German Tesla factory accused of water pollution

  • World
  • Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

BERLIN, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The German Gigafactory of U.S. electric car manufacturer Tesla could be forced to halt production due to its excessive emissions of water-polluting substances, local media reported on Tuesday.

Tesla has been continuously discharging excess phosphorus and nitrogen into the wastewater system in Gruenheide near Berlin, exceeding limits by up to six times, according to the Strausberg-Erkner Water Association (WSE), the local water authority.

In a letter to local mayors, WSE called for Tesla's Gigafactory to be cut off from the wastewater system. The WSE is expected to seek its members' approval at an extraordinary meeting on Friday.

"The problem primarily lies with Tesla on site," water scientist Martin Pusch from the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) told Xinhua. The plant that processes the company's wastewater has been "brought to the limit of its capacity."

Water resources in the Berlin-Brandenburg region are already exhausted, and additional demand and wastewater from the new Gigafactory are now pushing the water supply "to its limits," added Pusch.

Despite considerable resistance from environmentalists and local residents, Tesla is seeking to expand its Gigafactory in Gruenheide, which began operating two years ago. Tesla aims to double production from the current interim target of 500,000 cars per year to one million.

However, plans for the additional construction of a freight station, warehouses and a company kindergarten have recently been put on hold. The project, which would have required the clearing of more than 100 hectares of forest, was rejected in a referendum last week.

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