Pennsylvania DEP reaches agreement with salvage yard
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said
an agreement with J&K Salvage in Spring Garden Township, York County,
will address local citizens’ concerns about the noise emanating from
the automobile- and metal-recycling facility.
Since October 24, J&K has reported 12 concussions at the salvage
yard along Kings Mill Road. Local residents say the noise from the concussions
is frequent, excessive and creates a disturbance.
Loud reverberations, which are not uncommon at salvage yards, can occur
when vehicles are put through a shredder, which breaks up the material
into small pieces for recycling.
The concussions are the result of combustible fluids, such as gasoline
and propane, getting into the shredder and being ignited by the extremely
high temperatures. The noises can also be caused by combustible vapor
trapped inside fuel tanks.
DEP has determined that the concussions are not a danger to the public
or to J&K employees because the shredder’s design directs the force
downward into a reinforced pit beneath the machinery.
To reduce the number of disturbances to the neighborhood, DEP has been
working with the company to devise ways to limit combustible fluid and
vapor from entering the shredder.
In an amendment to the original agreement, J&K has agreed not to
shred gas tanks at the site.
The company has also agreed:
- To remove gas tanks before shredding vehicles;
- To drain fluids properly from the tanks. The fluid will then
be stored in approved containers with the fumes vented;
- To crush and ship the tanks off-site for further processing;
- To accept only propane tanks or other compressed gas cylinders
with the regulator valve already removed.
DEP and J&K signed an initial consent order and agreement on October
12 that required improvements to gas tank removal methods and on-site
Since then, DEP has conducted multiple inspections of the site and has
found that J&K has been following the terms of the agreement, including
reducing piles of accumulated material and adopting best management practices
for assuring batteries, fuel tanks and fluids are removed from the vehicles
before being crushed.
As part of the order, DEP fined the company $12,000.