Underground Storage Tank Operator Training

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, passed by Congress and signed by former President Bush, placed new requirements on federal and state governments for underground storage tanks (UST). One of these requirements is that each state must develop a training program for all UST operators.

In 2007, the Washington state legislature amended the state UST law (Chapter 90.76 RCW) to include the new federal requirements. The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) is revising the state UST rule (Chapter 173-360 WAC) to apply the 2007 changes, including the development of an UST operator training program.

The federal law divides UST operators into three classes based on their duties. Each UST facility must have a designated Class A, B, and C operator. Each operator class is described below.

CLASS A -- Class A operators include owners or employees who have primary responsibility to operate and maintain UST systems. Their focus is on the broader aspects of the underground storage tank requirements. Class A operators assign and ensure training for Class B and C operators.
CLASS B -- Class B operators are responsible for the day-to-day operation, maintenance, and recordkeeping for UST systems. Class B operators have an in-depth understanding of all operations and maintenance of the UST system.
CLASS C -- Class C operators are on site daily and are generally the initial responders to alarms and emergencies due to a spill or release from an underground storage tank system. Class C operators are typically employees who are responsible for the dispensing or sale of product.

All operators must be trained and certified by December 31, 2012. If operators are not certified by this date, the owner and/or operator may be subject to penalties. A record of each operator’s certificate must be kept onsite. If your UST system is found to be out of compliance, the Class A and/or Class B operator may be required to complete the training again.

Ecology has approved training programs provided by contractors. Training is available in a variety of formats, including classroom, web-based, independent study, and on-site training. Each operator will be required to pass a test to become certified. Class A and B operators must be trained and certified through an Ecology-approved training program. Class C operators may obtain their certification through an Ecology-approved program or from the UST facility’s certified Class A and/or B operator(s).  Ecology may accept training from other states, but states which offer site specific and/or in-state training only, such as Idaho’s, are not accepted in Washington.

Resources

List of Ecology approved UST Operator Training Vendors  (last revised 1/3/14)
Class C Operators Certificate (blank form to fill out)
FAQ
Focus on UST Operator Training
     Korean:  지하 탱크 관리자를 위한 교육지침
UST Rule Making