raised serious concerns over Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing plant, accusing the electric vehicle giant of releasing thousands of tons of pollutants into the air. The regulatory body is now pushing for stringent actions to curb these emissions.

Record of Non-Compliance

Since 2019, Tesla has accumulated a staggering 112 notices of violation from the air quality district. These infractions, tallying up to 750 pounds of unmitigated pollution per incident or 84,000 pounds total, range from minor procedural breaches to significant environmental hazards.

Philip Fine, the executive director of the Air District, emphasized the gravity of these violations, stating that they pose real threats to both public health and the environment.

"The recurring violations at Tesla's paint shops are particularly concerning. These are not isolated incidents, but a systemic issue that Tesla has repeatedly failed to address."
Philip Fine
Executive Director

Mandating Changes

The Air District is now seeking an abatement order from its independent enforcement arm, which would involve third-party oversight to ensure Tesla implements effective pollution control measures. This proposed order aims to overhaul Tesla’s current practices, particularly targeting the paint shop operations known for their high emission rates.

Fine added, “Our goal is to see Tesla adhere to established air quality standards through a concrete, enforceable abatement plan.”

Tesla’s Silent Stance

At the time of reporting, Tesla hasn’t publicly responded to the allegations or the Air District’s proposed actions. The matter will be further discussed in an upcoming public meeting of the Air Quality Management District, the date of which will soon be announced on their website.

Technological Troubles

The focus of the Air District’s concern, the paint shop’s thermal oxidizer, is supposed to be converting harmful pollutants into safer emissions. However, this device is frequently out of operation or intentionally shut down due to other equipment issues, exacerbating the pollution problem.

Thermal Oxidizer Recovery System Diagram

Enforcement Proposal

The proposed enforcement strategy includes hiring a third-party consultant to evaluate and recommend solutions, followed by Tesla’s creation and execution of an implementation plan. This two-step process aims not only to address the current violations, but also to set a precedent for compliance and environmental responsibility.

As Tesla continues to produce popular models like the Model S, 3, X, and Y at this facility, the outcome of this environmental compliance saga and the company’s refusal to respond will be closely watched by both industry insiders and environmental advocates, marking a critical juncture in the company’s ongoing alleged commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

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