UST Owner and/or Operator Training
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What is operator training and who is required to take it?
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 an operator training program for all UST owners and/or operators.
In 2011, the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (department) amended the state UST rules (18 AAC 78, Article 1) to include the new federal requirements, including the development of an UST operator training program. These proposed UST rules changes have completed final legal review and have been signed by the Lieutenant Governor on June 25, 2012. The adopted updates to the state UST rules go into effect on July 25, 2012 and will make operator training a mandatory requirement for all State of Alaska UST owners/operators effective on the same date.
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 record keeping for UST systems. Class B operators have an in-depth understanding of all operations and maintenance of the UST systems.
- 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.
What does this mean for you?
Most importantly, 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. Additionally, a copy of each Class A and/or B operator’s training certificate, along with a current Class A/B facility operator designation form (PDF), must be submitted to department’s UST staff ensure the facility’s records are properly updated. If your UST system is found to be out of compliance, the Class A and/or Class B operator may be required to complete all or a portion of the training again.
The department is reviewing training programs provided by several commercial vendors. Training will be available in a variety of formats, including classroom, web-based, 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 a department-approved training program. Class C operators may obtain their certification through a department-approved program or by on-site training provided and documented by the UST facility’s certified Class A and/or B operator(s). All Class C operators will be required to receive and document annual refresher training in addition to the initial training.
Can one person have more than one certification?
Yes, an individual may be certified as both a Class A and B operator. Certified Class A or B operators are qualified to train Class C operators and, if they are the only person manning the site, act as Class C operators. If a person is designated to more than one class for a facility, training in all classes assigned must be completed separately. For example, if person is designated as the A, B and C operator for a facility, they must complete both a department approved class A/B training course as well as a department approved class C training course. No person may train and certify himself or herself for any class of operator training.
How will the new UST rule affect these training requirements?
Operators must be certified no later than December 31, 2012. The department encourages you to obtain the operator certification as early as possible. If an operator is certified before the release of the final UST rule changes, that operator will be “grandfathered in” as a certified operator under the new rule. This option will be accepted by the department as long as the training was completed through a department-approved commercial training vendor or by department-approved in-house, documented training for class C operators that covers all required training topics.
Where can I find a department-approved training course?
The department is in the process of reviewing and approving several commercial operator training vendors. Each company may provide a different format and fee for each class. As companies are approved by the department to provide UST operator training in the State of Alaska, the department will update the approved UST operator training vendor list located in the table below.
|Vendor Name||Classes of Training Offered||How Training is Delivered||Website|
|American Petroleum Institute||A/B2 & C||Online||ApiLearning.com|
|Antea Group||A/B2 & C||Online||USTOperator.AnteaGroup.com|
|Tait Environmental||A/B2 & C||Classroom & Online||PstInstruction.com|
|Practical American Safety Solutions (PASS)||A/B2 & C||Online||PassTesting.com|
|UST Training||A/B2 & C||Classroom & Online||UstTraining.com|
|Williams & Co.||A/B2 & C1||Online||PetroClassroom.com|
|AK Dept of Environmental Conservation||C||Recommended In-House Training Certification Checklist||ADEC Checklist (PDF)|
- 1 Recommended for State of Alaska UST operators with marine applications.
- 2 State of Alaska UST operators are also certified as Class C operators upon completion of the A/B training course.
Contact UST Staff
For more information concerning operator training requirements and procedures, please contact one of the following department UST staff members:
- Anchorage UST Technicians
- Susan Young, 907-269-3052
- Cheryl Paige, 907-269-7679
- 555 Cordova Street
- Anchorage, AK 99501
- Fax: 907-269-7687