UST Owner/Operator Training
Under the Idaho Underground Storage Tank Act (Idaho Code §39-88) and the Rules Regulating Underground Storage Tank Systems (IDAPA 58.01.07), all owners and operators of underground storage tanks (USTs) in Idaho are required to successfully complete training in how to properly identify, operate, and maintain USTs. The goals of the training are to prevent releases to the environment and, if releases should occur, to ensure they are handled properly.
Operator Classes and Associated Training Requirements
The UST rules specify three classes of operators that need training:
- Class A—Individuals with primary responsibility for on-site operation and maintenance of the UST system (such as an owner). They do not need to be on site.
- Class B—Individuals with daily on-site responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the UST systems (such as an operator). They do not need to be on site at all times.
- Class C—Daily on-site individual(s) with primary responsibility for addressing emergencies presented by a spill or release from the UST system (such as a cashier/clerk).
In some instances, the same person may be the Class A, Class B, and Class C operator.
By law, the owner of the UST facility must designate Class A and Class B operators and notify DEQ in writing within 30 days of the designation. The operator must also be trained within 30 days of the designation.
Class A operators must be trained in general UST system requirements so they can make informed decisions regarding compliance and ensure appropriate individuals are fulfilling operation, maintenance, and recordkeeping requirements. Class B operators must be trained to obtain a more in-depth understanding of the regulations. To meet these requirements, Class A and B operator training consists of the TankHelper training program explained below.
Class C operators must be trained to respond to emergencies and alarms. To accomplish this, Class C operator training consists of the Class A or B operator explaining the emergency shut-off procedures for the facility, where the emergency shut-off switches are, where any alarms are located, and whom to contact in the event of an alarm or emergency. The Class A or B operator must provide the Class C operator with an instruction sheet and emergency contact phone numbers before letting the operator assume responsibility for responding to emergencies.
Additional Class C operator training can be found by using a third-party company.
A list of designated and trained Class A, B, and C operators must be kept at the facility. Use the form below to maintain the list of operators.
If, during an inspection, the facility receives a violation, the Class A and/or B operator must be retrained within 30 days. Retraining focuses on training the operator on the specifics of the violation and is conducted by DEQ at the time of the inspection that results in any violation.
In most cases, the training requirement may be satisfied by completing TankHelper training that is provided on site and in person by a DEQ inspector at the time of a facility inspection. The training uses a software program that produces a site-specific management plan and tests the operator's knowledge of UST operation and maintenance procedures.
TankHelper training consists of a DEQ inspector identifying the equipment installed and explaining each part to the operator. The operator then receives a site-specific management and a recordkeeping binder. Because the TankHelper training is site-specific, it includes only what is relevant at each facility. Finally, the operator is required to take the TankHelper quiz. If the operator passes the quiz, a training certificate is issued, and the operator is registered with DEQ as trained operator.
After completing TankHelper training, the operator should feel confident in how to prevent and detect releases from the facility. By following the site-specific management plan and properly using the recordkeeping binder, the operator should be in compliance with state and federal underground storage tank requirements.
Contact the DEQ regional office nearest your facility
to arrange for TankHelper training (contact names at right).
Existing Training Certification
DEQ may accept existing training certifications as long as we have the opportunity to review and approve the level of training received.
Online TankHelper provides site-specific Class A and B operator training and is free to operators with UST facilities in Idaho. TankHelper guides the operator through a series of training modules, and at the end, provides the operator with a site-specific management plan for their UST facility. After reviewing the management plan, the operator takes a quiz, and if the operator passes the quiz, a training certificate is available to print.
- Online TankHelper Training Website—This training website is for Class A and B operators who work for Idaho facilities only. Information for Class C operator training is listed under Operator Classes and Associated Training Requirements.
Management Plan and Compliance Binder
Each facility receives a management plan that depicts the site-specific requirements to follow. The management plan explains (1) the equipment present at the facility; (2) the required duties associated with that equipment; (3) when the required duties need to be performed; (4) recordkeeping requirements; (5) best management practices; and (6) how to respond to problems.
Each facility will also receive a site-specific compliance binder that gives detailed information on how the equipment functions. The compliance binder serves as reference material and a place to store the facility’s records.
If the new Class A or B operator does not have a management plan and binder, contact the nearest DEQ regional office (contact names at right) to obtain one.