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How bad is Tesla’s hazardous waste problem in California?

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Allegations that Tesla mishandled hazardous waste point to a systemic failure at the company’s California facilities. This was no simple accident or one-off event.

No less than 25 counties sued Tesla this week for allegedly illegally disposing of hazardous waste. Within a couple days, the Elon Musk-led company agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle the suit that says the company “intentionally” and “negligently” disposed of materials that should have been handled with care.

Waste management experts tell The Verge that a large company like Tesla should have known better. On top of the trouble it’s facing in California, the company might even have run afoul of federal regulations for handling hazardous waste.

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