Underground storage tank operator certification

Learn how to get the required underground storage tank operator certification.

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 173-360A 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.

Training vendors

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.

Operator class definitions are 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.

Read the list of Ecology-approved UST operator training vendors

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.

Record-keeping requirements

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: