February 1, 2024 – 12:38 pm
25 counties in California are suing Tesla for improper handling of hazardous waste Engadget writes. The lawsuit was filed after several months of negotiations with the company failed. Civil penalties can reach $70,000 per day per violation.
Los Angeles, San Francisco and 23 other counties accuse Tesla of incorrectly labeling materials and placing them in landfills that are not permitted to accept hazardous waste. The lawsuit states that these substances include “lubricants, brake fluids, lead acid batteries, aerosols, antifreeze, cleaning fluids, propane, paint, acetone, liquefied petroleum gas, adhesives and diesel fuel.” The provinces also claim that this is not a problem of the past, and Tesla still does this now.
In its 2022 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla also acknowledged that California district attorneys had launched an investigation against it related to waste management. According to TechCrunch, at the time it claimed to have “implemented various corrective actions, such as training and auditing, as well as improving the site’s waste management programs.” In October 2023, he announced that he was in talks with prosecutors throughout California, but these conversations appear to have been fruitless.
This isn't the first time Tesla has had a problem with waste management: The company reached a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2019 over federal hazardous materials violations. As part of that, Tesla agreed to continue properly managing waste at its Fremont factory and pay a $31,000 fine.