Fats, Oils, & Grease Compliance and Best Management Practices
Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) are by-products of the Food Service Industry (restaurants, cafeterias and other commercial food service establishments) as well as household kitchens. FOG is generated from the use of vegetable oils and animal fats in the preparation of food products. Typical operations that produce FOG include washing of dishes, pots, and utensils; floor cleaning, equipment sanitation (collectively referred to as “Brown Grease”) and the disposal of used fryolator cooking oils (“Yellow Grease”).
FOG that is discharged into the sewer system will accumulate and cause blockages that can result in backups and overflows and FOG that enters wastewater treatment facilities can foul treatment equipment and disrupt the wastewater treatment process. Restaurants that release excess FOG to the sewer system can be closed down if blockages and backups occur and can be held financially responsible for any resulting damages.
In an effort to address these FOG management problems the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), in cooperation with the University of Rhode Island, the RI Department of Environmental Management and EPA Region I have established the NBC Fats Oils and Grease-Environmental Results Program (FOG-ERP).
The NBC FOG Environmental Results Program
The NBC FOG-ERP has been designed to improve the management of FOG by the local food service industry through a combination of: 1) Compliance Assistance, 2) Voluntary Self Evaluation, 3) Regulatory Inspections, and 4) Certification:
1. Compliance Assistance: Pollution Prevention Engineers from the University of Rhode Island and the NBC are available to meet with restaurant owners and managers both one-on-one and in educational workshop settings to help implement sound and sustainable FOG Best Management Practices and better comply with NBC regulations.
2. Self-Evaluation: Restaurant owners and/or operators will be given training through Compliance Assistance efforts to self-evaluate their facility in order to certify their FOG management practices utilizing the NBC Oil & Grease Compliance and Best Management Practices Workbook.
3. Regulatory Inspections: The NBC Pretreatment Program will continue to inspect all restaurants on a regular basis. Participation in the FOG-ERP will help firms prepare for regulatory inspections and help them comply with NBC regulations.
4. Certification: Restaurants that demonstrate a superior FOG management performance level will be issued a Certification of Best Management Practices which may be displayed in their place of business.
To participate in the NBC FOG-ERP complete the FOG Best Management Practices Certification Form include as an attachment to NBC Fats Oils & Grease Compliance and Best Management Practices Workbook (see links below) and mail the completed form to:
Narragansett Bay Commission
Pollution Prevention Program
One Service Road, Providence, RI 02905
Attention: James McCaughey, P.E.
Certification under the NBC FOG-ERP can help your business fulfill the requirements of the RIDEM’s Hospitality Green Certification for the Hospitality & Tourism Industry Program with respect to FOG management.