Fact Sheet for Wisconsin
BACK to VIRTUAL TOUR
The following fact sheet was prepared by the ECAR Center staff. Once prepared, each ECAR Center fact sheet undergoes a review process with the applicable state environmental agency(ies). You can check on the status of the review process here. Please read the disclaimer on the status page. While we have tried to present a summary of the essential information on this topic, you should be aware that other items, such as local regulations, may apply to you.
What You Need to Know
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 Wisconsin, EPA has delegated its authority to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to implement the stormwater program and issue stormwater permits.
The DNR issues stormwater permits under the Wisconsin's Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permitting program. The stormwater WPDES permit requires development and implementation of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). 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 DNR consider applicable to specific areas such as vehicle dismantling/storage areas and fluids storage areas. For more specific information on developing a Pollution Prevention Plan, visit the ECAR SWPPP fact sheet.
In Wisconsin, auto recyclers must:
To obtain coverage under the stormwater permit, you must submit an Industrial Facility Notice of Intent (DNR Form 3400-163) to the DNR. A Notice of Intent can be obtained at: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/runoff/stormwater/permits/
Note: Permit coverage is not conferred until the Department sends a letter to the applicant granting permit coverage.
One of two stormwater permits will apply to you depending on your industrial classification. How these permits apply to your facility will vary depending on whether or not you elect to participate in a Cooperative Compliance Program. Thus, your next step is deciding whether you want to join a CCP program or proceed on your own to meet the requirements of the Stormwater Permit. Check the links below for more information about the Stormwater Permit Requirement and CCP.
For Auto Recyclers:
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: