The History of The Georgia F.O.G Alliance
The Georgia FOG Task force was formed due to the concerns of local governing authorities regarding the Department of Environmental Health regulations that no longer required vehicle inspections and permitting of commercial waste haulers. The new DHR regulations passed in 2001 required health departments to inspect and permit septic waste trucks only. Therefore, waste transporters collecting grease waste would no longer be regulated or permitted. Individuals working in pretreatment programs that regulated fats, oil and grease felt it was necessary to address the issue collectively.
Initially the FOG Task force represented (13) local jurisdictions. This was inclusive of the larger governing authorities such as the City of Atlanta, Cobb County, Dekalb and Fulton County. The group determined their first priority was to develop regulations to present to the Georgia State legislature. A State law needed to be created for the purpose of regulating waste transporters of commercial waste. It was decided that the law would be uniform and only require waste transporters to acquire (1) permit that would be accepted throughout the State.
A law for grease waste transporters was critical since the local governing authorities were under mandate from the EPD to prevent SSO’s. It has been determined that grease waste is a major cause in sanitary sewer overflows due to the illegal dumping of grease waste by waste transporters.
The first commercial waste transporter bill was authored by Representative Stan Watson of Dekalb County.
House Bill 487 failed to past in 2003.
In 2004, the waste transporter bill had gathered additional support from environmental groups as well as other State legislatures. It passed both the House and the Senate. Senate Bill 568 became law in June 2004.
Commercial waste transporters are now required to have a State registration, annual vehicle inspection and a permit issued by a local governing authority in the State of Georgia.
The propagation of the rules for the law were approved in December of 2004 by the Department of Natural Resources board. The regulations are stated in their Water Quality Control section chapter 391-3-6-24. Regulation of Commercial Waste Originators, Transporters, Processors and Disposal Facilities. Local governing authorities issuing permits are required to do so by June 2005.
With the passage of the Waste Transporter law in 2004, the group felt it had completed their mission as a task force. The group wanted to focus on environmental issues, develop conferences and training that would focus on fats, oil and grease.
In 2004, the task force was renamed the Georgia F.O.G Alliance. By–laws were developed and adopted in January 2005. The group is now seeking to become a non-profit organization and expand its membership.
In 2007, the organization held its first inspection training class. The class was only for organization members. However, the response from members and other municipalities for inspection training initiated the training session in 2009. The Georgia F.O.G. Alliance will continue to expand its educational training classes to provide information on the industry changes and laws regarding fats, oils and grease.
In 2009, the organization held its second inspection training class. This class was for organization members, municipalities and Vendors. This training brought along the idea to widen the scope of the classes to form a Conference and Inspector Training Course.
In 2010, the organization became a Non-Profit organization in the State of Georgia and is currently working on it's Non-Profit status for the Federal Government. We solicited and received more CEU points from the
State of Georgia for our upcoming 2011 Conference and Inspector Training Course.
In 2011, the organization has its first ever Conference and Inspector Training Course. We allowed this to be open to the public and other LGA's and municipalities throughout the United States. We have many new courses added to the agenda and offer 12 CEU points to its attendees. We will also offer a scholarship for the first time.
The Georgia FOG Alliance also takes on sponsors of the organization.
In 2012, the organization starts up the F.O.G Program of the year award. The Georgia FOG is also planning another conference in 2013 that will offer 12 CEU points. Three Cities are awarded FOG Program of the year awards December 2012.
In 2013, the organizations conference has grown so large that we had to seek a new venue to handle more in attendance. We worked on enhancing our FOG program of the year.
2014, the organization is working on partnering with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government to handle our FOG certification and enhance the training of FOG inspectors, FOG managers and provide training for FOG generators and transporters. The training will issue our certifications in two steps and allow you to better build your Fats, Oils and Grease program.