Pennsylvania UST Operator Training

UST Operator Training

UST Operator Certification Procedures

Class A/B Operator Training
PASS' Class A/B Operator Training in Pennsylvania is approved thru the Pennsylvania Division of Storage Tanks
Class C Operator Training
PASS' Class C Operator Training in Pennsylvania is accepted thru the Pennsylvania Division of Storage Tanks
Class C Operator Refresher Training
PASS' Class C Operator Refresher Training is accepted thru the Pennsylvania Division of Storage Tanks and is to be taken only if the Pennsylvania Class C Operator Training has been previously taken.

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

  1. Owners/operators must register each UST and apply for an operating permit annually by submitting a Storage Tanks Annual Registration/Permitting Application form (instructions for completing form).  Registration also requires submission of a completed Underground Storage Tank Operator Training Documentation Form.
  2. Once the application has been processed, the owner/operator will be invoiced the annual registration fee of $50 per UST.  Upon payment, the DEP will issue a Storage Tank Registration/Permit Certificate, which must be displayed at the facility.  Fuel may not be delivered to any UST which does not have a valid operating permit.
  3. Operating permits must be renewed annually by submitting a registration form and paying the registration fee.

Release Reporting

Pennsylvania regulations require that any spill, overfill, or release of 25 gallons or more must be reported to the DEP regional office within 24 hours.

Emergency Phone
Counties Supervised

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia

Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming

Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, York

570-327-3636 (24 hours)
Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union

412-442-4000 (24 hours)
Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland

812-332-6945 (800-373-3398 after hours)
Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango, Warren

Release Detection

In Pennsylvania, owners/operators may use one or a combination of the following release detection methods for tanks.
  • Tank tightness testing
  • Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG)
  • Secondary containment with interstitial monitoring**
  • Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR)**
  • Manual tank gauging*
  • Vapor monitoring**
  • Groundwater monitoring**
*In Pennsylvania, manual tank gauging along with a tightness test every 5 years may be used on tanks of 1,001-2,000 gallons until November 10, 2017.
**These methods can be used to detect leaks from both tanks and piping.

Release Prevention

  • When new spill buckets are installed, they must pass a hydrostatic test, or other approved test method, to verify they are liquid-tight before being placed into service.  Tightness testing documentation must be maintained for any spill buckets installed or repaired after November 10, 2007.
  • Ball float valves may not be used on UST systems that are equipped with suction pump systems that have an air eliminator, are equipped with coaxial stage-I vapor recovery, or receive pressurized pump deliveries.
  • As of November 10, 2007, internal tank lining is no longer an allowable method of corrosion protection in Pennsylvania.  Tanks lined prior to November 10, 2007 must be internally inspected within 10 years of the lining installation, and at least every 5 years thereafter.  Lining inspections must be conducted by an individual possessing a storage tank liner (TL) certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), or a professional engineer adhering to the evaluation standards in API (American Petroleum Institute) 1631 or NLPA (National Leak Prevention Association) 631.  These lined tanks which fail a lining inspection, or miss a required lining inspection, must be emptied, removed from service, and permanently closed.  Tanks may still be lined to serve other purposes, such as product compatibility.

Financial Responsibility

Participation in the Pennsylvania Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund (USTIF) is mandatory, unless the DEP determines that the UST is exempt.  An owner/operator has 60 days from the date of an incident to file a claim with USTIF or the owner/operator risks denial of the claim.

USTIF’s coverage limits are $1,500,000 per tank per occurrence and $1,500,000 annual aggregate.  There is also a $5,000 per tank per occurrence corrective action deductible and $5,000 per tank per occurrence third-party liability deductible.  An owner/operator may use any of the following mechanisms to satisfy the USTIF requirements:
  • Guarantee;
  • Surety bond;
  • Qualifications as a self-insurer;
  • Insurance or risk retention coverage;
  • Letter of credit;
  • Indemnity contract;
  • Trust fund;
  • Stand-by trust fund; or
  • Other method approved or deemed satisfactory by the DEP.
USTIF Fees and Billing
Depending on the substance stored in the UST or UST system, the owner/operator will pay either the capacity fee or gallon fee.
  • The capacity fee is billed to owners/operators annually in December.  USTs storing diesel, kerosene, and other substances are subject to the capacity fee.
  • The gallon fee is billed to owners/operators by the product distributor at the time of delivery.  USTs storing gasoline, gasohol, new motor oil, and other substances are subject to the gallon fee.

Inspection & Testing Requirements

  • Monthly:  Owners/operators are required to check all tanks for the presence of water (which should not exceed 2 inches) at least monthly.
  • Every Three Years:  Each active UST system in Pennsylvania must have a facility operations inspection at least once every three years.  The due date for the next operations inspection is listed on the facility’s registration/operating permit certificate.  It is the owner’s/operator’s responsibility to contract with a DEP-certified third-party inspector and schedule the inspection so that it is completed by the due date.  The inspector will inspect and evaluate system components such as tank and piping construction materials, corrosion or cathodic protection, spill and overfill protection, sumps, and release detection devices. The inspector will also review registration, release detection, and corrosion protection records. Following the operations inspection, the inspector will discuss his or her findings with the facility owner/operator or representative and submit a report to the DEP.

Delivery Prohibition/Non-Compliance Enforcement

If a DEP inspector determines that a UST or UST system is out of compliance with federal and state UST regulations, he or she will first notify the owner/operator in writing with a field order, notice of violation, notice of non-compliance, or DEP narrative form which lists the violations and provides a deadline for compliance.  If the violations have not been corrected by the deadline, the DEP may classify the UST or UST system as ineligible for delivery, deposit, or acceptance of product and issue an order prohibiting delivery through suspension or revocation of the operating permit.  Delivery prohibition status will also be listed in the DEP’s online storage tank database.

Temporary & Permanent Closure

Temporary Closure
To be considered empty, product must be removed so that no more than 1 inch remains in the UST.  Otherwise, the tank is not empty and will not be considered temporarily closed since it continues to store product. The owner/operator must also submit an amended registration form to the DEP within 30 days of closing the tank.

Permanent Closure
If a UST is temporarily closed for more than twelve months, it must be permanently closed unless the DEP approves an extension.  Prior to closing the UST, the owner/operator must:
  • Register the tank with DEP if it must be registered and has not;
  • Hire a DEP-certified installer with underground storage tank system removal (UMR) certification to perform tank handling activities;
  • Determine who will conduct the site assessment;
  • Submit an Underground Storage Tank System Closure Notification form to the DEP at least 30 days prior to closing the tank;
  • Use as much product in the tank as possible; and
  • Comply with any local ordinances regarding UST system closures.
In most cases, the tank is emptied, cleaned, and removed from the ground.  DEP discourages UST closure-in-place, where the UST is left in the ground, emptied, and then filled with an inert solid material.  However, if removing the tank is problematic or will jeopardize adjacent structures, the DEP may approve a closure-in-place.


Temporary Recordkeeping
Owners/operators must maintain current temporary records for a least one year after a tank has been removed.  These records include:
  • Current registration/permit certificate;
  • Tank and pipe release detection records for the past 12 months;
  • The last leak detection annual check/testing and maintenance records;
  • Records of the last three impressed current cathodic protection system inspection checks;
  • The last two cathodic protection surveys (conducted every three years on impressed current and galvanic systems);
  • Results of site investigation conducted at permanent closure or change in service;
  • A properly completed closure report;
  • Results of the last containment sump, dispenser pan, and spill containment tests; and
  • Documentation of operator training and current list of operators.
Permanent Recordkeeping
Records which must be maintained for the operational life of the UST system include:
  • A corrosion expert’s analysis of site corrosion potential if corrosion protection equipment is not used;
  • A corrosion expert’s design of an impressed current system or field-installed cathodic protection system;
  • Documentation of tank system installation, system modification, and tank upgrade activities;
  • Tank assessment records prior to upgrading;
  • Documentation of installation testing and commissioning reports required for corrosion protection systems;
  • Documentation of UST repairs, including those in response to a release; and
  • Documentation of department approval for a variance or alternate leak detection method.