To settle air quality violations at Tesla’s Fremont, California plant, the company has agreed to pay a $750,000 fine and install a solar roof project, officials announced on Friday.
The organization that regulates air pollution in nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, said the settlement covers 33 notices of violations dating back to 2015, including “installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner.”
According to the air district’s statement, the violations have since been corrected, and Tesla is back in compliance.
Both sides had agreed that the penalty fine should be $1 million. Still, according to Mercury News, Air district spokesman Ralph Borrmann said that Tesla would pay $750,000 directly to the air district’s general operating fund. Tesla will then receive a $250,000 credit once it completes the installation of a microgrid system of approximately 160 kilowatts in one of the communities prioritized under the air district’s “Community Health Protection Program.”. That program “focuses on improving air quality and public health in the Bay Area’s most heavily impacted areas,” the statement reads. “The goal of this project is to reduce electricity costs as well as localized air pollution emissions within the community.”
Where the microgrid will be installed has yet to be determined, it is likely to end up in West Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, East Oakland, San Leandro, Eastern San Francisco, Pittsburg, Bay Point, San Jose, Tri-Valley area, or Vallejo.
The settlement with the air quality district also “commits Tesla to implement a comprehensive environmental management system” to ensure the company remains in full compliance with environmental requirements moving forward. No deadline has been reported for when Tesla has to complete the microgrid project.
Tesla and public officials in Fremont have had their differences over the past year; the American electric vehicle-maker defied local pandemic shutdown requirements. Tesla Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters out of California. Still, earlier this year, the company filed permits to expand its Fremont plant, suggesting the move was off.
Last month, according to The Verge, Tesla reported a record profit of $438 million for the first quarter of 2021, with sales of $10.4 billion.