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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Portland’s Cut Through the FOG Effort Changes Plan Review Requirements

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New city rules effective on January 1, 2012 changed grease and food waste management requirements when constructing or operating food service establishments in Portland. The city’s Grease TrapCut Through the FOG effort requires food service establishments (including, but not limited to, bakeries, brewpubs, coffee shops, commercial kitchens, donut shops, groceries and markets, hotels, meat processors and restaurants) to install grease interceptors in all new construction and renovations, or when there are changes in tenancy or ownership.

Under City Code 17.34.050 and Oregon Specialty Plumbing Code, food service establishments are not allowed to discharge FOG into the sanitary sewer system. The new rules state that all FOG plumbing lines must be connected to a grease interceptor with the aim of zero FOG and food waste discharges to the city’s sewer system. Maintenance needs of interceptors vary depending on the use of the facility and the type of grease interceptor selected. City staff will inspect grease interceptors regularly to ensure compliance.

When you bring plans to the Development Services Center you will notice a change in the permit review process. Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) staff will examine food preparation areas more closely to make sure they meet new grease interceptor rules.

There will also be changes for individuals obtaining a Trades Permit. BES staff will review all plumbing permits related to food service establishments and grease interceptors to ensure compliance. Changes in the review process could delay receipt of your Trades Permit if the information you submit doesn’t meet the BES rules and needs updating and another review.

In addition to requirements for new construction and renovation, the city is phasing in Cut Through the FOG extra strength sewer rates for all food service establishments through December 2013. Food service establishments can reduce extra strength rates by installing and maintaining grease interceptors and following other recommended best practices for managing FOG and food waste discharges.

The Cut Through the FOG staff is available to offer technical assistance. Staff can help compare initial costs and long term benefits of a correctly sized, conveniently located and operated grease management system. BES staff will also conduct on-site inspections to verify that grease removal devices are properly installed.

For specific questions about plumbing permits that involve grease interceptors call Bureau of Environmental Services Review at 503-823-5843. Learn more about Cut Through the FOG at or by calling 503-823-7093.