Nova Scotia

For more information on Nova Scotia's Siting and Operation of Salvage Yards, contact Solveig Madsen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



This document describes the requirements for the siting, construction, and
operation of facilities for the recycling of automobiles and industrial equipment,
also known as salvage yards.

(a) Section 50(2) of the Environment Act, S.N.S. 1994-95, c.1, reads as follows:
"No person shall commence or continue any activity designated by the
regulations as requiring an approval, unless that person holds the appropriate

(b) Section 3(1) of the Activities Designation Regulations (O.I.C. 95-286) reads as
"Any activity designated in these regulations requires an approval from the
Minister or an Administrator designated by the Minister".

(c) Section 10(1) of the Activities Designation Regulations (O.I.C. 95-286) reads as
"The construction, operation, or reclamation of a commercial salvage facility
which exceeds 0.25 ha in area which is used to salvage automobiles,
transportation vehicles, or industrial equipment."

(a) "automotive fluids" means liquid or compressed gas materials associated with the
normal operation of automobiles and transport vehicles, industrial equipment,
and includes motive fuels, motor oil, antifreeze, ozone-depleting substances,
brake fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid, but does not include grease;

b) "commercial" means to buy, sell, trade, barter, or otherwise provide goods or
services in return for financial or asset gain, maintenance, or consideration;

c) "industrial equipment" means machinery, devices, or containers used to handle,
process, or store materials for commercial purposes, but, other than metal, does
not include construction and demolition debris;

d) "institutional facilities" means buildings used by the public for administrative,
educational, medical, religious or social purposes and includes, but is not limited
to, schools, churchs, hospitals, town halls, legions;

e) "motive fuel" means a petroleum product used to power a vehicle, airplane or
vessel and includes gasoline and diesel oil, but does not include kerosene or fuel

f) "non-operational vehicle" means an automobile or other land-based transport
vehicle which through a mechanical malfunction or lapse of registration with the
Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) is no longer capable of
legally moving on provincial or municipal roadways;

g) "salvage" means waste or surplus automobiles, transportation vehicles, or
industrial equipment, including any parts or pieces that have been removed, for
purposes of disposal or further use;

h) "salvage yard" means an approved commercial facility which exceeds 0.25 ha in
area for the receipt, storage, sale, resale, and processing of salvage;

i) "thermal treatment process" means an approved unit or series of units employing
heat for separation or destruction of materials;

j) "vehicle carcass" and "stripped vehicle" means an automobile or other landbased
transport vehicle from which all or most of the readily reusable parts have
been removed;

k) "wrecked vehicle" means an automobile or other land-based transport vehicle
which has sustained sufficient damage through accident, abuse, or neglect so as
to no longer provide a means of safe conveyance as determined by an inspector
holding a certificate of qualification issued by the Department of Transportation
and Public Works.

(a) Pursuant to Section 53(4) of the Environment Act, the Minister may require as
part of the application for an approval that the applicant obtain any municipal
approval, permit or other authorization if one is required by the municipality at the
time when the application is submitted to Nova Scotia Environment and Labour.


(a) i) Salvage yards shall comply with any municipal approvals.
ii) Where these siting criteria conflict with municipal criteria, the most
stringent will apply.

b) A salvage yard shall not be located in
i) any area of unstable terrain, such as steep slopes;
ii) any area within a 100-year floodplain, if such information is available from
the municipality;
iii) any area within 200 m of institutional facilities;
iv) any area within 200 m of a domestic well or residential structure without
the written consent of the applicable landowner (which does not include
the owner's home or residence);
v) any area within 200 m of a watercourse, wetland or other waterbody;
vi) any area within 300 m of designated wildlife management areas including
bird sanctuaries and ecological reserves, if such information is available
from Department of Natural Resources or the municipality;
vii) any area within a designated watershed area for a municipal water supply;
viii) areas within 300 m of institutional, commercial, industrial, or municipal
wells or wells servicing more than 10 dwellings;
ix) within 10 m of the centerline of any public street or road.

(a) An application for a salvage yard shall be processed under the Approval
Procedures Regulation and include the following information:
i) a map or aerial photograph of the proposed facility location showing the
area within 1 km radius of the site indicating:
(1) a 1:50000 grid reference;
(2) the delineation of the site covered by the application;
(3) the current land use and zoning of the area;

(4) public streets and roads, access roads, watercourses, wetlands

and flood plains located in the area;
(5) wooded areas, springs, wells, dwellings, and any other structure in
the area; and
(6) the existing drainage pattern and general topography of the area.
ii) a legal plot plan or scaled drawing prepared by a licensed surveyor
(1) the dimensions and area of the site to be used;
(2) the location of existing and planned installations and buildings;
(3) the location of loading and unloading sites;
(4) a designated site for crushing activities; and
(iii) copy of deed of the property or permission from land owner to operate a
salvage yard on the site;
(iv) plans and specifications of installations and buildings used for storage
including measures to control, contain, or prevent contamination of the
(v) a general description of the facility including the area to be served and the
type and quantities of materials to be accepted and stored;
(vi) if a domestic well is within 200 m of the facility, a plan to protect and
monitor the water quality in the well;
(vii) a description of the method of operating the facility including the methods
of disposal of the various materials to be collected;
(viii) a contingency plan covering any spills or other accidents; and
(ix) a closure plan. This may include soil and water testing to ensure property
is acceptable for reuse.

b) The Department may require, as part of the application process, that financial
security be posted with the Department in such an amount and form as
requested by the Regional Manager.


(a) Applicability of Guidelines
i) These Guidelines apply to all new salvage yards as of the effective date of
issue of these Guidelines.
ii) With the exception of Part V of these Guidelines, these Guidelines shall
apply to all existing salvage yards effective December 31, 1999.

ii) Security

(1) The owner or operator is responsible for ensuring there is

surveillance during business hours at the salvage yard.

(2) When the salvage yard is not open for business or actively staffed

by the owner, operator or its employees, the gates shall be closed

and locked.

iii) Fire Protection

(1) The owner or operator shall have and maintain portable fire

extinguishers containing dry chemical.

(2) Where operational performance may be adversely affected by

temperature, the fire extinguishers shall be stored inside heated


(3) The location of the fire extinguishers shall be indicated by

appropriate visible signage.

iv) Signage

The owner or operator shall post a sign at the main entrance to the yard

showing the following information in lettering at least 10 cm high:

(1) the name of the owner or operator, either corporate or person; and,

(2) a 24-hour telephone contact number for the owner and the operator

or the telephone number of the local municipal fire department or

911 for emergencies only; and,

(3) a civic address.

(v) Monitoring

(1) Monitoring wells may be required to locate and track potential

migration of petroleum products, dissolved metals and other

suspected contaminates. The number and location of monitoring

wells may be specified during the approval process or any time


(2) An accurate inventory of stored waste dangerous goods on site

shall be maintained at the salvage yard and shall be available for

emergency response personnel.

vi) Vehicle Processing

(1) If removal of parts from vehicles is being conducted and these parts

contain or are likely to contain automotive fluids, these removals

shall be done on an impervious pad or within a structure capable of

holding drained fluids.

(2) If vehicles are being stored or being stripped for parts, the lead acid

batteries shall be removed and placed in secure storage.

(3) (i) If vehicles equipped with air-conditioning systems are being

stored or being stripped for parts, the ozone-depleting

substance in these systems shall be removed and reclaimed

in accordance with Ozone Layer Protection Regulations.

Persons doing removal work shall be trained in accordance

with these Regulations.

(ii) The operator or his/her representative shall maintain records

indicating quantities of ozone-depleting substances removed

and the final disposition of these substances.

vii) Electrical Equipment Processing

(1) All electrical transformers or capacitors received at a salvage yard

must be accompanied by documentation certifying that these

materials do not constitute PCB waste.

(2) The owner or operator of a salvage yard handling electrical

transformers, capacitors, or parts, thereof, shall keep records for

two years after disposal to ensure that a proper chain-of-custody

exists to track problem material.

viii) Crushing

(1) Vehicle carcasses shall be crushed and sent for disposal on a

regular basis. This shall occur at least once every two years or as

determined by an inspector.

(2) The owner or operator shall maintain records indicating quantities

of vehicle carcasses crushed and the final disposal of these


(3) The owner or operator or his/her representative must notify the

local Environment and Labour office prior to beginning crushing


Originating Division: Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division
Scope: Guidelines under the Environment Act
Nova Scotia Environment and Labour Page 10 of 10
(4) All crushing operation shall occur at a designated area within the
boundaries of an approved salvage yard or at a specific site
approved in writing by the Department.
(5) All vehicles must be drained of all automotive fluids before
(6) After draining, the gas tank shall be allowed to dry or otherwise
vented to ensure no fumes are present.
(ix) Other
(1) No stripping of parts from vehicles outside the fenced yard
boundaries shall occur at an approved facility unless inside a
building with an impervious floor.
(2) No yard expansion shall occur without the prior written approval of
the Department.