Stormwater and Permitting Resources


Stormwater is polluted runoff which results from rain or snowmelt carrying pollutants such as oils, antifreeze, and metals from a site into local streams, rivers, lakes, and bays. The effects can be disastrous, killing aquatic life and polluting surface waters where people swim, fish and boat. If salvaged vehicles are handled properly using Best Management Practices, and following the guidelines set forth in a Stormwater Pollution Plan (SWPPP), then everybody benefits. Auto recyclers comply with the law, protect the environment, and have a greater sense of pride in their work.

The Stormwater Permit

In 1972, Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), also known as the Clean Water Act (CWA), to restore and maintain the quality of the nation’s waterways. The ultimate goal was to make sure that rivers and streams were fishable, swimmable, and drinkable. In 1987, the Water Quality Act (WQA) added provisions to the CWA that allowed the EPA to govern storm water discharges from industrial activities. EPA published the final notice for Phase I of the Multi-Sector General Storm Water Permit program (Federal Register Volume 60 No. 189, September 20, 1995, page 50804) in 1995 which included provisions for the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) by each industrial facility discharging storm water, including automobile salvage yards.

On October 11, 2005, the Federal Multi-Sector permit was replaced by the Maine Multi-Sector permit. Currently, the Maine DEP is overseeing the implementation of these permits. A Notice of Intent must be filed with DEP. In addition, each facility is required to develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) to describe how stormwater will be addressed.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

A SWPPP is mandatory requirement of a facility's permit to operate. The SWPPP highlights techniques that each facility can use to prevent stormwater from running off their site. Major parts of the SWPPP include: 1) Spill and leak prevention, 2) Proper handling and storage of fluids, 3) Proper management and storage of hazardous parts (mercury switches, lead tire weights), 4) Employee Training, and 5) Good Housekeeping. Monitoring stormwater is a key component of the plan.

Free SWPPP Technical Assistance for MARA Members

All active MARA members are currently eligible for free on-site technical assistance to help with SWPPP development. Since 2004, 40% of MARA members have taken advantage of these services. All MARA members should take advantage of this free service. Each MARA SWPPP visit includes:
1) On-site visit with Professional Environmental Consultant
2) Color map of your property showing key SWPPP map components
3) Employee Training (optional)
4) A New Pig, Spill Kit sign to hang in your dismantling area
5) Checklist of activities highlighting strengths and weaknesses of operation using the SWPPP guidelines.

For a your free MARA SWPPP visit, call FB Environmental: (207) 221-6699 or email

Other SWPPP Links:

DEP 2013 Stormwater Training Materials
MARA 2010 Annual Meeting Presentation
2009 MARA Annual Meeting-SWPPP Training
Stormwater Management: An Overview for Auto Recyclers
Stormwater Management: A Guide for Auto Recycler Owners & Operators
Maine DEP Model SWPPP
Maine DEP Visual Monitoring Instructions
Maine DEP Visual Monitoring Form
EPA Industrial Stormwater Monitoring & Sampling Guide



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