Tesla Reaches Settlement with EPA Over Clean Air Act Violations

Tesla has officially reached a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), following the agency’s determination that the automaker’s Fremont factory was in violation of the state’s Clean Air Act.

The EPA announced on Tuesday that Tesla must pay just $275,000 in the settlement over air quality violations at its Fremont factory’s paint coating shop, according to CNBC.

In Q4 2021 alone, Tesla reported $17.71 billion in revenue and 2.32 billion in net income.

The EPA says Tesla’s paint shop at the Fremont factory violated the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Surface Coating of Automobiles during the period from October 2016 through September 2019.

The factory also faced multiple fires in that period of time, with employees telling CNBC that an exhaust and filter system beneath where one fire broke out had been visibly coated with paint.

In the announcement, the EPA said Tesla had failed to “develop and/or implement a work practice plan to minimize hazardous air-pollutants emissions from the storage and mixing of materials used in vehicle-coating operations.”

The EPA added that Tesla ignored emissions standard requirements, including that the automaker didn’t take any measurements of the emissions, nor did it keep legally-mandated records of the emissions measurements.

Last year, Tesla was also ordered to pay fines and install solar hardware for violating the air quality regulations.

Tesla and CEO Elon Musk are currently facing investigations from both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).