Maryland UST Operator Training

UST Operator Training

UST Operator Certification Procedures

Class A/B Operator Training
PASS' A/B Operator Training in Maryland is approved by the MDE
Class C Operator Training
PASS' C Operator Training in Maryland is approved by the MDE

All of PASS’ UST operator training courses meet and exceed the federal requirements for UST operator training and are offered through our in-house designed and built Learning Management System (LMS). PASS’ state-specific A/B training courses are custom tailored to meet state requirements, and are accepted by more states than any other training provider.  Our courses are available on demand, 24/7 and are accessible from any internet-connected computer, tablet, or phone. The student can complete an entire course in a single session or take the course in segments. The training may be stopped and restarted, allowing for maximum schedule flexibility. PASS also does not impose time restrictions on course access, so students may take as much time as they need to complete their training.  Once training is completed a certificate is available to save and print.

Registration & Fees

Owners/operators of all USTs must register their USTs with the MDE within 30 days of bringing that UST into use by submitting a completed Notification for Underground Storage Tanks form (instructions for filling out this form can be found here).  Whenever any changes are made to the UST system, including change of ownership or change in product stored, a new notification form must be submitted.

Release Reporting

Owners/operators must report any suspected or confirmed releases to the MDE’s 24-hour spill notification line (1-866-633-4686) within 2 hours of discovery.
At unattended facilities, emergency procedures and emergency contact information must be conspicuously posted in lettering no less than one inch high on a sign not less than 8″ by 10″.

Release Detection

UST owners/operators in Maryland may use any of the following methods of release detection:
  • Manual tank gauging;
  • Automatic tank gauging (ATG);
  • Groundwater monitoring;
  • Interstitial monitoring;
  • Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR); or
  • Tank tightness testing.
Release detection methods must be third-party certified by the National Work Group on Leak Detection Evaluations (NWGLDE).  Vapor monitoring may be used for release detection only with prior approval from the MDE.

Release Prevention

Spill Buckets
  • Spill buckets are required for:
    • All motor fuel USTs;
    • Used oil USTs installed, upgraded, or replaced on or after November 4, 1996;
    • Heating oil USTs for on-site consumptive use installed, upgraded, or replaced on or after November 4, 1996; and
    • Any Stage I facility installed on or after July 1, 1998.
  • Spill buckets are not required for:
    • USTs that receive less than 25 gallons of regulated substance per delivery;
    • Heating oil USTs for on-site consumptive use installed, upgraded, or repaired before November 4, 1996; and
    • Stage I fittings installed before July 1, 1998.
Containment Sumps
  • All containment sumps in Maryland must be tested within 30 days of installation, every five years thereafter, and upon repair.  Double-walled containment sumps must be tested per manufacturer’s specifications.
Overfill Protection
  • Tanks that receive 25 gallons or less of fuel per delivery and heating oil tanks for on-site consumptive use that were installed prior to November 4, 1996 are not required to have overfill protection.
  • A flapper valve can only be used on tanks that receive gravity drop deliveries, however, some drop-tube flapper valves are manufactured specifically for pumped deliveries.
    • The tank receives pumped deliveries;
    • The system uses suction piping and air eliminators;
    • The system uses remote fill pipes and gauge openings;
    • The system includes an emergency generator or heating oil tank; or
    • The system uses a fill pipe riser with a coaxial drop fill adapter.Ball float valves may not be used on UST systems with one or more of the following features:
Tank Lining
  • Internal lining may not be used to repair a tank unless the procedure has been approved by the MDE.
Cathodic Protection
  • UST systems using an impressed current cathodic protection system must be inspected for proper operation every 60 days and have a complete assessment performed by a corrosion expert when the system is five years of age and every five years thereafter.  Impressed current systems must have a cathodic protection test annually.  The results of the last three inspections/assessments must be maintained at the facility.
  • UST systems equipped with cathodic protection must be inspected for proper operation by a qualified cathodic protection tester as follows:
    • Field-installed cathodic protection systems must be tested within six months of installation and at least once every year thereafter; and
    • Factory-installed cathodic protection systems must be tested within six months of installation and at least once every three years thereafter.
  • If the tester determines that the cathodic protection system is inadequate, the system must be repaired within 60 days of the test measurement.  The results of testing from the last two inspections must be retained at the facility.

Financial Responsibility

Maryland follows the federal financial responsibility coverage amounts found in 40 CFR §280.93 (scroll to page 77 of 119 in the pdf document) and COMAR (scroll to page 78 of 112).  Owners/operators may use any of the following mechanisms to demonstrate financial responsibility.
  • Financial test of self-insurance
  • Guarantee
  • Insurance and risk retention group coverage
  • Surety bond
  • Letter of credit
  • Trust fund
  • Stand-by trust fund

Inspection & Testing Requirements

Maryland UST regulations require that all USTs be inspected every three years and upon change in ownership or new installation.  Inspections must be conducted by an MDE-certified inspector.  The inspector will usually need to review paperwork concerning:
  • Operator training;
  • Notification, permit, and fees (as applicable);
  • Corrosion protection;
  • Overfill prevention;
  • Spill prevention;
  • Tank and piping release detection;
  • Financial responsibility;
  • Reporting of suspected releases;
  • Tank and/or piping repairs;
  • Secondary containment (where required); and
  • Temporary closure.
Written Operator Manual
All of this information should be in the facility’s written operator manual, which the A/B operator must compile and maintain.  The written operator manual must also include information on:
  • Responding to operational or equipment alarms, warnings, or alert mechanisms;
  • Implementing emergency shut-off procedures;
  • Responding to suspected and confirmed releases, unusual operating conditions, emergencies, and equipment failures; and
  • How and when to notify the MDE of a release.

Delivery Prohibition/Non-Compliance Enforcement

If a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) inspector determines that a UST or UST system is out of compliance with UST regulations, he or she may initiate non-compliance enforcement procedures.  The MDE will notify the owner/operator in writing of all violations discovered at the facility.  The MDE will also affix a lock, tag, or sticker to the fill pipe of the ineligible UST.  The owner/operator may continue to dispense fuel until the tank is empty, but the UST may not receive fuel deliveries until the MDE is satisfied that all violations have been corrected.  If your UST or UST system has been tagged, read the MDE’s guide for information on how to respond.

Temporary & Permanent Closure

Permanent Closure
A UST must be permanently closed if:
  1. It has been temporarily closed for more than six months and does not meet Maryland performance standards for new or upgraded USTs; or
  2. It has been temporarily closed for more than 12 months and does meet Maryland standards for new or upgraded USTs.
At least 30 days prior to closing the UST, the owner/operator must notify the MDE in writing of the intent to close the UST, and confirm the planned closure with the MDE at least 48 hours in advance.  The owner/operator must also initiate and complete a site assessment by measuring for a release where contamination is most likely to be present.  If contaminated soils, contaminated groundwater, or free product as liquid or vapor is discovered during the site assessment, the owner/operator must immediately begin corrective action.  When a tank has been permanently closed, it must be emptied, cleaned, and either removed from the ground or, with MDE approval, left in the ground and filled with an inert solid material.


  • Owners and operators must maintain closure records that are capable of demonstrating compliance with closure requirements for at least five years.  Records documenting temporary and permanent closure should be kept at the facility or at a location designated by the owner/operator and made available upon a request from the MDE.
  • Records of the required three-year inspections must be retained for five years and the most recent one kept at the facility.
  • The following records must be maintained for one year by the UST operator at the UST facility and for five yearsby the UST owner at a location designated by the owner:
    1. Written performance claims, and the justification for those claims, pertaining to any release detection system used;
    2. The results of any sampling, testing, or monitoring, including monthly release detection records; and
    3. Written documentation for all calibration, maintenance, and repair of release detection equipment permanently located at the UST facility, and any schedule of required calibration and maintenance provided by the equipment manufacturer.