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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 and Inspection Requirements

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New city rules that took effect last year have changed fats, oils and grease (FOG) and food waste management requirements when an applicant is constructing or operating a food service establishment in Portland. The city’s Cut 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 sanitary 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.

photoWhen you bring plans to the Development Services Center you will notice a change in the permit review process. Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) staff have started to examine food preparation areas more closely to make sure they meet new grease interceptor rules. Those rules include showing the location of all plumbing lines, an appropriately sized grease interceptor, the fixtures connected to the interceptor, interceptor brand, model and size and clearance requirements.

There have also be changes affecting individuals obtaining a Trades Permit. BES staff are now reviewing 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. You need to provide a diagram showing the proposed plumbing lines, including fixtures connected to the grease interceptor, location of the interceptor and interceptor brand, model and size.

BES staff are now inspecting food service establishments to verify that required fixtures are connected to a grease interceptor. Before you cover your piping you need to call the city and request a BES FOG DEVICE INSPECTION #587 when installing grease interceptors or sampling structures. 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 maintained grease management system.

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.

For specific questions about plumbing permits that involve grease interceptors, call 503-823-7122. Learn more about Cut Through the FOG at or by calling 503-823-7093.