We have new requirements under the federal Energy Policy Act to develop an underground storage tank (UST) operator training program. We revised the state’s UST rule (Chapter 173-360 WAC) to include these.
Based on their duties at an UST facility, personnel will be designated as one or more of three operator classes: A, B, and C operator. In Washington, most approved training vendors have combined the class A and class B training into one training, known as class A/B training for personnel responsible for UST compliance. Personnel who would respond to an emergency (typically station cashiers) need class C training.
If operators are not certified, the owner and/or operator may be subject to penalties. If your UST system is found to be out of compliance, the class A/B operator may be required to retake the training and/or provide an Operation and Maintenance Plan for the UST facility.
We have approved training programs provided by vendors. Training is available in a variety of formats, including classroom, web-based, independent study, and onsite training. Each class A/B operator will be required to pass a test to become certified. Class C operators may obtain their certification through training by the certified class A/B operator, or through an approved training vendor.
We might accept training from other states that meet our requirements, but states that offer site-specific training that is not pertinent to your site, and/or in-state training only (such as Idaho’s certification), are not accepted in Washington.
Each operator class definition is described below:
- Class A: 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: 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 system.
- Class C: Operators who 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 dispensing or selling product.
List of Ecology-approved UST Operator Training Vendors (last revised 07/07/2015)
Re-training with Washington Tank Operator Training (WATOT)
WATOT is our site-specific online re-training tool for class A/B operators. This training covers information that is specific to an UST system and provides an opportunity to be class A/B re-trained at no cost. WATOT also prepares a site-specific Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Plan that can be printed at the end of the training. This class A/B re-training is not valid for a first time class A/B certification.
A record of each operator’s training certificate must be kept onsite. The documentation and/or certificates must include the facility address, tag number, name of individual, date assumed duties, and date completed training. During an inspection you will be asked to provide: