WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Wheeling City Council took time in Tuesday’s meeting to discuss a proposed ‘FOG’ ordinance.
In this case, ‘FOG’ stands for Fats, Oil and Grease.
The city’s Water Pollution Control representative told Council that huge amounts of cooking oil are being sent down the drains from Wheeling’s 535 restaurants and businesses, which is causing sewer blockages and obstructions.
They have a proposed ordinance to prevent sewer blockages.
It would require monthly fees from businesses. And it would require them to install grease interceptors, which could cost $10,000 to $20,000.
Council member Wendy Scatterday said there’s not one restaurant owner who could afford that—especially now as they reemerge from the COVID-19 shutdown.
I think we need a longer like lead time in educating the businesses about what is coming down the pike, so, to speak, so you know I think there are some adjustments that do need to be made in the ordinance language and I think we need to do a real hard, real strong effort in terms of communicating with our business owners.Wendy Scatterday, member – Wheeling City Council
If you go easy in the beginning, you’re gonna have a lot of people or a lot of restaurants or whatever just not following the rules. So, what we’re gonna have to pass another ordinance or fix it that way.Mike Chiazza, Water Pollution Control Division
In the end, council voted unanimously to table the ‘FOG’ ordinance.
They said the EPA will soon require these rules. They just want time to explain it to business owners ‘in a gentle and sensitive way.’
The new rules would apply to everything from sit-down restaurants to drive-thru to convenience stores.