The NH Green Yards Program is designed to help motor vehicle recyclers improve environmental practices at their salvage yards. The NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) is implementing the program in two phases. Phase I is the "Education and Compliance Assistance" component of the program. Phase II is the "Compliance Assurance and Certification" component of the program.
The NH Green Yards Program applies to motor vehicle recycling yards where:
- 12 or more end-of-life vehicles are dismantled and/or crushed yearly; and/or
- 25 or more end-of-life vehicles, or the equivalent in parts, are kept longer than 60 days.
About 200 New Hampshire motor vehicle recycling yards are currently participating in the program. The yards provide a variety of auto salvage services ranging from simple end-of–life vehicle storage ("auto graveyards") to more complex full-service retail parts and scrap metal operations. Many of the facilities are "Mom & Pop" operations involving fewer than two employees, less than five acres of land, and an annual throughput of fewer than 500 end-of-life vehicles annually. Others are larger operations that process over 1000 end-of-life vehicles annually using state-of-the-art technology and equipment.
The term "end-of-life vehicle" or "ELV" generally refers to a wrecked, worn-out, junk, or other motor vehicle that is no longer intended for use according to its original purpose and is destined for final disposal. The term typically does not include a motor vehicle that is being kept for repair or restoration, or that is temporarily impounded pending identification of the last owner of record or settlement of an insurance claim.
Phase I, or the Education and Compliance Assistance component of the program, commenced in 2002. It will continue through 2007 and beyond on a parallel track with Phase II. To date, it has consisted of:
- Distribution of best management practice information covering a variety of topics important to motor vehicle recyclers, ranging from used oil to storm water management requirements. This includes easy-to-read fact sheets, training videos; bulletins; and other helpful information.
- Statewide workshops, held in partnership with the NH Auto & Truck Recyclers Association, offering best management practice descriptions, new equipment information, and clear explanations of regulatory requirements.
- Compliance assistance by the DES Pollution Prevention Program (P2), providing facility specific compliance assistance and pollution prevention strategies that can save money. Pollution prevention assistance, available by request, is free, confidential, and does not include any enforcement. Contact the P2 Program at (800) 273-9469 or (603) 271-6460.
In Phase II, commencing in 2007, all motor vehicle recyclers must certify compliance with existing environmental requirements when applying to annually renew their town-issued license to operate under RSA 236:111-129. The process involves:
- An environmental self-audit by the salvage yard owner (with assistance, if requested), using a workbook and checklist provided by DES.
- Submission of a statement signed by the facility owner certifying that the salvage yard is operating in compliance with checklist requirements. The owner’s signed statement is submitted to town licensing officials as part of the application for a local license. Motor vehicle recyclers who are unable to certify compliance should provide a plan and schedule for achieving compliance.
To help motor vehicle recyclers prepare for Phase II, DES inspected all facilities in 2005 - 2006 to determine how well they were implementing best management practices and complying with state and federal environmental requirements. Following completion of the inspection, DES provided a written BMP Evaluation Report to the facility owner, identifying deficiencies and needed corrective actions, if any.
Also as part of Phase II, DES is implementing a program that gives special recognition to auto recycling yards that operate in a manner that is above and beyond compliance. Yards that show exemplary environmental work practices and meet certain other criteria can apply to the agency to be granted the designation "Certified NH Green Yard". As of January 2008, twenty auto recycling yards in New Hampshire have become "Certified NH Green Yards". DES would like to see additional yards earn this designation.
Need more information? DES is committed to helping motor vehicle recyclers learn how to operate their facilities in an environmentally friendly manner and avoid costly mistakes. For more information about the NH Green Yards Program, or to receive the educational materials, contact:
NH Green Yards Program Coordinator
NHDES Solid Waste Management Bureau
29 Hazen Drive; PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095