The goal of the Salvage & Stewardship program is to protect the Ottawa River by establishing stormwater management practices at area salvage yards and auto recycling facilities. Salvage yards have been identified as a possible source of non-point pollution due to their location, the types of materials handled (particularly fluids from automobiles), and type of sanitary sewers in the region.
In Toledo’s industrial past, before the Clean Water Act and before we knew the health threats of some chemicals, the Ottawa River was contaminated by a variety of industrial waste. The products most dangerous to the health of people and other animals include PCBs, PAHs, and heavy metals. After many years of work, the most contaminated sediment in the Ottawa River was removed in a massive dredging operation that concluded in 2011. Now we want to do our best to keep it clean.
How Salvage & Stewardship Works
Salvage facility owners and operators who volunteer for the program receive a report and toolkit customized for their property. The report cites areas where steps could be taken to protect water quality and includes specific information about how to implement stormwater management practices. Consultants working on the program provide detailed engineering instructions for building bioswales or retention ponds or other built solutions.
Benefits to Participants
Those owner/operators who demonstrate that they have taken extra steps to protect water quality are certified as members of the Salvage & Stewardship program. They receive:
- A facility-specific toolkit that provides pollution prevention and best management practice opportunities along with additional resources for more information.
- Gate signs, window decals, and website logos for the Salvage & Stewardship program to show their commitment
- A certificate of participation
- Public recognition of their water protection activities
- Low priority status for targeted compliance inspections by the City of Toledo for a one-year period.
The City of Toledo received and is administering the grant from the U.S. EPA. Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) is a partner in the project, working on GIS mapping and publicity. Tetra Tech is the consultant for the program. As part of the program, the consultant will collect wet weather storm water samples upstream and downstream of scrap yards to determine impacts of the program and prepare reports.