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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Compliance > Land Compliance > Auto Salvage > Indiana Clean Yard Program Indiana Clean Yard Program

What is the “Indiana Clean Yard” Program?

The Indiana Clean Yard program was envisioned as a way to encourage businesses to take responsibility for ensuring that the environment and the community where they are located are protected. The intent is to allow salvage recyclers to self monitor environmental conditions at their site and fix any problems identified. This approach can be used instead of IDEM routinely inspecting facilities looking for environmental problems and if found, issuing enforcement actions. The first step in taking personal responsibility for protecting health and the environment is to conduct a self inspection of the facility. IDEM has developed a comprehensive environmental checklist for the facility to complete during the inspection. IDEM has also developed a complimentary workbook and DVD to help business understand the regulations and complete the checklist. If compliance problems or environmental concerns are found, the facility makes note of the issue on a form called the “Return-to-Compliance Plan” and indicates a schedule for achieving compliance or cleanup. In doing so, the facility is committing to remedying any problems. The program benefits everyone – the business, the community and the government. Businesses will run clean and productive facilities, the community will feel secure in knowing that the business in their neighborhood is protecting them from harm that could result from business operations, and the government (IDEM) can focus attention on those businesses who don’t participate and who pose significant environmental problems.

Can anyone participate?

Anyone who operates a salvage recycling business or who recycles, sells, or salvages scrap metal from vehicles in any way, can participate.

How do I become eligible to be certified as an Indiana Clean Yard?

Eligibility for certification as an Indiana Clean Yard is based on determining that your facility complies with environmental regulations, holds necessary licenses and approvals, and maintains an effective recycling program. Determination of your facility's compliance will be based on a review of your self-evaluation and the information you submit. Once a facility conducts the self-evaluation and completes the Auto Salvage Recyclers Certification Program Environmental Checklist and any Return to Compliance Plans, they sign the Auto Salvage Recyclers Certification Program Certification Statement and indicate on the bottom of the form that they want to be an Indiana Clean Yard. Finally, the facility submits the forms to IDEM. Once the facility completes any cleanup or compliance issues according to the schedule in their Return-to-Compliance Plan, OR, if the facility indicates they are in compliance, IDEM will contact the facility to reconfirm the company’s commitment to being an Indiana Clean Yard. IDEM will also confirm any cleanup or compliance issues, and ask a few general questions. Finally, IDEM will schedule a time to officially congratulate the newest Indiana Clean Yard.

Why should I consider becoming an Indiana Clean Yard?

  • Your Clean Yard designation identifies you as a proactive environmental steward who cares about employees, customers, and the community in which you live.
  • You will receive a clean yard emblem that identifies you as an Indiana Clean Yard for your use on letterhead, signs, paperwork, etc.
  • You will receive a certificate to hang in a prominent location in your office or store front.
  • You will receive promotional items, such as counter mats, that you can use to advertise your status as an Indiana Clean Yard.
  • You can show your insurance company your certificate demonstrating that you are actively limiting environmental liability, which may lower your rates.
  • You can show your certification to your lending institution demonstrating that you are actively limiting environmental liability.
  • Your status will be shared with local municipal agencies such as public works, police and fire departments who will be encouraged to consider your business as an environmentally safe business.
  • Your name will appear on this web site and made available to customers who may call the agency seeking businesses who are environmentally compliant and proactive.
  • When you decide to sell your business or the land on which you have been operating, the certification may help with the sale.
  • You will have confidence that you are doing the right thing by protecting the environment and as a result are prepared to respond to any inspection or complaint regarding compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
  • You will have a reduced inspection priority.
  • You will have the ability to respond quickly and adequately to a complaint inspection.

What is Indiana Clean Yard - Gold Level?

Indiana Clean Yard - Gold Level is a level of recognition reserved for auto salvage operations that not only meet the criteria to be an Indiana Clean Yard, but have made an even greater commitment to environmental protection. Gold Level status is achieved by:

  1. implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will sustain environmental protection; and,
  2. maintaining an effective recycling program for all scrap generated.

To be considered for Gold Level status please check the box on the Auto Salvage Recyclers Certification Program Certification Statement (found on the IDEM Forms page) and write “Gold Level” under the box to indicate your interest. An IDEM representative will then contact to you to schedule a visit and review with you any BMPs you have implemented at your facility. Gold Level recognition will be awarded based on the number of relevant BMPs implemented at your facility. A score of 75% or better on the BMP checklist earns Gold Level Status. Your score will be calculated by an IDEM evaluator. The equation used to calculate your score and an example of how to calculate your score is given below:

What do I receive as an Indiana Clean Yard – Gold Level?

  • You will receive all the materials and items listed above for Indiana Clean Yard.
  • You will receive a special certificate that recognizes your Indiana Clean Yard as one that has achieved Gold Level status.
  • IDEM will issue a media advisory and press release that tout your environmental efforts and recognize you as an environmental steward.
  • You will be placed in a prominent position on the web site and any external informational lists highlighting you as a Gold Level facility.

When should I submit my application?

An auto salvage business may submit their application at any time. The program is continuous and on-going.

How often do I need to recertify in order to maintain my Indiana Clean Yard and Indiana Clean Yard – Gold Level status?

In order to maintain your Indiana Clean Yard or Indiana Clean Yard – Gold Level status, you must conduct the Environmental Self-audit and submit the Environmental Self-Audit Checklist, any necessary Return to Compliance Plan Forms and the Certification Statement to IDEM by the expiration date of your receipt of the award.

What should I do if I have identified some errors and problems with the Self-Audit Checklist?

If you find a question where neither “yes” nor “no” is an appropriate answer in your situation, do NOT select either of those answers. Instead, write a short explanation in the space regarding your circumstance. For example, on page 3 of 8, question #4 asks “Do you use a registered transporter for your shipments of used oil?” If you do not ship any used oil because you recycle or burn all oil on site, then neither ”yes” nor “no” is appropriate response. Instead, write something like “we do not ship any used oil because we ...”.

The following are a couple of questions that contain errors:

On Page 3 of 8:

#5. Do you have a total on-site oil storage capacity that exceeds one-thousand-three hundred-twenty (1320) gallons?

Yes       No - Submit RTC Plan

“No” should NOT have “submit RTC Plan” after it. Therefore, if you do not have capacity that exceeds 1320 gallons, you may simply check NO and strike thru “submit RTC plan”.

On Page 6 of 8

#2. Do you use solvents?

Yes – Submit RTC Plan       No

“Yes” should NOT have “submit RTC Plan” after it. Therefore, if you do have solvents, you may simply check YES, and strike thru “submit RTC plan”.

On Page 8 of 8

#12b. Did your facility identify the source(s) of the contaminant(s) and eliminate them?

Yes       No – Submit RTC Plan

If you had no contaminants in your storm water sample, then you may skip the question. To further clarify, you may then write in the space “no contaminants identified.

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