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Tesla sued over air pollution from factory operations in Fremont, California

Tesla is being sued by the nonprofit Environmental Democracy Project over "ongoing failure to comply with the Clean Air Act" at the electric vehicle company's assembly plant in Fremont, California.

In the suit, filed in a federal court in San Francisco on Monday, the environmental group claimed Tesla has violated the particular law "hundreds of times since January 2021, emitting harmful pollution into the neighborhoods surrounding the Factory."

While Tesla has long touted the climate benefits of driving EVs, its manufacturing practices have been decried by environmentalists for years. Tesla landed at 89 on the 2023 Toxic 100 Air Polluters list, an annual study by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The Environmental Protection Agency fined Tesla $275,000 in 2022, claiming the company had failed to measure, track and maintain records about its own emissions or to minimize air pollutants from painting operations at the facility.

Separately, Tesla was sued by 25 counties in California for its handling of hazardous waste materials at facilities throughout the state earlier this year, and promptly settled with those counties. And in Germany, environmentalists have been protesting Tesla's clearing of forests to build a factory outside of Berlin, as well as the company's water consumption.

The latest lawsuit in California described Tesla's environmental violations as "ongoing" and said that residents and employees in the surrounding area have been exposed to "excess amounts of air pollution, including nitrogen oxides, arsenic, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals."

Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, an