Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia



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 approval.”

(b) Section 3(1) of the Activities Designation Regulations (O.I.C. 95-286) reads as follows:
“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 follows:
“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 oil;

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 indicating:

(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 environment;

(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 buildings.

(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) (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 materials.

(3) The owner or operator or his/her representative must notify the local Environment and Labour office prior to beginning crushing operations. 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 crushing.

(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.