Death of young boy prompts discussion on regulation of grease traps

Local News

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Questions are being raised about code enforcement and the regulation of grease traps after a three-year-old child fell into one and died.

Police say no one will be charged following the tragedy. The child was died Monday after falling into a grease trap behind the Tim Hortons on University avenue.

A permit for installation of the grease trap was approved by the city, but both city and county officials are not taking responsibility for the regulation of the devices.

The county says their departments do not monitor grease traps and the one in question at Tim Horton’s was approved by the city.

“We have no reason to believe that the county is in any way responsible for the ongoing inspection and maintenance of this type of grease trap. It seems to have been approved by the City of Rochester likely under the provisions of state plumbing code,” said Monroe County communications director, Jesse Sleezer.

A Monroe County Sewer Use law did mention requirements for secure lids on grease traps, but the county says that law was revised in 1988. The new law has no regulations on such devices.

“The current version only references that all interceptors and traps shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications,” said Sleezer.

According to county officials, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo will be drafting legislation to better regulate devices like grease traps.

“She’s asked our county law department to assist in drafting a local law that she will introduce to the county legislature to help better regulate the safety of this type of grease trap,” said Sleezer.

OSHA is not going to investigate due to the fact that the Tim Horton’s employee was not harmed.

The police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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