Tesla leverages new legislation to exempt Giga Texas from local environmental regulations.

Tesla has utilized a new law recently passed in Texas to exempt its large production facility east of Austin from city environmental regulations. The law, Senate Bill 2038, was approved on September 1, 2023, and now enables landowners on the outskirts of major Texas cities to request to be removed from Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

This move aims to facilitate the development of land with fewer restrictions. Tesla’s use of the law was first reported after it filed a petition on February 8 and was subsequently notified on March 8 that its Giga Texas property qualified for enforcement of the law.

Concerns have been raised regarding the potential impacts on the health and safety of nearby citizens and the environment, particularly in relation to large industrial projects. In response, several municipalities have filed lawsuits challenging the law, while Austin officials acknowledged the potential risks for current and future residents.

City spokesperson Shelley Parks highlighted potential consequences if an area is removed from jurisdiction, including impacts on water quality and the potential for future flooding problems. Notably, Tesla’s Giga Texas is one of the largest employers in the state.

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