New York addressing grease traps in new bill

Rochester boy died after falling into trap in July

Mike Baggerman
September 13, 2019 - 1:47 pm

Brendan Keany

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The New York State Legislature is creating new legislation in response to the death of a three-year-old boy in Rochester over the summer.

The boy fell through a plastic cover and into the grease trap behind a Tim Horton's restaurant on July 15. He died at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Restaurant grease traps are designed to keep used oil and grease out of sewer systems.

The state legislation, introduced by Irondequoit Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo and Buffalo State Senator Tim Kennedy, will require that all outdoor grease traps are properly secured and annually inspected. It must also be made of caste iron or constructed graded material.

The grease traps must also be locked at all times except during cleaning and maintenance and requires restaurants to display a warning sign near the hole.

"These common sense reforms are designed to prioritize public safety and regulation of these interceptors moving forward and to ensure that no other families have to endure the sort of unimaginable devastation that this family did months ago," Kennedy said.

Property owners will be tasked with upgrading the grease traps.

Alabama lawmakers passed legislation requiring more secure covers after a three-year-old girl died in a grease trap in October 2017.

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