UST Expert: Meet Ben

Ben Thomas brings to the UST industry over three decades of experience, networking and ideas to help owners and inspectors solve complex technical problems in the management of UST systems. Ben’s experience goes back to 1986, when he supervised UST removals in Vermont. Between 1989 and 1995, Ben oversaw cleanup of leaking UST sites in northern Alaska. From 1995 to 2002, he ran Alaska’s UST leak prevention program. Ben gained national attention for his innovative work in web page development, outreach material, financial responsibility compliance, and most notably the Alaska third party inspection program. Since leaving Alaska in 2002, Ben’s principal focus has been education, training, and outreach to the nation’s UST owners, operators, inspectors and technicians.

Ben led the nation’s first state-approved Class A/B operator class in Oregon in 2003 and has been training nonstop ever since. From Guam to Puerto Rico and nearly all points in between, Ben continues to look for new ways to make his UST classes interesting, relevant and even fun. Currently Ben manages, the nationally recognized online training school for Class A, B and C operators. Between his live, webinar and online classes, he’s trained more UST operators than any one person in the US. Ben also offered free information to UST operators and inspectors with his popular Tank Savvy Minute video series on YouTube.

When filling up his car at the local mini-mart, Ben still visits with UST operators wherever his travels take him to make sure their tank gauges are not in alarm. Ben’s motto is that he’s helping protect the nation’s drinking water supplies one tank at a time.


1986: Ben enters the UST program

UST Innovations

Ben Thomas has been an innovator in the field of UST education since 1996. Here is a list of his “firsts” in the industry.

  • 1996 Created and launched one of the nation’s first state UST web pages in Alaska.
  • 2003 Taught the first-ever state-approved Class A/B course in the nation in Oregon.
  • 2004 Designed and created the first ever state online training UST program in Montana.
  • 2007 Created and taught first UST Class A/B UST operator course in Kansas.
  • 2007 Designed the first online UST training program in Idaho.
  • 2009 Created and launched the first commercially available online training for class C operators nationwide.
  • 2009 Created and taught first ever Class A/B UST webinar and first Class AB UST operator course in Colorado.
  • 2010 Created and taught the first Class A/B course in US Virgin Islands.
  • 2010 Created and taught first Class A/B UST operator taught in Wisconsin.
  • 2011 Created the first Class A/B UST operator training course in Puerto Rico and first taught in Spanish.
  • 2011 Created and taught the first UST Class A/B UST operator training course taught in West Virginia.
  • 2012  Created and taught the first UST Class A/B UST operator training course in Guam and Saipan.
  • 2013 Helped create KY TOOLS (Tank Operator Online Learning System) in Kentucky.
  • 2015 Taught the first Class A/B and C UST operators at the Red Hill Tank Farm, the world’s largest known UST system, at Pearl Harbor, HI.
  • 2015 Created and taught the first Class A/B and C UST operator course in Nebraska.
  • 2016 Taught the first exclusively “Subpart K” certified Class A/B course for airport hydrant and field constructed UST operators, Guam.
  • 2016 Created and launched the first ever online Indian Country Class A/B UST operator training course.
  • 2019 Created and launched the first state-approved commercial Class A/B course in Michigan.
  • 2019 Granted permission to major ATG manufacturer Veeder Root to post his Tank Savvy Minute YouTube videos on the Veeder Root TLS 350 web page.
  • 2020 Created and launched the nation’s first Hindi Class C UST operator training course online.
  • 2022 Created and launched the first state-approved online Class A/B course in Delaware.
  • 2022  Created and launched the first third party online Class A/B course in Kentucky.

Clients include

  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality
  • Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
  • Kentucky UST Branch
  • Snohomish County Public Utility Department
  • US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources
  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • Washington Department of Ecology
  • Nebraska State Fire Marshal
  • Wisconsin Department of Commerce
  • City of Chicago Department of Environment
  • Pueblo of Laguna Department of Natural Resources
  • Inter Tribal Council of Arizona
  • Navajo Nation
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Guam Environmental Protection Agency
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands Department of Environmental Quality
  • US Postal Service
  • US Veterans Administration
  • US EPA Region 2, 3, 6, 10
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • US Air Force
  • US Navy
  • US Army
  • US Marines
  • Seattle City Light
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough
  • Boeing
  • Costco
  • 7-Eleven
  • Murphy Oil
  • WalMart
  • US Foods
  • Pepsi
  • Tesoro
  • Circle K
  • Cumberland Farms
  • FedEx Ground
  • Safeway
  • Albertsons
  • Fred Meyer
  • Century Link
  • Plus thousands of UST operators nationwide