The 5 Most Important Things a Class A/B UST Operator Must Know

August 5, 2011

It can be a daunting job to train a UST operator who is brand new to the business.

We have over 500 slides of information for Class A/B operators that we pack into a five-plus hour training, and we can only imagine what the typical new operator must experience trying to slog though so much information.

We pride ourselves on making the UST regulations easy to understand by using pictures and stories, but still, how does a new operator come away inspired to be a better operator? Here is a 30,000-foot view of what we think are the most important things to know.

Or, put another way, what would we tell operators if we could only train with five slides? Here they are:

  1. Ignored alarms are the most common problem with leak detection.
    Many operators are not properly trained on typical tank gauge alarms and therefore may not take seriously an alarm or warning that could spell disaster.
  2. An allowable leak rate is about two Cokes can worth of fuel per hour.
    The tolerance of  many tank monitors today is two-tenths of a gallon per hour. If more operators knew this they might watch the tank gauge more closely.
  3. Most releases are found by sight and smell.
    he EPA did a study a number of years ago and revealed that most underground leaks are not discovered until a sheen appears at the edge of the property or is smelled around the dispenser. Typically leak detection finds the problem less than a quarter of the time.
  4. If you suspect a problem, you must investigate it.
    Nearly every operator over the course of his or her career will experience a situation whereby site conditions hint at a potential problem. Not only can you not ignore this hint, but by law you must investigate it.
  5. Poor record keeping habits are the quickest way to get a fine.
    Studies show that good operators keep great records and recordkeeping violations are by far more common than actually not having the leak detection equipment in the first place.

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