Tesla settles California hazardous-waste lawsuit for $1.5 million

Tesla Inc. will pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed earlier this week by 25 California counties accusing the electric-vehicle maker of mishandling hazardous waste.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced the settlement late Thursday.

“While electric vehicles may benefit the environment, the manufacturing and servicing of these vehicles still generates many harmful waste streams,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Today’s settlement against Tesla, Inc. serves to provide a cleaner environment for citizens throughout the state by preventing the contamination of our precious natural resources when hazardous waste is mismanaged and unlawfully disposed.”

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, accused Tesla

of improperly handling, transporting and disposing hazardous materials including oil, lead acid batteries, antifreeze and diesel fuel at as many as 101 sites across the state.

As part of the settlement, Tesla was ordered to pay $1.3 million in civil penalties, and $200,000 to reimburse the cost of the investigation, which began in 2018. Tesla also must comply with an injunction for five years to properly dispose of its hazardous materials.

Last month, Tesla reported earnings of $7.9 billion in the fourth quarter.

Tesla, which dissolved its media relations team in 2020, did not respond to a request for comment.

Tesla shares are down about 24% year to date, compared to a 3% gain by the S&P 500

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