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 USTs in Idaho are required to successfully complete training to properly identify, operate, and maintain USTs within 30 days of assuming the responsibilities. The goals of the training are to prevent releases to the environment and, if releases should occur, ensure they are handled properly.
Operator Classes and Associated Training Requirements
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 designated operator must be trained within 30 days of the designation.
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/manager). They do not need to be on site at all times.
- Class C—Daily on-site individual(s) with first response responsibilities 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.
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 and obtain more equipment understanding and on-site operational requirements of the regulations.
To meet these requirements, DEQ has online Class A and B operator training called TankHelper.
Class C operators must be trained to respond to emergencies and alarms prior to their first shift of responsibility. To accomplish this, Class C operator training consists of the Class A or B operators’ instruction of the emergency shutoff procedures for the facility, where the emergency shutoff switches are, where any alarms are located, and who 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. All trained operators must be recorded for the site on a trained operator list and kept at the facility.
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 the specifics of the 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. 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. If on-site training cannot be scheduled within 30 days of assuming the operator responsibilities, the online TankHelper training is available 24/7.
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 a trained operator for that site.
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 UST requirements.
Contact the DEQ regional office nearest your facility to arrange for TankHelper training (contact names at right).
Online TankHelper Training (24/7)
- This training website is for Class A and/or B operators who work for Idaho facilities only.
- Class C operator training information is listed above in the Operator Classes and Associated Training Requirements section.
Online TankHelper provides site-specific Class A and B operator training and is free for operators with UST facilities in Idaho. TankHelper guides the operator through a series of training modules specific to their location, 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.
DEQ-Approved Independent Training
DEQ may accept existing training certifications and third-party trainers as long as staff has the opportunity to review and approve the level of training received.