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Baltimore County News

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Date: Nov 20, 2018

By Gerald Chambers, Baltimore County Department of Public Works

This holiday season, grease is definitely not the word in the kitchen.

Fats, oils and grease (F.O.G.) poured into kitchen sinks can back up the County’s sewage system. Whether you’re the holiday cook or preparing meals in a restaurant, you can help prevent health and safety problems. 

The primary F.O.G. sources are everyday foods such as cooking oil, sauces, butter, and shortening. These ingredients make their way into the sewage collection system through kitchen drains. Once inside the system, fats, oils and grease will cool, harden and begin to coat the inside of the sewer pipes. Over time, F.O.G. buildup will clog pipes, restrict the flow of wastewater and result in sewage overflows and/or basement backups. These overflows result in raw sewage overflowing into our streets, parks and homes, exposing the public to harmful disease-causing micro-organisms. In cases of backups on private property, the property owner is often responsible for the cleanup costs.

Here’s how to “Cease the Grease.”

  • Never pour F.O.G. into your sink. Instead, put F.O.G. into a small can and store in the freezer until full. When it’s full, throw the can into the trash.
  • When there is F.O.G. residue in a pan or on a dish, wipe it with a paper towel before washing and throw the towel in the trash.
  • Place a strainer in the kitchen sink drain to catch food scraps and other solids, then empty the strainer into the trash.

These few simple changes every day can help keep our systems flowing all year long.

Baltimore County’s “Cease the Grease” program was created to help prevent sewage overflows and basement backups resulting from fats, oils and grease. For residential customers, Baltimore County is implementing a public education program consisting of educational outreach, informational F.O.G. flyers and a page on the County’s website. For commercial food service establishments, the County enforces F.O.G. requirements under the Food Service Facility Regulations.

For more information, call 410-887-1836 or e-mail

Annual Training to be Mandatory and Also Available to the Public Online

Given the reality that tragic active shooter incidents have become frequent occurrences across the nation, County Executive Don Mohler announced that, effective immediately, he will require every County employee to complete active shooter training. The County will also make the same online training resource available to the public.

“It is unfortunate that we need to take these steps,” Mohler said. “But sadly, we are reminded almost weekly of the important lifeline that this training may provide.”

The mandatory online training is in addition to classroom training already offered to County employees by the Baltimore County Police Department. The video and classroom training module, produced by Texas State University, emphasizes three critical actions for individuals to take if they find themselves in a hostile situation - Avoid, Deny and Defend. 

According to Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan, “We can never be over-prepared to respond to a potential incident that will affect so many. Unfortunately, no community is immune from this type of violence but this video and training will save lives.”

This active shooter training builds on the County’s existing program of regular mandatory training for employees addressing cyber-security and sexual harassment.

County Offers Active Shooter Video Training to the Public

Public access to the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training video is available for the public through the Baltimore County Police Department webpage. The County Executive encourages all residents to watch the video and to be aware of their situation and environment.  “It is my sincere hope that none of us ever have to make use of the preventative measures outlined in this training. At the same time, I want our employees and citizens to be prepared if every confronted with such a horrific situation,” concluded Mohler.

Mohler and Olszewski team up for shop local video

Baltimore County is making local shopping easier this holiday season with two hours of free meter parking. Parking will be free at 1,735 meters throughout Baltimore County Thanksgiving weekend, November 22-25. For last-minute shoppers, there also will be free meter parking December 21-25, just before Christmas.

County Executive Don Mohler and County Executive-Elect John Olszewski, Jr. teamed up to encourage local shopping in a video recorded in downtown Towson.

"A little relief at the parking meter during the busiest days of the holiday season makes it easier to support locally owned shops and restaurants,” said Mohler.

“Our small businesses help support the neighborhood economy. We encourage everyone to get out and shop local on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season,” said Olszewski.

Meters will be decorated with red “Seasons Greetings” bags in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Overlea, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh, and Dundalk.

Revised September 11, 2017