Managing Stormwater at Auto Salvage and Recycling Facilities | Region 10 | US EPA

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Managing Stormwater at Auto Salvage and Recycling Facilities

Why do I need a stormwater permit?

Rain and snow can run off your property and carry pollution directly into streams, rivers, and lakes.

Some potential sources of pollution at your facility include:

  • oil, gasoline and diesel fuel
  • transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid
  • mineral spirits, washer fluid and gear oil
  • battery acid and solvents
  • mercury from switches, lamps and electronic devices (such as navigation aids and CD players)
  • lead from lead-acid batteries, wheel weights and battery cable ends
  • CFCs and other refrigerants
  • sodium azide from air bags
  • asbestos from brake shoes and clutches
  • tires (whole and shredded)
  • PCB from foam rubber, carpets and plastic components
  • metals: aluminum, cadmium, copper, iron,zinc and lead
  • plastics
  • transmission and oil filters

Instructional video about stormwater management for auto recyclers (18 min). Developed by Sustainable Conservation with funding from EPA. Exit EPA disclaimer

I need permit coverage, where do I begin?

Most automotive salvage or recycling facilities are required to get a stormwater permit from either EPA or your delegated state agency. If your facility is in one of the following areas then you need to apply for coverage under EPA's Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP):

  • Idaho
  • Federal facilities in Washington
  • Tribal lands within Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
If your facility is not within one of these listed areas, contact your state's stormwater program:

How do I apply for EPA's Multi-Sector General Permit?

1. Read EPA’s Multi-Sector General Permit.

Download a copy of EPA’s MSGP permit and read it carefully. Remember that operators are responsible for complying with permit requirements.

2. Develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Your plan describes how you will keep pollution from getting into stormwater runoff at your facility. It must be completed before you apply for permit coverage. More information on how to develop your storm water pollution prevention plan and a template you can use is available in EPA's Industrial Stormwater Fact Sheet Series (see Sector M: Automobile Salvage Yards).

3. Document your eligibility.

You will need to assess the potential effects of your stormwater runoff on:
  • federally-listed endangered and threatened species
  • any critical habitat located on or near the site
  • historic properties.
4. File a Notice of Intent application.

Your Notice of Intent (NOI) lets us know you are filing for permit coverage and that you have intend to comply with the requirements of the permit. The fastest and easiest way to file an NOI for permit coverage is through EPA’s online permit application system (Central Data Exchange). Illustrated directions are available at Accessing NeT-MSGP. Your permit coverage generally begins after a 30-day waiting period.

5. Implement your stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Install the control measures and carry out the management practices in your stormwater pollution prevention plan. Be sure to update your plan as conditions change at your facility, or if you change your practices.

Other important requirements in your permit include:

  • periodically inspecting your faciity
  • monitoring your stormwater discharges
  • reporting the results of your monitoring
  • keeping your stormwater controls in effective operating condition
  • submitting annual reports
More information about EPA's Multi-Sector General Permit:

Other resources


  • For stormwater compliance assistance, contact Stacey Kim ( at 206-553-1380.
  • For construction and industrial stormwater permits, contact Margaret McCauley ( at 206-553-1772.
Or call us toll-free within Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington at 1-800-424-4372.

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