Environmental Best Management Practices (BMPs)for NH Auto Salvage Yards

April 26, 2019



Andrea Kenter Presents on Environmental Concerns of Motor Vehicle Salvage Yards and Best Management Practices at ATRA-NH

Early this Spring, GeoInsight's Senior Hydrogeologist, Andrea Kenter, provided a presentation on environmental concerns of auto salvage yards and Best Management Practices (BMPs) to the Auto & Truck Recyclers Association of New Hampshire (ATRA-NH). Kenter's presentation on BMPs summarized existing expectations of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) for owners of operating salvage yards.  Her presentation provided numerous ways facilities can eliminate, reduce or minimize the release of pollutants to their surrounding environment.

While the full presentation can be found at the bottom of this post, here are some basic considerations concerning Environmental BMPs for Motor Vehicle Salvage Yards:

Storing Vehicles:

Vehicles should be checked for leaks when arriving on the lot, they should not be stacked and they should be stored in an upright position. If a vehicle still has fluids within it, it should be stored with adequate space around it, so it can be inspected for leaks on a regular basis.  

Scrap Tires:

Tires removed from vehicles should preferably be located under cover.  If stored outside they should be handled in such a fashion as to limit the collection of water/attraction of vectors and with adequate access for emergency fire personnel.  They should NEVER be buried or burned.

Universal Wastes Car Batteries & Antifreeze:

Batteries should be removed from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) prior to crushing, stored on an impervious surface (not bare ground) and recycled on a regular basis; antifreeze should be drained from vehicle radiators and heater cores upon entering the yard and properly stored in structurally sound, labelled containers until such a time as it is recycled.

Used Oil:

Pursuant to NH regulations, used oil is listed as a hazardous waste unless it is managed as a recyclable waste stream. It must be stored in closed containers and labelled as either Waste Oil or Used Oil for Recycle, and must be (a) shipped off site for recycling purposes, (b) burned on site for heating purposes or (c) shipped to an authorized oil marketer or treatment facility.  

Vehicle Crushing:

Batteries, refrigerants, liquids and mercury containing switches should be removed prior to crushing all ELVs. Vehicles should  be crushed using equipment and methods that will collect any residual fluid leaks, and the area should be inspected for fluids following crushing.


Download the full presentation here:


New Hampshire Spill Response:

In the event of a spill that can not be contained or cleaned up immediately it is important that local officials and organizations are notified. For this reason, there are two contacts New Hampshire facilities should have on at all times:

NHDES Waste Management Division

Monday through Friday 8 AM - 4 PM
(603) 271-3899

State Police Dispatch

Request On-Call Emergency Response available 24 / 7
1-800-346-4009 (603) 223 - 4381

Do you have more specific questions about BMPs for your Auto Salvage Facility?


Andrea Kenter, PG | Senior Hydrogeologist

603.314.0820 | awkenter@geoinc.com