Tesla uses new law to get Giga Texas removed from city environmental regulations

Tesla has used a new law passed in Texas in September to remove its massive production facility east of Austin from city environmental regulations.

Senate Bill 2038, approved on September 1, 2023, now allows landowners on the outskirts of major Texas cities to petition for removal from Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. It will help them develop their land with fewer restrictions.

Language in the bill notes that “the owner or owners of the majority in value of an area of land in a municipality’s extraterritorial jurisdiction may file a petition with the municipality in accordance with this subchapter for the area to be released from extraterritorial jurisdiction.”

The population of an area must be less than 200 people to qualify for potential release.

Austin Business Journal first reported Tesla’s use of the law. It filed a petition on February 8 and was notified on March 8 that the Giga Texas property qualified for the law to be enforced.

Tesla’s initial application and petition outlines 2,100 acres along SH-130 and the Colorado River, which includes the entire Giga Texas building:

Credit: Travis County via ABJ

Understandably, the law is controversial and several municipalities have challenged the law, claiming that their ability to regulate land in the area has been removed. Additionally, they claim the health and safety of nearby citizens and the environment could be at risk as many of the projects that will benefit are of large industry.

These municipalities have already filed lawsuits challenging the law. Austin has not, but according to the report, city officials are aware of the risks for current residents and those who may move to Austin.

City spokesperson Shelley Parks said that if an area is removed from the jurisdiction could impact water quality and could cause future flooding issues.

Tesla’s Giga Texas is one of the largest employers in the state. In late 2023, an economic impact report showed that 15,000 people held jobs at the plant as of the end of 2022.

This number may have decreased due to recent layoffs, which caused people in various capacities to lose their jobs.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at

Tesla uses new law to get Giga Texas removed from city environmental regulations
To Top