Tesla’s Q1 2021 SEC report revealed that EPA was accusing the company of not proving it could comply with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, part of the Clean Air Act of 1963. It is not clear if the EPA’s accusations are related to emission issues reported by BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District). What we do know is that Tesla settled these issues by paying BAAQMD $750,000.
The penalty would be $1 million, but Tesla is now eligible for a $250,000 credit when it completes a microgrid system project. It will benefit one of the communities under the protection of BAAQMD’s program “Community Health Protection Program.”
Consisting of solar panels and two Powerpacks, it will supply about 160 kilowatts of clean, renewable electricity to the people in this community, which will help make the air more breathable there. The project is said to cost around $500,000.
The community has yet to be disclosed, and it does not surprise us: it can be selected from West Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, East Oakland, San Leandro, Eastern San Francisco, Pittsburg, Bay Point, San Jose, Tri-Valley area, or Vallejo.
Since the penalty is not the most important part of the settlement, BAAQMD said all the issues had been addressed. According to the entity, they included 33 violations: “emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, 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.”
BAAQMD said it would use the settlement money to improve the air quality in the Bay area. However, it did not disclose how it intends to do that. We would ask EPA if this settlement affects the issues it pointed out, but it already told us it "doesn’t comment on enforcement matters.”