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Underground Storage Tank (UST) Operator Training

NYS Tank Operator's Train Manual Cover Page
TankIQ -The NYS Operator Training Guide (PDF, 5.9 MB)
for Class A and B Operators is available for download.

Under federal and state law, operators of certain underground storage tank (UST) systems must be trained in how to keep the USTs in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Facilities with these tanks must register the names and authorization numbers of their Class A and Class B Operators with DEC no later than October 11, 2016. To become authorized, these Operators must be trained and must pass a DEC-administered exam that demonstrates their competence to operate these tank systems. As described below, DEC is offering the authorization exam online.

Operators will have one year to become authorized by passing the exam and then designated for specific facilities. Once authorized by DEC, facilities may designate them as the Operators for their specific facilities. Operators become designated for specific facilities by having the owner (or authorized representative) submit a registration application (or license application for MOSFs) to DEC that includes the Operator's name and authorization number (this process is treated as an information update with no fee). To emphasize, only operators of certain USTs are required to become trained and pass the DEC exam. For example, this requirement does not apply to operators of USTs storing heating oil for consumptive on-site use (e.g., underground heating oil tanks in apartment buildings).

The training and testing requirements apply to operators of USTs subject to the requirements of NYS regulations 6 NYCRR Subpart 613-2 (which are applicable to Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) and Major Oil Storage Facilities (MOSF)) and 6 NYCRR Part 596 (Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS)). These are USTs with a capacity greater than 110 gallons that are used to most commonly store a petroleum motor fuel (e.g., gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc.) or any UST used to store a hazardous substance (e.g., methanol, caustic soda, acetone, etc.) listed in Part 597.

In the past, facilities had a single, overall "operator." The regulations maintain the concept of an overall facility operator but now also includes Class A, B, and C Operators which only apply to facilities with UST systems covered by the training requirements as described above. For facilities that do not have UST systems covered by the training requirements, these facilities will continue to have a single and overall facility operator.

Class A Operators are individuals who have primary responsibility for the operation and maintenance of UST systems.

Class B Operators are individuals who have day-to-day responsibility for implementing the applicable requirements.

Class C Operators are employees having primary responsibility for addressing emergencies presented by a spill or release from an UST system.

All operators of certain UST systems (Class A, B, and C) must be trained but only Class A and Class B Operators must pass the DEC exam. One person may fulfill the roles of all three Operator types at a facility. In that case, they should take the combination Operator Class A/B exam and make sure that they understand the responsibilities of a Class C Operator. Class C Operators must be a Class A or Class B Operator or be trained and assessed under the direction of a Class A or Class B Operator. Operators may be trained as they see fit to become competent in the topics specified in the regulations. A suggested process for assessing Class C Operators is given in the DEC's "Operator Training Guide" (see below).

Training Requirements

The requirements for operator training are specified in § 613-2.5 (PBS) and § 598.12 (CBS). The applicability of the operator training requirement at MOSFs is found in 6 NYCRR 613-1.2(b).

A summary of the requirements and additional guidance for complying with the operator training requirements can be found in the DEC policy, DER-40 - Operator Training (PDF, 55 KB). A brief summary of the main requirements is as follows:

  • Tank owners and operators of existing facilities subject to the operator training requirements must designate their authorized Class A, Class B, and Class C Operators by October 11, 2016. Facility owners or their authorized representatives must identify the Class A and Class B Operators on their registration application forms and submit them to DEC (postmarked) no later than October 11, 2016. An operator or tank system owner may designate multiple Class A and/or Class B Operators but the facility owner or their authorized representative will only designate a single Class A and single Class B Operator on the facility registration/license (the "primary" operators). If the primary operators change, the facility owner/designee must update the information with DEC.
  • Class A and Class B Operators for USTs installed before September 11, 2016 must become trained, pass the DEC exam to become authorized, and be designated for specific facilities by October 11, 2016.
  • Class A and Class B Operators of USTs installed after September 11, 2016 must become trained, pass the DEC exam, and be designated for that facility within 30 days of the tank installation.
  • Any Class A or Class B Operator designated after September 11, 2016 for existing UST systems must be authorized before or no later than 30 days after being designated.
  • Class C Operators of USTs installed after October 11, 2016 must be trained and assessed prior to being designated.

Authorization Exam

To assist Class A and Class B Operators as they prepare for the DEC exam, DEC has prepared an Operator Training Guide (PDF, 6 MB) also known as "TankIQ." The exam is open book and is available online or on paper (by request to DEC). Paper exams will be scheduled by DEC, proctored, and likely held at DEC Regional Offices (depending upon the number of examinees). Examinees who do not pass the exam may retake it, but no more than a total of three times in the last six-months, including the latest attempt. Exams may not be retaken more than once every 24 hours.

  • New York State UST Operator Exam - Online Website - Create an account and take the exam online.
    (The UST Operator Exam is supported by all modern web browsers including: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 10 or greater. Google Chrome is recommended for navigating the exam.)
    (Some issues have been reported with Internet Explorer. Users should either disable "Compatibility View" - under the "Tools" tab, or try a different browser. DEC is currently working on a solution.)

  • UST Operator Exam Tutorial (PDF, 1.8 MB) - Learn how to navigate the online exam website.

States and Territories with Acceptable Operator Training Programs

If a Class A/B Operator is currently authorized by another state whose operator training program has been reviewed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and is listed on their website, they may apply for reciprocity through the DEC online exam website.

States and Territories with USEPA-Acceptable Operator Training Programs
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Georgia
Guam Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine
Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Montana Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico North Carolina
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas
Utah Vermont Virginia Virgin Islands Washington
West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Persons may also request an in-person, paper-based authorization exam by sending a request by mail:

UST Operator Training Exam
625 Broadway
Albany, NY

or by email to:

Requests must include the name, address, email address (if available), and phone number (if available) for the requestor. DEC will determine when and where to administer paper exams and will notify candidates of available dates and places depending upon the number and distribution of requests received. All paper in-person exams are proctored by DEC staff.

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