Fact Sheet for
EPA defines automobile salvage yards and scrap recycling facilities as industries eligible to use the multi-sector general permit (MSGP). Sector M: Auto Salvage Yards
Included in this permitting process are requirements to file a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the appropriate state agency and to prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to describe how you will address your facility’s stormwater issues. For information on how to comply with these requirements, please see:
For more information see:
The Clean Water Act requires virtually every automotive salvage or recycling operator to obtain a stormwater permit. The exceptions to this rule are few, and they are explained further in the detailed information provided below. Therefore, if you own or operate a salvage or recycling operation and you do not currently have a stormwater permit, you most likely are out of compliance. The purpose of this fact sheet is to help you either to get into compliance or to assist you to develop a more efficient and effective compliance strategy.
Rain or snow falling on your property can pick up contaminants as it runs off, and can carry the contaminants through drainage systems directly into streams, rivers, and lakes. The term "stormwater" refers to this type of runoff.
In 1987, Congress mandated that "industrial" sites obtain stormwater permits. In 1990, EPA defined "industrial" to include, among many other types of sites, "salvage yards and automotive [recyclers]." [Title 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(vi)]. These mandates apply across the country, regardless of your state. Congress and EPA took this action because stormwater that comes in contact with metals, oil and grease, used batteries and tires, and other materials common at automotive recycling facilities may cause localized pollution that can affect the local community's ability to swim and fish in lakes, rivers, and streams.
For example, the mercury that still may be found in old automotive switches or even some new parts is toxic to humans and to the fish they may catch and eat. By obtaining a stormwater permit, and more importantly, by taking some common sense actions under the permit to prevent stormwater contamination, you can provide your community with environmental benefits to compliment the value of recycling end-of-life vehicles.
Although Congress and EPA created the national rules that provide the basic framework for stormwater regulations, the rules are implemented by the individual state environmental agencies. EPA may help certain states develop programs and it provides guidance to all states, but for the most part, you obtain a stormwater permit from your state environmental agency. Information about your state permit, compliance requirements, contact information, and other helpful hints are provided in the following pages of this site. The most important part of the compliance program is developing a stormwater pollution prevention plan, and this site will help you to develop such a plan. The key for you is to make sure that you implement the plan and adhere to your legal obligations.
Since 1990, federal regulations require automotive recyclers to obtain coverage under an industrial stormwater permit to prevent stormwater pollution. In Arizona, EPA has delegated its authority to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to implement the stormwater program and issue stormwater permits. At this time, Arizona's stormwater regulations, called the Arizona Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (AZPDES), are the same as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). However, once the State of Arizona writes its own permitting conditions, they may or may not be the same as the federal requirements.
Auto recyclers must:
Auto recyclers may qualify for a "general" permit, which reduces the amount of time and paperwork involved in obtaining a stormwater permit. To obtain a general permit, you must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the ADEQ.
Your SWPPP must include a description of potential sources of stormwater pollution and measures and controls, including best management practices (BMPs) that will be implemented at your facility to prevent or minimize stormwater contamination. When developing the SWPPP, you must consider the use of certain BMPs that EPA and ADEQ consider applicable to specific areas such as vehicle dismantling/storage areas and fluids storage areas. However, you do not need to limit yourself to just these BMPs. For more specific information on developing a Pollution Prevention Plan, visit the ECAR SWPPP fact sheet.
Exceptions. Under the conditional no exposure exclusion, operators of industrial facilities in any of the 11 categories of "stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity," may have the opportunity to certify to a condition of "no exposure" if their industrial materials and operations are not exposed to stormwater. The facility can be exempted from the AZPDES up until the expiration of the applicable permit. For example, if a permit is issued for the normal five-year period, and the permittee certifies non-exposure during year two, the permittee has only three years of being exempted from the program. At the beginning of the next permit the permittee is required to certify non-exposure again.
Links to the Regulations and Forms. Use the following links to view the regulations pertaining to stormwater management.
When an inspector comes to your facility, there are certain things he or she checks to see if you are in compliance with environmental regulations. It makes good sense for you to perform a "self-audit" and catch and correct problems before they result in penalties. Also, there are some compliance incentives associated with self-audits (see Audit Policy Page).
Use the following list to audit your stormwater permit.
The following is a list of BMPs for auto salvage facilities identified by EPA when the stormwater regulations were published:
Dismantling and vehicle maintenance:
Outdoor vehicle, equipment and parts storage:
Vehicle, equipment and parts washing areas:
Liquid storage in above ground containers:
Improper connection with storm sewers:
Shirley Conard (602) 771-4632
Stormwater (industrial or Multi-sector) - Technical issues:
Dennis Turner (602) 771-4501
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