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For Immediate Release

Terence Kyaw
Assistant Public Works Director

City Considering "Fats, Oils, and Grease Control" Ordinance - Directed to Restaurants/Food Services for Prevention of Blocked Sewers, Sewer Overflows

Redwood City, CA -The City of Redwood City is considering adoption of an ordinance to implement a "Fats, Oils, and Grease Control Program." The purpose of such a program is to prevent the discharge of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) into the City's sewers, and reduce the incidence of blocked sewers and sewer overflows.

If adopted by the City Council, restaurants and other food service establishments would be prohibited from discharging FOG into the sewer system, and would be required to install grease interceptors within two years of the effective date of the ordinance.

The City Council will be considering adoption of the new regulations at a meeting early in 2013. In advance of that, to help restaurants and food service establishments learn more about the proposed ordinance, the City is holding an informational workshop for those businesses which may be affected. The workshop is scheduled for Monday, December 10, 2012 at 2 pm in the Public Works Services building, 1400 Broadway, Redwood City (between Chestnut and Woodside Road). RSVPs to 650-780-7464 or are requested. Invitations have been sent directly to affected businesses in Redwood City.

The State of California requires cities to have a Sewer System Management Plan, including a FOG Control Program, and cities are held responsible for sewer spills and overflows within their boundaries. If adopted, the new regulations will require property owners causing a sewer spill or overflow to reimburse the City for any costs of clean-up, remediation, and fines or penalties incurred by the City as a result. Installing a grease interceptor can be costly and can require a large amount of space. Therefore, the ordinance will allow restaurants to apply for an exemption if their facility produces only a minimal amount of FOG, or if installation of a grease interceptor is infeasible due to severe site constraints.

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