Salvage yard regulations

Salvage yard regulations DEFAULT

28 CFR § 25.56 - Responsibilities of junk yards and salvage yards and auto recyclers.

§ 25.56 Responsibilities of junk yards and salvage yards and auto recyclers.

(a) By no later than March 31, 2009, and continuing on a monthly basis as designated by the operator, any individual or entity engaged in the business of operating a junk yard or salvage yard within the United States shall provide, or cause to be provided on its behalf, to the operator and in a format acceptable to the operator, an inventory of all junk automobiles or salvage automobiles obtained in whole or in part by that entity in the prior month.

(b) The inventory shall include the following information:

(1) The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity (junk, salvage yard, recycler);


(3) The date the automobile was obtained;

(4) The name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained;

(5) A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, for sale or other purposes, to whom it was provided or transferred, and if the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.

(c) Junk and salvage yards, however, are not required to report this information if they already report the information to the state and the state makes the information required in this rule available to the operator.

(d) Junk and salvage yards may be required to file an update or supplemental report of final disposition of any automobile where final disposition information was not available at the time of the initial report filing, or if their actual disposition of the automobile differs from what was initially reported.

(e) Junk and salvage yards are encouraged to provide the operator with similar information on motor vehicles other than automobiles that they obtain that possess VINs.

(f) Junk- and salvage-yard operators whose required data is provided to the operator through an operator-authorized third party (e.g., state or other public or private organization) in a manner acceptable to the operator are not required to duplicate such reporting. In addition, junk and salvage yards are not required to report on an automobile if they are issued a verification under 49 U.S.C. 33110 stating that the automobile or parts from the automobile are not reported as stolen.

(g) Such entities must report all salvage or junk vehicles they obtain, including vehicles from or on behalf of insurance carriers, which can be reasonably assumed are total loss vehicles. Such entities, however, are not required to report any vehicle that is determined not to meet the definition of salvage or junk after a good-faith physical and value appraisal conducted by qualified appraisal personnel, so long as such appraisals are conducted entirely independent of any other interests, persons or entities. Individuals and entities that handle less than five vehicles per year that are determined to be salvage, junk, or total loss are not required to report under the salvage-yard requirements.

(h) Scrap metal processors and shredders that receive automobiles for recycling where the condition of such vehicles generally prevent VINs from being identified are not required to report to the operator if the source of each vehicle has already reported the vehicle to NMVTIS. In cases where a supplier's compliance with NMVTIS cannot be ascertained, however, scrap metal processors and shredders must report these vehicles to the operator based on a visual inspection if possible. If the VIN cannot be determined based on this inspection, scrap metal processors and shredders may rely on primary documentation (i.e., title documents) provided by the vehicle supplier.


Salvage Yards

Salvage yards in Arkansas are affected by various environmental regulations, depending on the activities conducted in the yard. These regulations are to prevent the release of liquid hazardous materials such as oils and lead-acid battery contents into the soils, groundwater, and surface waters and the release of air conditioning refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere. Contamination can occur at many stages of salvage operations. Soil, groundwater, and air contamination can occur during vehicle disassembly and fluid drainage operations. Contamination can also result from the improper storage of parts, fluids, and refrigerants.

DEQ Enterprise Services staff offers free, non-regulatory assistance to auto salvage yard operators to aid in understanding and complying with environmental regulations. DEQ has compiled helpful information in the Environmental Guidebook for Arkansas's Automotive Dismantlers and Recyclers. The following information about National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is from the guidebook:

NPDES Permit and SWPPP Frequently Asked Questions

You need an NPDES Industrial Stormwater General permit if:

  • Your facility dismantles automotive vehicles to recover, use, or sell used parts
  • Your facility has a primary or secondary Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code of 5015 or 5093 (for example, if your primary source of income is the sale of used vehicles [SIC Code 5521] but your second most important source of income is the sale of used parts [SIC Code 5015])
  • Rain (stormwater) runs off your business property or could run off the property to any ditch, canal, stream, or lake or to a city storm sewer (different from sanitary sewer) through a curb, gutter, ditch, drain inlet, wetland, or other surface water body

A Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) is a document that:

  • Describes the facility and its operations
  • Identifies potential sources of stormwater pollution at the facility
  • Specifies appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs) or pollution control
  • Measures to reduce the discharge of pollutants in stormwater runoff and provide for periodic review of the SWPPP

The SWPPP outlines your plans to continually ensure that potential pollutants are not exposed to rain or stormwater. The goal is to eliminate or minimize the chances of polluting stormwater that would leave your facility. You will be expected to review the success of your SWPPP and to make changes to the SWPPP as needed.

You can either use the attached fill-in-the-blank plan or write a plan using the instructions in the Stormwater Permit. The SWPPP must be kept on-site and routinely updated.

All facilities are required to sample once per year. All industries are required to sample for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and pH, but some SIC codes require additional sampling. SIC code 5093 also requires the following additional samples: Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Oil & Grease (O&G), Total Aluminum, Total Copper, Total Iron, Total Lead, and Total Zinc. The samples must be analyzed by a certified laboratory. The measurement must be taken for pH within 15 minutes of collecting the sample. For additional information regarding sampling, please reference the Industrial Stormwater General Permit Section 3.

All facilities are required to submit an Annual Report, even if monitoring requirements have been waived, that includes findings from site inspections (including visual monitoring of outfalls) and any corrective action plans written under Part 3.11.2. Stormwater Annual Reports (SWAR) must be completed by January 31 each year for the previous January-December reporting period. The report does not need to be submitted to DEQ, but maintained on-site with the previous year’s sampling results. The documents will be reviewed at the time of inspection.

Required Documents

Submit following documents to apply for an industrial stormwater permit:

Word versions of these forms and templates can be found in the Industrial Stormwater Program in DEQ's Water Office.

  • Stormwater Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs)

    Stormwater DMRs are also required. Beginning December 21, 2016, Arkansas NPDES permittees are required to submit discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) electronically using the web-based tool NetDMR. Permittees can complete reports that are specific to their permit limits and transfer them to the EPA through a secure internet application.
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If you operate an auto salvage yard, it is important for you to know the EPA regulations that apply to your activities. You probably need permits for wastewater discharges and need a Pollution Prevention Plan. You may also be required to notify the EPA if you generate any hazardous waste. Complying with some regulations, such as getting a permit, may take some time. So, the earlier you look into your responsibilities, the better. Listed below are some of the major environmental requirements that may apply to you and will provide you with a starting point to identify areas where your business might be subject to regulation.


The EPA regulates how Freon is handled from vehicle air conditioners. Under these regulations, refrigerants must be removed from salvage vehicles before the vehicles are recycled. The rules also set standards for Freon recovery and disposal. It is strictly against the law to vent the refrigerant into the air, so it’s important that you don’t try to pull a compressor or engine, etc, in the yard, until you have pumped the refrigerant out of the system..


In most States there are regulations in place for businesses that handle scrap tires.


Auto salvage yards generate used oil and oil products. These oil products subject you to the spill prevention regulations and in most cases require you to provide secondary containment for the waste fluids. The best way to manage used oil is to send it off site to a recycling company.


Antifreeze drained from vehicles is considered a hazardous waste. You CANNOT dispose of used antifreeze by pouring it into your septic system, on the ground, or in the trash. In most areas, you also cannot dispose of antifreeze in the sanitary sewer. The best option for handling used antifreeze is to have it recycled. Again, secondary containment is likely required.


Most auto salvage yards use solvents and disposable or reusable rags to clean parts or equipment. When disposed of, these solvents and rags often meet the definition of a hazardous waste. The best option to manage rags is to send them off-site to a commercial laundry for cleaning.


If batteries from vehicles are handled improperly, they can pose environmental and health hazards. Battery components are toxic and corrosive. Lead and sulfuric acid in batteries can contaminate the air, soil and water. By sending them to a battery recycling company, both the lead and sulfuric acid can be recovered from batteries. Batteries should never be stored outside, unless under a roof or in a sealed container.


An auto salvage business may generate process wastewater from equipment cleaning, car washing, paint spray booths or other sources. Any discharge of industrial wastewater to streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, watercourses, waterways, wells and springs will require a discharge permit. Many modern operations use full loop water recycling, to reuse their water used for cleaning, rather than discharging it and most cities require this on new operations.


Floor drains are found at many businesses. Some shops have small rectangular or round floor drains connected to underground piping. Do you know where the floor drains in your business go? Are you discharging wastewater or other fluids into your floor drains?


Typically auto salvage yards have outdoor areas where salvage operations are conducted or materials are stored. Storm water contacting these outdoor areas can carry pollutants such as heavy metals, oils and solvents directly to a stream, ditch, lake or other surface water. Auto salvage yards are regulated facilities and under the storm water regulations, are required to obtain a permit and develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Some of the problems you may encounter involve core engine and transmission piles, which should never be stored outside, unless under a roof.


Mercury is a highly toxic metal and is often found in vehicle hood and trunk light switches. During crushing or shredding, mercury can be released into the environment, polluting the water and soil. By removing switches at your salvage yard, you play an important role in keeping mercury out of the environment. Mercury switch removal is not difficult or expensive to do.


On a non technical note, drums are the bane of our existence. Eliminate ALL drums outside, except for paper trash, and even those can be problematic if oily products get into them.


Our industry has been identified for additional scrutiny by the EPA, to start in the next few years. If you don’t have the proper equipment, licenses and permits, you should get them now to avoid serious fines. Most of the permits and such have been required for a decade or so, and are well publicized, so your failure to have them is going to cause a lot of expensive issues for you, and could actually shut your operation down.


This article written by Mike Gibson, a staff consultant at


Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!


Please email if you would like me to send previous articles. was formed in 2001 to help recyclers improve their businesses. With over fifty years of experience in three staff members, the group is THE definitive source for recyclers’ management and training needs. The founder, Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World.  In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf.  In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002.  In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted in the U.S., and published in Chinese.  In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf.  He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about how to help your business at You can reach us at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or by calling or sending Mike Gibson or Tammy Sturgeon an email message. Mike can be reached at 817-925-0061, [email protected] and Tammy can be reached at 817-999-1224 or [email protected]


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