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HomeGreenRye FD to Conduct Fat, Oil & Grease Inspections Across 70+ Businesses

Rye FD to Conduct Fat, Oil & Grease Inspections Across 70+ Businesses

(PHOTO: Just off the Playland parking lot in these bushes, an outflow pipe drains into Playland Lake and the Long Island Sound. File photo.)
(PHOTO: Just off the Playland parking lot in these bushes, an outflow pipe drains into Playland Lake and the Long Island Sound. The Rye FD’s FOG (fat, oil, grease) inspections are part of the effort to keep pollutants out of the Long Island Sound. File photo.)

The Rye FD will be conducting fat, oil and grease inspections across 70 plus Rye businesses in the month of January. The FOG (fat, oil, grease) law was passed in December of 2022 to prevent these types of materials from being put into the local sewer systems. Sewers can become clogged, causing backups and leaks and releasing pollutants that eventually make their way into Long Island Sound.

The inspections begin this week and continue through January until completed, according to City of Rye Public Safety Commissioner Mike Kopy. The businesses, primarily restaurants and service stations, will undergo a inspection that typically takes about twenty minutes. The City invoices each business $200 for the inspection.

“We find there is compliance but there were people who needed to make adjustments and modifications to their their traps and systems, but, businesses understand the importance of this, and this is protecting the environment for everybody,” said Kopy when asked about the result of the first round of inspections in 2023 after the new rules came into effect.

“The oil and grease coagulate and gum up the sewer system also, which, increases the need to have the City come out with the sewer truck and clean the sewers, causes backups in residences and businesses and ultimately ends up in Long Island Sound.

The City intends to make the FOG (fat, oil, grease) inspections an annual event each January, although they will work with any local business in the event the timing represents a hardship. And while the City will mail invoices this year, the fire department is installing new software that will streamline the process for local businesses by allowing for online scheduling and billing. The City conducts separate and more extensive fire safety inspections on both businesses and multi-family housing – there were about 120 of those inspections in 2023, up from only 20 or so in prior years.

Last year Rye was awarded $10 million under the New York State Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP) to improve its sewer system. Those improvements and the new annual FOG (fat, oil, grease) inspections are all in the wake of a 2015 lawsuit by the environmental group Save the Sound against Rye and other local communities for  Clean Water Act violations.

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