EPA Requirements For Restaurants
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants have taken extra steps to ensure food safety and sanitation. But an invisible element leaves people vulnerable: air pollution from restaurant cooking. This study explores PM (particulate matter) pollution in open-kitchen full-service restaurants where commercial cooking involves grilling and frying with the dining room wide open. The results show offensively harmful levels of indoor PM far beyond US EPA and WHO standards.
Food waste and grease traps may be poorly disposed of, causing clogged sewers with an odor of hydrogen sulfide gas. The sulfide can also seep into local water bodies and contaminate the soil. In addition, some restaurants dispose of grease by dumping it into sewer systems that dump it directly into local waterways without treatment.
Restaurant owners and their cleaning chemical suppliers must follow a risk management program (Risk Management Plan, RMP) or Process Safety Management, PSM, to prevent hazardous chemicals from entering the environment. Both the EPA and OSHA regulate these programs.
Restaurants can conserve energy by using appliances that have the ENERGY STAR® label. For example, a restaurant that replaces a traditional deep-fat fryer with an ENERGY STAR® model can save about $800 per year on energy costs. In addition, restaurants can participate in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge to receive recognition for reducing food waste and associated greenhouse gases. Moreover, they can participate in the EPA’s Food Scrap Diversion Technical Assistance Program to receive guidance and training on reducing food waste.
As a business owner, it’s essential to understand all the local and national regulations that apply to your restaurant. One of the most common is janitorial service Richmond VA, which is required to ensure that your commercial cooking equipment is kept free from grease buildup. This helps prevent fires and keeps your kitchen safe for employees to work in.
Anyone working on refrigeration, chiller, and air conditioner systems must be EPA certified. This certification will help them work legally with these chemicals and ensure they do it properly. There are several ways to obtain this certification. You can take a preparation course, study the material independently, or take online tests. Regardless of which method you choose to pass the exams, it is essential to do so. Each test has 25 questions and requires you to answer at least 21 correctly.
During an inspection, EPA inspectors present their credentials to a facility employee and explain the authority and purpose of the examination. They may also offer an opening conference and indicate the types of records they wish to review. If the facility is a small business, EPA inspectors will offer a Small Business Resources Information Sheet and other appropriate information to help the facility understand its environmental requirements.
Hazardous materials (HM) are substances whose use or release significantly threatens human health and the environment. The EPA requires facilities that produce or store hazardous chemicals to identify hazards, design and maintain safe facilities, prepare a risk management plan, and minimize accidental chemical releases. The EPA also enforces worker safety standards and reports toxic chemical releases to the public through the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.
The EPA oversees many programs that address environmental issues, including RCRA, Superfund, Brownfields grants, and the HM Management Program. Among other things, the program addresses leaking underground storage tanks. For example, EPA Region 3 conducts RCRA Corrective Action activities at the former Hand Craft Cleaners facility in a commercially zoned area near Midlothian Turnpike and Courthouse Road in Richmond, VA. Various contaminants have been detected in the groundwater at this site, including PCBs, dioxins, and chlorinated solvents. The contaminated groundwater is being recirculated and treated through sumps, perforations, and a leachate collection system.
According to janitorial service Richmond VA, waste management is one of restaurants’ most essential EPA requirements. When waste is not disposed of properly, it can lead to severe problems down the road. For example, if oil is chucked down the drain, it can harden, clog pipes, and cause them to burst. This can cost restaurants thousands of dollars in repairs. Whether or not restaurant owners are ecologically concerned, they should still consciously manage their waste products responsibly.