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Michigan UST Operator Training

Below you will find summaries of some of the most pertinent topics regarding Michigan UST Operator Training

Regulator Details

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs / Bureau of Fire Services
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs / Bureau of Fire Services
Jeff Tanner
P.O. Box 30700 Lansing, MI 48909-7741
(517) 241-8847
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UST Operator Certification Procedures

Class A/B Operator Training
In Michigan, UST System Operators can only be certified after taking and passing the exam administered by the International Code Council (ICC) through Pearson VUE testing centers. 
Getting ready for the ICC exam(s) is a three-step process
Step One: Take the PASS ICC Preparatory Course
PASS is the only training provider approved by the ICC to offer preparatory training for the ICC UST/AST operator exams.  These ICC preparatory courses do not include a final exam or provide certification upon completion and is not required to take, but it will provide you with the information and guidance you need to study and prepare for the exams.
Step Two: Read the UST/AST Examination Information Bulletin and Prepare Your Reference Materials
First, you should read the UST/AST Examination Information BulletinYou may also call the ICC at 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 5524 to request a paper copy of the Bulletin.
Pay particular attention to the information on your state’s exams. Specific exam information usually begins around page 24 in the Bulletin, and includes the number of exam questions, the exam fee, the type of exam, and the list of reference materials.

Most ICC UST/AST operator exams are open book, which means that you may take certain documents (called reference materials) with you into the exam room and refer to them during the exam. The ICC, however, has strict requirements about which reference materials you can take into the exam with you and in what format. PASS strongly recommends that you obtain your reference materials well in advance of taking the exam.
Which reference materials do I need? How do I get them?
The reference materials you need are listed in the UST/AST Examination Information Bulletin. They typically include the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) UST regulations (40 CFR §280), the state’s UST regulations (which usually can be found on the state UST program’s website), and one or more of the following EPA publications, any of which can be downloaded here or through a PASS ICC preparatory course.
Your reference materials list may also include publications of the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI), which you must purchase through PEI’s online storeTypically, these include PEI/RP 500 Recommended Practices for Inspection of Motor Fuel Dispensing Equipment and PEI/RP 900 Recommended Practices for Inspection and Maintenance of UST Systems.  You may also be able to purchase these bundled with your state’s other reference materials through the ICC’s online store.
How do I prepare my reference materials? You may take only the reference materials listed in the current UST/AST Examination Information Bulletin with you into the exam. In order to be able to take them into the exam, you should prepare them as follows.
If you do not follow these steps, the Pearson Vue test center personnel will not let you take your materials into the exam room and you will not be able to use them during the exam.
  1. STAPLE OR BIND YOUR MATERIALS.  You may not take loose pages into the exam room, so we recommend that you print the reference materials and either staple them together or place them in a three-ring binder.
  2. MAKE NOTES. You may make notes in your reference materials as long as the notes are in ink and any highlighting is done before you arrive for the exam. For example, you should locate and mark in the reference materials information such as your state’s allowable release detection methods, allowable financial responsibility mechanisms, recordkeeping requirements, operator retraining requirements, etc. This will make it easier to find the information during the exam itself. PASS’ ICC preparatory courses make this easier by giving you rule citations or page numbers keyed to your reference materials.
  3. USE TABS.  You may also use tabs to mark important sections, but these tabs must be permanently attached and not be removable without damage to the page (removable post-it type tabs, for example, would not be allowed).
Step Three:  Schedule Your Exams
ICC exams are offered periodically at Pearson VUE testing centers around your state. When you are ready to take your exams, you can register online at or by calling Pearson VUE at 1-800-275-8301.

Class C Operator Training
PASS' UST C Operator Training is an approved training method in Michigan.

Registration & Fees

Owners/operators of all USTs must register their USTs with LARA annually by submitting a Registration of Underground Storage Tanks form annually along with the fee of $100.00 per tank.  Registration fees can be paid online.

Release Reporting

Owners/operators must report any suspected or confirmed releases to LARA's spill notification line (1-800-MICH-UST within Michigan; 517-335-7279 outside Michigan) within 24 hours of discovery.

Release Detection

Allowable methods of release detection for tanks in Michigan include:
  • Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG);
  • Secondary containment with interstitial monitoring;
  • Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR);
  • Manual tank gauging;
  • Vapor monitoring;
  • Groundwater monitoring;
  • Tank tightness testing; and
  • Inventory control.

Release Prevention

To prevent spilling and overfilling associated with product transfer to the UST system, owners and operators shall use the following spill and overfill prevention equipment:
  •  Spill prevention equipment that will prevent the release of product to the environment when the transfer hose is detached from the fill pipe, for example, a spill catchment basin.
  • Overfill prevention equipment for tanks that have a capacity of 4,000 gallons or less shall do 1 of the following:
    • Automatically shut off flow into the tank when the tank is not more than 95% full.
    • Alert the transfer operator when the tank is not more than 90% full by restricting the flow into the tank or by triggering a high-level alarm.For suction pump systems, a pressure regulator valve or other suitable device shall be installed in the suction piping if the flow restrictor causes a pressure buildup in the tank when activated.
  • Overfill prevention equipment for tanks that have a capacity of more than 4,000 gallons shall do 1 of the following:
    • Restrict the flow from the delivery truck into the tank 30 minutes before overfill.
    • Sound an audible alarm 1 minute before overfill.
    • Automatically shut off the flow into the tank not less than 30 seconds before overfill.
Owners and operators are not required to use the spill and overfill prevention equipment specified above if alternative equipment is used that is determined by the department to be at least as protective of human health and the environment as the equipment specified above.

Financial Responsibility

Michigan 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
  • Guarantee
  • Insurance and risk retention group coverage
  • Surety bond
  • Letter of credit
  • Trust fund
  • Standby trust fund

Inspection & Testing Requirements

Class B operators must conduct a quarterly inspection of each UST facility for which they are responsible and record the results on an Underground Storage Tank Operational Facility Inspection Form.  Each quarterly inspection form must be retained at the UST facility for at least three years.
Class A/B operators are responsible for creating and maintaining an operations and maintenance plan for each UST facility which should be kept at the UST facility.  An operations and maintenance plan usually includes the following information and documentation;
  • Basic facility information (including but not limited to tank size, materials, and contents, release detection equipment information, and dispenser information;
  • A site map;
  • Operator training documentation;
  • Tank registration information and documentation;
  • Corrosion protection documentation;
  • Overfill prevention documentation;
  • Spill prevention documentation;
  • Tank and piping release detection records;
  • Proof of financial responsibility;
  • Reporting of suspected releases;
  • Inspection records and checklists;
  • Tank and/or piping repair and maintenance records;
  • Secondary containment (where required); and
  • Temporary closure.

Delivery Prohibition/Non-Compliance Enforcement

If a Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) inspector determines that a UST or UST system is out of compliance with UST regulations, he or she may initiate non-compliance enforcement procedures, which may include red-tagging the non-compliant UST or UST system.

Temporary & Permanent Closure

Temporary closure
A UST system shall be considered temporarily closed if it is empty for more than 30 continuous days and it is intended to be brought back into use within 12 months. Owners and operators shall continue the operation and maintenance of corrosion protection in accordance with section 280.31 and any release detection. However, release detection is not required if the UST system is empty. The UST system is empty when all materials have been removed using commonly employed practices so that not more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of residue or 0.3% by weight of the total capacity of the UST system remains in the system.  The owner shall provide the department with written notification, using the registration form provided by the department, indicating that the UST system will be temporarily closed for not more than 12 months and that the owner intends to bring the UST system back into service within the 12-month period.  If a UST system is temporarily closed, then the owners and operators shall also comply with both of the following requirements:
  •  Leave vent lines open and functioning
  • Cap and secure all other lines, pumps, manways, and ancillary equipment.
If a UST system is temporarily closed for more than 12 months, then the owners and operators shall permanently close the UST system if it does not meet either the performance standards specified in section 280.20 for new UST systems or the upgrading requirements specified in section 280.21, except that the spill and overfill equipment requirements do not have to be met. Owners and operators shall permanently close the substandard UST systems at the end of the 12-month period in accordance with sections 280.71 to 280.74, unless the department provides an extension of the 12-month temporary closure period. The request shall be received in writing not less than 30 days before the 12-month deadline ends. The extension shall not be for more than 12 months. Owners and operators shall complete a site assessment in accordance with section 280.72 before applying for an extension. The owner of a temporarily closed UST system is subject to payment of a registration fee under part 211 of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, as amended, being MCL 324.21101 et seq. of the Michigan Compiled Laws.  Immediately before bringing a UST systems back into use, the owners and operators shall perform tank and piping tightness tests conducted in accordance with the requirements of sections 280.43(c) and 280.44(b) on a UST system that is temporarily closed for 12 months or more and shall confirm that the UST system is tight.

Permanent closure or a change in service
Not less than 30 days before beginning either permanent closure or a change in service, or within another reasonable time period determined by the department, an owner and operator, or a person employed by the owner and operator, shall notify the department of the owner's and operator's intent to permanently close or make the change in service, unless the action is in response to corrective action. The 30-day notification requirement may be waived by the department. The required assessment of the excavation zone under section 280.72 shall be performed after notifying the department, but before completion of the permanent closure or change in service. The owner and operator has the final responsibility to make sure the notification is given.  A UST system shall be considered permanently closed when the UST system is empty for 30 days or more and does not meet the requirements of temporary closure specified in 280.70 or the requirements for change in service specified in 280.72. To permanently close a tank, an owner and operator shall empty and clean it by removing all liquids and accumulated sludge and purge it of all vapors. All tanks closed permanently shall be removed from the ground. If building structures exist above or near the tank, or in close proximity to the tank such that removal would jeopardize the building structure integrity, the owner or operator may close the UST system in place. To close the UST system in place, the tank shall be emptied and cleaned as defined in this subsection and filled with an inert solid material and a site assessment shall be conducted under section 280.72. Piping permanently removed from service shall be emptied of all liquids and sludge, purged, and capped or shall be removed from the ground. Unless approved by the department, the owners and operators of an improperly closed UST system shall close the UST system in accordance with this section and sections 280.72 to 280.74. A tank is considered improperly closed in place if removal would not cause structural damage to any building or major structure.

The use of a UST system to store a nonregulated substance is considered a change in service. Owners and operators are required to provide a 30-day notice. This notice shall be on a form provided by the department. Owners and operators or their agent shall then empty and clean the tank and piping by removing all liquid and accumulated sludge and conduct a site assessment in accordance with section 280.72.

Upon notification received, the department shall forward an approval notice to the owner or operator. The approval is valid for 6 months. If the UST system is not closed or a change in service does not occur within the 6 month period, then the owner and operator shall resubmit the notification form. Within 30 days of permanent closure or a change in service of the UST system, the owner and operator shall sign and submit an amended registration for underground storage tank form or, in place of an amended registration form required under section 280.22, an owner or operator may submit a site assessment form, signed by the owner, within 45 days of permanent closure or a change in service. See more in the DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REMEDIATION DIVISION UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK REGULATIONS


Owners and operators shall maintain the following information:
  • Documentation of operation of corrosion protection equipment (section 280.31).
  • Documentation of UST system repairs (section 280.33(f)).
  • Recent compliance with release detection requirements (section 280.45).
  • Results of the site assessment conducted at permanent closure (section 280.74).
Availability and maintenance of records. Owners and operators shall keep required records under either of the following provisions:
  • At the UST site and have the records immediately available for inspectionby the implementing agency.
  • At a readily available alternative site and provide the records for inspection to the implementing agency upon request. In the case of permanent closure or change-in- service records required under section 280.74, owners and operators are also provided with the additional alternative of mailing closure records to the department if they cannot be kept at the site or at an alternative site.