UST Operator Training Resources

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) UST Website, there are approximately 571,000 underground storage tanks (USTs) nationwide that store petroleum or hazardous substances.

The greatest potential threat from a leaking UST is contamination of groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. The EPA, States, and Tribal Areas – all work together to protect the environment and human health from potential UST releases.

The underground storage tank program is primarily implemented by states and territories. Your first point of contact is the state or territorial regulatory agency that has jurisdiction where the USTs are physically located. See state and territorial UST program offices for a list of contacts.

UST Laws and Regulations

[toggle title=”Title XV, Section B of the Energy Policy Act of 2005″]Title XV, Section B of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amends Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the original legislation that created the underground storage tank (UST) program. The UST provisions of the Energy Policy Act focus on preventing releases and direct EPA to help states comply with new UST requirements[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Section 1524 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005″]Section 1524 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 states that EPA, in coordination with states, must develop training guidelines for three distinct classes of operators who operate and maintain federally regulated underground storage tank systems.

States receiving funding under Subtitle I shall also develop state-specific training requirements consistent with EPA’s guidelines. The state-specific training requirements must:

  • Be developed in cooperation with tank owners and operators;
  • Take into consideration training programs implemented by owners and operators; and
  • Be appropriately communicated to tank owners and operators.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”EPA UST Policy And Guidance Pertaining To Underground Storage Tanks”]Includes policy guidance and a compendium of questions and answers to help interpret that guidance:

UST Regional Links

[toggle title=”UST Systems Information in your Area”]With the exception of UST systems located on Indian Lands, states have the primary authority to implement the UST program within their boundaries. For the latest information on the status of the UST programs in the states, click the applicable state or region:

Region 1 – comprised of the states Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Region 2 – comprised of the states New Jersey, New York, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Region 3 – comprised of the states Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Region 4 – comprised of the states Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Region 5 – comprised of the states Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Region 6 – comprised of the states Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Region 7 – comprised of the states Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Region 8 – comprised of the states Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Region 9 – comprised of the states Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the territories of Guam and American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Region 10 – comprised of the states Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.[/toggle]

UST Release Prevention

[toggle title=”Preventing And Detecting Underground Storage Tank System Releases”]The links below direct you to resources on preventing releases from UST systems:

UST Training

[toggle title=”Basic Information About The Underground Storage Tank Program”]In 1985, EPA created the Office of Underground Storage Tanks to carry out a Congressional mandate to develop and implement a regulatory program for underground storage tank (UST) systems. EPA works with its state, territorial, and tribal partners to prevent and clean up releases from UST systems. For the legislative history of the UST program, see “What Is The History Of The Federal Underground Storage Tank Program?

What Is An Underground Storage Tank System?

An underground storage tank system is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. The federal UST regulations apply to only underground tanks and piping storing either petroleum or certain hazardous substances.

Who Implements The UST Program?

The underground storage tank program is primarily implemented by states and territories. Your first point of contact is the state or territorial regulatory agency that has jurisdiction where the USTs are physically located. See state and territorial UST program offices for a list of contacts.

If you have a question that involves USTs in Indian Country, contact your EPA regional office. EPA has responsibility for, and authority over, USTs in Indian Country.

How Do Underground Storage Tanks Affect Groundwater?

Leaking underground storage tank systems pose a significant threat to groundwater quality in the United States. It has been reported that groundwater supplies drinking water to approximately 50 percent of the nation’s overall population and 99 percent of the population in rural areas. The following resources provide information about underground storage tanks and groundwater.

EPA’s 2008 Report on the Environment
2008 report about recent trends in human health and the environment

National Water Quality Inventory 2000 Report
2000 report prepared under Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act. See Chapter 6 for information about ground water quality and underground storage tanks.

The Ground Water Report to the Nation: A Call to Action (PDF)  (164 pp, 15.7MB, About PDF)
2007 report from the Ground Water Protection Council. Section 7 addresses groundwater and underground storage tanks.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”When must designated operators of UST systems meet operator training requirements?”]Designated operators must be trained according to individual state requirements. While EPA requires an August 8, 2012 deadline on states, the only deadline that is currently relevant to UST system owners and operators is the regulatory compliance deadline established by their state.  Some states established earlier training deadlines. Many states adopted the August 8, 2012 deadline. Some states still need to finalize their requirements and will have later compliance dates. In those states without final requirements, operators do not need to meet training requirements until their state issues final requirements. Owners and operators should check with the state where their USTs are located to determine the date of compliance.[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Who must be trained and what must the training cover?”]According to EPA’s guidelines, states must identify three classes of operators and minimum requirements for each class. The three operator classes and objectives of training described below are based on EPA’s guidelines. Owners and operators should check with the state where their USTs are located to determine state-specific operator class descriptions and applicable training requirements.

Class A Operator
This is the person who has primary responsibility to operate and maintain the underground storage tank system.  For a typical gas station, it is the owner of the station or his designee. For large corporations, this is the manager or designee responsible for tank operations.  The class A operator can also be designated as a Class B operator as long as he/she has passed the Class B operator exam.

Class B Operator
This designation is for the individual or individuals who implement day-to-day aspects of operating, maintaining, and record keeping for underground storage tank systems at one or more facilities. For a typical gas station, it is the owner or the person/company contracted by the owner to maintain the tanks.  For large corporations, it is the employee, or person/company contracted by the corporation to maintain the tanks. A broad knowledge base is required for a Class A operator, but the Class B operator must have in-depth knowledge of tank system operation and maintenance.

Class C Operator
This is an individual who is responsible for responding to alarms or other indications of emergencies caused by spills, releases, or overfills associated with an underground storage tank system.  For a typical gas station, this is the cashier.  Though an exam is not required, this person must be trained in responding to releases, alarms, and emergency conditions.  Training can be performed by the Class A operators, Class B operators, or third-party vendors.  Class C operator training is required to be documented.[/toggle]

 

Leave a Reply