Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada is set to receive a Class I air quality permit. Despite the allowance for an increase in emissions, Tesla’s focused on reducing its carbon footprint.
One example of this is by covering the roof with solar panels. In its 2021 Impact Report, Tesla said that it had installed solar panels with a capacity of 21,405 kW with most of this on the roofs of Gigafactories Nevada and New York.
Also at Gigafactory Nevada, Tesla installed the first phase of its cell recycling facility for in-house processing of battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries.
In addition, the global fleet of Tesla’s vehicles, energy storage, and solar panels enabled customers to prevent the emissions of 8.4 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.
State Approval For Class 1 Air Quality Permit
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Tesla’s application satisfied the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP)’s requirements that were set by both federal and state law.
The state agency is seeking public comments through August 17 before issuing a new permit for the Gigafactory.
Tesla Will Still Follow NDEP Standards.
The agency emphasized that the change in class and increase in emissions don’t mean that the standards Tesla follows will be less strict. In an email to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the NDEP said:
“The proposed permit still requires Tesla, Inc. to maintain compliance with state and federal regulations and ambient air quality standards, and also requires the facility to conduct regular monitoring and reporting.“
“While overall emissions at the facility are expected to increase, the permit sets emission limits to ensure that public health is protected.”
Class 1 Air Quality Permit
Currently, Tesla’s Nevada Gigafacgotory operates under a Class II air quality permit. This type of permit applies to facilities that emit less than 100 tons of any regulated pollutant annually and less than 25 tons of hazardous air pollutants.
Once the state approves Tesla’s Class I designation, this will allow Tesla to emit more than 10 tons of a regulated pollutant and more than 25 tons of a hazardous air pollutant per year.