Water Protection Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

Businesses engaged in automobile and truck salvage or scrap metal recycling may need to apply for a State Operating Permit for stormwater discharge from the Missouri Department ofNatural Resources.

General Permit

A permit containing general provisions for this industry is available, but it is the responsibility of the individual owner or operator of a facility covered by this general permit to apply. It does not authorize any other discharges to waters of the state such as wash water or domestic sewage.

Who Needs a Permit

A firm with a primary business of auto and truck recycling or scrap metal recycling may need to apply for a permit. If a firm is engaged primarily in the repair of vehicles or a business that has some salvage vehicles as an auxiliary to the main business, the permit is not required. Recycling facilities including metal scrap yards, battery reclaimers, salvage yards and automobile junk yards are required to have a stormwater permit. Standard Industrial

Classification (SIC) code number 5093 includes business engaging in wrecking vehicles for scrap and SIC code number 5015 includes business that dismantle vehicles in order to sell the parts; both of these code numbers are covered by the regulations.


Since October 1992, Missouri has regulated stormwater runoff by requiring a permit. The regulations address pollution in rainwater runoff that is discharged from certain industrial sites, construction sites disturbing an area of five acres or more and urban storm sewers. The regulations have come about because of amendments to the federal Clean Water Act.


One exemption is granted in the Motor Vehicle Salvage general permit. No permit is required if fewer than 50 vehicles are stored for salvage or fewer than 50 vehicles are processed (parted out, crushed or salvaged) in a calendar year. Also, if the site is located in an area with combined sewers, in which sanitary and storm sewers are one pipe; the stormwater regulation does not apply and a permit is not required. This includes small parts of Macon, Moberly, Cape Girardeau, St. Joseph, Kansas City, Sedalia and all of the city of St. Louis. The public works department can be consulted to find out about types of sewer systems. In St. Louis, the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer Municipal District, or MSD, should be called.

General Permit Requirement

For the most part, requirements of the general permit address best management practices to manage activities that would result in increased contamination of Missouri’s rivers and streams if the stormwater runoff is not controlled. Examples of these practices include runoff control measures such as diversion dikes and berms or conveyance measures such as grass-lined channels, riprap and pave channels. In addition, fluids (oil, automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc.) must be controlled and some materials must be stored under cover. Petroleum storage must conform to state and federal laws.

Water discharges from motor vehicle salvage or scrap metal recycling operations cannot cause violation of the general criteria of Missouri’s Water Quality standards. Some of the criteria address, but not limited to, color, odor, toxic substances, oils, scums, bottom deposits or floating debris.

Site Specific Permit

If requested by the owner or operator, a facility may be covered by a site specific permit. A site specific permit takes into account the individual characteristics of the site and the stormwater runoff. In addition, the department can determine that the quality of waters of the state may be better protected by requiring the owner or operator of the site to apply for a site specific permit.

Additional Water Pollution Control Requirements

Additional permits from the department’s Water Pollution Control Branch may be required such as Missouri Clean Water Law, Section 644, RsMo. As stated above, anyone that discharges water in a location where it may cause pollution to waters of the state must apply for a permit to do so. This would include discharges of waste water such as cooling tower blow-down or domestic sewage. Instead of applying for a separate permit, storm water discharges may be covered under these permits.

Fee and Application Form

To apply under a general permit for the first time, complete application Form E (MO 780-0795) and submit appropriate fees. After the issuance of the general permit, operating fees will be assessed annually. To request a renewal of the general permit, an application form E must be submitted prior to the expiration of the general permit. No fees will be required with the renewal application form if all the operating annual fees are paid up including any late fee penalties. To apply for a site-specific permit, or if you have any questions concerning fees, please contact the water pollution section at your appropriate regional office. A regional office map is available online at Applications and fees for stormwater permits should be mailed to the permits unit chief at the address below. Applications are available at

Important Dates in Your General Permit

Each general permit will be issued on a five-year cycle and will list three important dates on the first page of the permit.

Termination of Permit

The permit may be terminated when activities covered by the permit have ceased and no significant materials are stored in such a way as to come into contact with storm water. It must be terminated if a transfer of ownership of the facility and its activities has been made. In this case, a new permit under the new ownership is required. If such a termination of a general permit is sought, the permittee must submit Form H, Termination of a General Permit. If termination of a site specific permit is sought the permittee should make the request by letter.