Monroe County begins safety checks of grease trap covers

July 25, 2019 06:24 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Monroe County Department of Public Health has started checking the security of grease trap covers at thousands of businesses starting Thursday.

This comes after a 3-year-old boy fell into one behind the Tim Hortons on University Avenue in Rochester and died Monday. Police say that particular trap had an unsecured plastic cover at the time of the incident. Police call it a tragedy that happened in seconds.


While Monroe County has not been and is not responsible for the ongoing inspection and enforcement of grease traps located outside of a restaurant, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says the inspectors will evaluate the security of all grease trap covers at 2,500 dining establishments in the county.

"We learned in the wake of the incident that no agency or entity, at the state or local level, is explicitly responsible for the ongoing inspection of grease traps in New York State," Dinolfo said. "As we indicated last week, I intend to introduce legislation to address that ambiguity under the law and set clear standards for these covers in Monroe County as soon as possible.”

Dinolfo says she will introduce, by the end of this week, a proposed local law to the county legislature to regulate grease trap covers in the county by setting clear standards for security and requiring regular inspections.

The inspections are expected to be completed within the next two weeks. If any deficiencies are found relating to the security of grease trap covers, the Monroe County Department of Public Health will follow-up with recommendations to proprietors to remediate the risk.

Last week, Assemblymembers Harry Bronson and Jamie Romeo submitted legislation to ensure the safety of grease traps.


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