28 years later…where does the time go?

May 18, 2016




I was updating my resume today when I realized nearly 30 years have gone by since I first entered the world of UST systems. From climbing into my first tank pit in Vermont with a PID gas sniffer in 1986 until today sitting in my office planning my next training trip and getting snowed with calls and emails from around the country, I can easily say I never imagined I’d still be doing USTs. What’s so interesting about this industry? Why be a UST guy for nearly three decades? Here are some off-the-cuff thoughts.

Collaboration: Managing and regulating USTs is a collaborative process, meaning we’re all part of a big team. EPA designed it that way in the 1980’s and the spirit is alive and well today. Industry and regulators continue to work closely at a state and national level in partnership to ensure UST system management is both practical and safe.

6d519e66-2762-4aaf-9008-d3d0024b0569-originalCommunity: I’ve known some folks in this industry since the beginning and many for decades. Many I consider good friends. With so many friends making up a professional community, it’s easy to enjoy the work and stay motivated to keep plugging along.

Innovation: My friend Rich Bradly likes to say there’s always a way to build a better mousetrap. The same holds for UST systems. There’s always a better/smarter way to manage and inspect UST systems and this industry excels on program improvements. I’m happy to have been at the edge of UST innovations from at least 1996.

Second Class in Saipan. The graduates!

Second Class in Saipan. The graduates!

Inspiration: For reasons that remain elusive after all these years, UST systems and the people who run them inspire me. In fact, it’s the people who inspire me most on a daily basis. I remain committed to unifying UST equipment, people, management systems and technology to make the world a better place, one tank at a time.

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  1. Timothy Roy says:

    Hi Ben.

    You and I started at the same time! I have mainly stuck with leak detection, but we both have “war stories” ( and perhaps a few fish-tales ).

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Ben Thomas says:

      Hi Timothy. Very cool! yes lots of war tales. It’s a good industry, eh?

  2. Mike Orsini says:

    I totally agree with you where did the Time Go! I went to
    A petroleum show in Toronto in 86′ or 87′ and got into it
    Back then thought I’d make one run at it and here we go
    Again, learned a lot and taught myself some easier ways to do things over the years and I’ve pretty much seen it all from riveted tanks to concrete septic / oil tanks but wait till you open up your next hole Surprise!!

    1. Ben Thomas says:

      I still go to sites from time to time and find a “mystery” riser, which goes to….who knows?

  3. I love the fact that I get a chance to interact with as many people as I do. From the new and experienced field technicians that I get to pass on what I’ve learned, to those regulating the systems at the state and federal level that I get to work with understanding and interpreting and now participating in shaping their rules, working with the manufacturers and service providers (like Ben!) and our valued customers working with them to help guide them properly through the myriad of different rules. It’s been a great ride and it ain’t over yet!

    1. Ben Thomas says:

      Agreed Ed. It’s a fun work environment. I’m so glad to work with such enthusiastic folks such as yourself.

  4. Timothy Roy says:

    Yes, it is Ben. I’ve met lot’s of great folks through the years, and have learned a lot from many.

    1. Ben Thomas says:

      Agreed Tim. It’s a great family.