Junk yard next to the Rueck's home

New rules for junk yards on P.E.I. are designed to protect the environment. (courtesy of Sonja Rueck)

New legislation comes into effect June 21 regulating automobile junk yards on P.E.I. that provide stricter environmental protections.

The old Automobile Junk Yards Act is being eliminated because it really dealt with unsightly premises and didn't provide a lot of protection for the environment, said the director of special projects with the Department of Environment, John Hughes.

He said the new "materials stewardship and recycling regulations" were developed with environmental concerns as a priority.

"This was an opportunity to correct a problem where we really didn't have appropriate regulations for the de-pollution of vehicles," said Hughes.

Hughes said the automotive recycling industry has developed a standard for how to deal with end-of-life vehicles and the new rules adopt that standard.

"All vehicles on Prince Edward Island will be de-polluted, fluids drained out, mercury switches removed from the vehicles before they're crushed," said Hughes.

"The former Junk Yard Act had setback regulations, this retains many of the setback regulations that were in place previously but adds further provisions for setbacks from wet lands or from water courses." 

Salvage yards must now be set back at least 60 metres from watercourses or wetlands.

Hughes said the industry has been consulted about the changes.