Pollution Prevention

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Environmental Safety and Technical Assistance

NBC’s Environmental, Safety, and Technical Assistance (ESTA) section is responsible for NBC’s Health and Safety Program and provides technical assistance to various NBC departments, NBC customers, environmental organizations, and the general public.  ESTA regularly interacts with RIDEM, EPA, OSHA officials, and local emergency planning authorities to help identify and develop new and innovative ways to improve the environmental performance and sustainability of NBC’s  operations and help assure these operations are performed in the safest manner possible and in accordance with all applicable regulations.

ESTA provides pollution prevention, energy and resource management, and health and safety assistance by: obtaining grant funding to support project initiatives, conducting research, publishing papers, organizing and conducting workshops and seminars, performing on-site technical assistance site visits, and assisting with public outreach efforts.

Best Management Practices for Fats, Oils & Grease

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). To learn more about this program, click here.