GREENWICH - The deadline is approaching for restaurants across southwestern Connecticut to pay for changes required by a federal regulation mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency five years ago.

The regulation calls for restaurants to update grease traps in their kitchens, but some businesses still have not made the change as the July 2011 deadline approaches.

The Greenwich Department of Health says the new grease traps will more effectively separate fats, oils and grease left behind in restaurant sinks and prevent them from getting into the sewer lines and polluting the waterways.Mark Mazzotta, who owns Pomodoro Pizzeria in Greenwich, says he plans to comply with the upgrade, but notes that paying for it will be a major challenge.

The restaurants that do not comply by the deadline could be shut down.