UST Operator Certification Procedures
Class A/B Operator Training
Class A/B operators in Massachusetts obtain certification after passing an online examination offered through the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Information on the certification program, including links to downloadable study materials, can be found on the program’s website.Class C Operator Training
In Massachusetts, Class C training should be done on-site by an A/B operator. They may use our training course and orientation checklist to guide them through Class C operator training.
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 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 must report any suspected or confirmed releases of 10 gallons or more to the DEP’s 24-hour spill notification line (1-888-304-1133).
UST owners/operators in Massachusetts may use any of the following methods of release detection:
- Continuous interstitial monitoring;
- Static in-tank monitoring system;
- Continuous in-tank monitoring system;
- In-tank w/statistical inventory reconciliation (SIR); or
- Vapor monitoring.
UST systems shall be equipped with a spill bucket. Spill buckets, including replacement spill buckets, installed on or after January 2, 2015 shall have a minimum capacity of five gallons, unless it is not physically possible to replace a three gallon spill bucket with a five gallon spill bucket. "Not physically possible" means that the area where the three gallon spill bucket is installed cannot be made to accommodate a five gallon spill bucket by any physical means, including, but not limited to, digging or jack hammering.
- If it is not physically possible to replace a three gallon spill bucket with a five gallon spill bucket, the Owner or Operator shall certify to the Department that it is not physically possible in a letter signed in accordance with 310 CMR 80.11.
- If it is not physically possible to replace a three gallon spill bucket with a five gallon spill bucket, the Owner or Operator shall install a spill bucket no smaller than three gallons.
- All spill buckets shall pass a tightness test at installation to ensure the spill bucket is liquid tight by using vacuum, pressure, or liquid testing.
Requirements for the proper operation and maintenance of spill buckets are as follows:
- The Owner or Operator shall keep spill buckets clean and free of solid and liquid material.
- The Owner or Operator shall maintain the spill bucket and cover so that they are free of cracks and holes at all times.
- The Owner or Operator shall remove and manage any solid or liquid material that collects within a spill bucket in accordance with local, state and federal laws and regulations.
- The Owner or Operator shall maintain spill buckets in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
The Owner or Operator shall inspect spill buckets monthly in accordance with the following:
- Visually inspect the spill bucket to determine if there is solid or liquid material in the spill bucket.
- Visually inspect spill buckets and covers for signs of corrosion, breakage and wear.
- Verify that sensors are set in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, if applicable.
- The Owner or Operator shall test spill buckets in accordance with 310 CMR80.28(2)(g) on or before January 2, 2017 and once every five years thereafter.
- The Owner or Operator shall test spill buckets in accordance with the schedule at 310 CMR 80.28(2)(f) and in accordance with the following requirements:
- Spill buckets shall pass an integrity test to ensure the spill bucket is liquid tight by using vacuum or hydrostatic testing.
- The standard for declaring a failure is 1/8 inch or greater loss of water within one hour (which is equal to a release or leakage of 0.05 gallons per hour in a typical 12-inch diameter basin)
- If the spill bucket fails the test, the Owner or Operator shall repair or replace the spill bucket.
- The Owner or Operator shall keep the following spill bucket records:
- Records of spill bucket inspections.
- Records of spill bucket integrity tests.
Requirements for proper operation and maintenance of overfill prevention equipment are:
- The Owner or Operator shall inspect and test the overfill prevention equipment as required by the manufacturer's specifications to verify that the overfill protection is operational. If no manufacturer's specifications exist, the Owner or Operator shall inspect and test the overfill prevention equipment annually to verify that the overfill protection is operational.
- The Owner or Operator shall repair or replace components as necessary.
- Overfill prevention equipment that is repaired shall be tested to determine that it is operational.
The Owner or Operator shall keep records of the following for the overfill prevention equipment:
- Records of inspections as required by the manufacturer's specifications or, if no manufacturer's specifications exist, an annual inspections.
- Records of testing.
On or after January 2, 2015, new or replacement ball float valves are prohibited from being used as the primary overfill prevention device. Owners and Operators may continue to use ball float valves as a secondary overfill prevention device, unless the ball float valve interferes with the operation of the primary overfill prevention device. Ball float valves installed prior to January 2, 2015 may be used as the primary overfill prevention device until the ball float valve is replaced. All UST systems shall be equipped with one of the following:
- An automatic shut off valve, float or flapper that shall automatically and completely shut off flow into the tank when the tank is no more than 95% full.
- A device which shall sufficiently alert the operator and regulated substance deliverer when the tank is at a maximum of 90% full by triggering a high-level alarm.
- All high level alarms installed on and after January 2, 2015 shall be visible and audible.
- All high-level alarms shall be clearly labeled as a tank overfill alarm.
- A ball float valve which shall alert the regulated substance deliverer by restricting the flow into the tank 30 minutes prior to overfilling.
Massachusetts follows the federal financial responsibility coverage amounts found in 40 CFR §280.93
(scroll to page 77 of 119 in the pdf document). Owners/operators may use any of the following mechanisms to demonstrate financial responsibility.
- Financial test of self-insurance
- Commercial insurance
- Risk retention group coverage
- Surety bond
- Letter of credit
- Trust fund
Inspection & Testing Requirements
A Class A or Class B operator, or someone under the direction of a Class A or Class B operator, must conduct and document a monthly visual inspection of each UST facility.
Every Three Years
Owners/operators of most USTs in Massachusetts are required to have their USTs and associated piping inspected every three years
by a listed Third-Party Inspector
. The owner/operator must send a report of each inspection to the DEP. The inspector will 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.
Owners/operators must also submit a UST Compliance Certification
to the DEP every three years, midway between third-party inspections (18 months after each third-party inspection).
Delivery Prohibition/Non-Compliance Enforcement
If a DEP 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 DEP will first issue a written notice to the owner followed by a delivery prohibition order which prohibits delivery of product to the UST facility. The DEP may also lock the fill pipe and affix a red tag to the ineligible UST(s). The owner/operator must notify the DEP when the violations have been corrected. Within 24 hours of this notification, the DEP will confirm that the violations have been corrected. If so, the delivery prohibition will be removed.
Temporary & Permanent Closure
Within 30 days after a UST system is taken temporarily out-of-service, the Owner shall notify the Department in a format specified by the Department. The Owner or Operator shall not take a UST system temporarily out-of-service for more than five years. If a temporarily out-of-service UST system is not put back into service at the end of five years, the Owner or Operator shall permanently close the UST system.
When a UST system is taken temporarily out-of-service, the Owner or Operator shall
- Remove all solid and liquid material from the UST system and have the UST system rendered inert in accordance with 310 CMR 80.47; The Owner or Operator shall manage the solid and liquid material removed from the UST system in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations;
- Cap, lock and secure all fill lines and fill pipes against tampering;
- Keep the vent lines open and operable for the entire period that the UST system is temporarily out-of-service;
- Continue operation and maintenance of corrosion protection in accordance with 310 CMR 80.29, if applicable;
- Continue to comply with the third-party inspection requirements in accordance with 310 CMR 80.49;
- Comply with the Compliance Certification requirements for temporarily out-of-service UST systems in accordance with 310 CMR 80.34(3); and
- Maintain financial responsibility in accordance with 310 CMR 80.51 through 80.63.
Prior to returning the UST system to service, the Owner or Operator shall have the tank and piping tightness tested and shall ensure that the UST system components are calibrated and operating in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. Within 30 days after returning the UST system to service, the Owner or Operator shall notify the Department in a format specified by the Department. Owners or Operators shall demonstrate compliance with the requirements of temporarily out-of-service by maintaining records/documentation.
Requirements for Removal of a UST System.
- Prior to removal of a UST system, the Owner or Operator shall have all the solid and liquid material removed from the UST system, in accordance with 310 CMR 80.47, have the UST system rendered inert and shall secure all openings. The Owner or Operator shall manage all solid and liquid material removed from the UST system in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
- The Owner or Operator shall conduct an assessment in accordance with 310 CMR 80.43(4) within 24 hours after the UST system is removed, but prior to backfill of the excavation area.
- The Owner shall notify the Department, in a format specified by the Department, that the UST system was removed, within 30 days of removal.
Requirements for Permanent Closure-in-place.
- No Owner or Operator shall permanently close a UST system in-place unless it is located under a building and cannot be removed from the ground without first removing the building, or is so located that it cannot be removed from the ground without endangering the structural integrity of another UST system, structure, underground piping or underground utilities.
- Such a determination shall be made by a registered professional civil or structural engineer, and shall be submitted to the Department with supporting documentation. The determination shall include, at a minimum, sketches, photos and a detailed, written description of why the UST system should be closed-in-place instead of removed.
- If the Department does not notify the Owner within 30 days, the Owner or Operator may proceed with the closure-in-place if it has complied with 310 CMR 80.43(3)(a)1.
- The Owner or Operator shall have all solid and liquid material removed from the tank, in accordance with 310 CMR 80.47 and shall have the tank filled with clean sand, concrete slurry mix or another inert material if such other material is approved by the Department in writing prior to filling the tank. The Owner or Operator shall manage the solid and liquid material removed from the tank in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
- The Owner or Operator may need to obtain a permit from the fire department in which the UST system is located for closure or relocation of a UST system pursuant to M.G.L. c. 21O, § 1. It is the responsibility of the Owner or Operator to obtain any required permit(s).