UST “Training Plus” Requirements

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has adopted changes to the Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations that will go into effect on May 8, 2004. The changes will amend sections 2611, 2630, 2635, 2636, 2636.1, 2637, 2641, 2643, and 2712, and add sections 2631.1, 2638, and 2715 in Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). Changes include requirements for:

  1. Certification of:  1) individuals who are responsible for certain activities at an UST facility (defined as “designated UST operators”), 2) individuals who conduct UST facility compliance inspections, 3) individuals who install UST systems or components, and 4) individuals who install, calibrate, test, and maintain monitoring equipment (defined as “service technicians”). For summary of existing and new training/certifications requirements, click here.
  2. Owners of UST systems to sign a written statement and submitted to the local agency stating that their facility is in compliance with all regulatory and statutory requirements and identifying the facility's designated UST operator.
  3. Visual inspection and facility employee training performed by the Designated UST Operators.
  4. Monitoring of all doubled-walled pressurized piping with automatic line leak detectors. An alternative to the 0.1 gallon per hour (gph) annual line test has also been provided. For summary of the monitoring options for doubled-walled pressurized piping, click here.
  5. Submittal of product compatibility and permeability information to the SWRCB or the local regulatory agency, upon request. This new requirement applies only: (1) to UST system components installed on or after July 1, 2004; and (2) if compatibility and permeability testing is required by the industry code or engineering standard used to evaluate the component.

The following is a brief explanation of the UST training requirements for owners/operators, designated UST operators, service technicians, installers, and inspectors.


UST OWNER/OPERATOR - [CCR, title 23, section 2715(a)]

The UST “owner” must:

Submit a signed statement to the local agency by January 1, 2005, which includes:

  • Owner understands and is in compliance with all applicable UST requirements.
  • Owner notifies the local agency of the Designated UST Operator for each facility owned. The owner shall notify the local agency of any change of designated UST operator(s) no later than 30 days after the change. For more information on the job duties of a designated UST operator, and who may qualify, read the designated UST operator section below.

On and after October 1 ,2018, the UST “owner” or “operator” must:

  • Submit the Statement of Understanding and Compliance Form to the local agency through the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) within 30 days of installing a UST or the change of the individual that previously signed the statement submitted to CERS.
  • Submit the Designated Underground Storage Tank Operator Identification Form to the local agency through CERS notify the local agency of the Designated UST Operator for each facility owned or operated within 30 days of installing a UST or the change of a UST owner or operator or designated UST operator, as applicable.

For more information on the job duties of a designated UST operator, and who may qualify, read the designated UST operator section below.

DESIGNATED UST OPERATOR - [CCR, title 23, section 2715(b) – (c) & 2716(a)]

Designated UST Operator” means one or more individuals designated by the UST owner to have responsibilities for training facility employees and conducting a visual inspection at the UST facility. The “designated UST operator” must:

  • Posses a current “California UST System Operator” certification issued by the International Code Council (ICC) by January 1, 2005. Certification must be renewed every 24 months.
  • Provide on-the-job training for facility employee(s). Initial training is required by July 1, 2005. Facility employees hired on or after July 1, 2005 must complete initial training within 30 days from their date of hire. On and after October 1, 2018, facility employees must complete initial training before assuming the duties of a facility employee.
  • Perform monthly visual inspections and record results on an inspection report, which must be provided to the owner/operator.  On and after October 1, 2018, visual inspections must be performed at least once every 30 days and the results on the inspection must be recorded on the “Designated Underground Storage Tank Operator Visual Inspection Report,” which must be provided to the owner/operator.

Who can serve as a Designated UST Operator?

Persons wishing to act as a Designated UST Operator are required to possess a current California UST System Operator certificate. In addition, it is the responsibility of any person wishing to act as a Designated UST Operator to ensure that they comply with other applicable state, federal or local requirements. The Designated UST Operator could be the facility owner, operator, employee, service technician, or a third party.

How many UST facilities can an individual be the Designated UST Operator for?

There is no restriction on the number of facilities an individual can be the Designated UST Operator for. However, the Designated UST Operator must be able to perform the required tasks on the timelines specified in regulations.

FACILITY EMPLOYEE - [CCR, title 23, section 2715(c)]

“Facility employee” means an individual who is employed on-site at an UST facility, and who may be called upon to respond to spills, overfills, or other problems associated with the operation of the UST system. A “Facility employee” must:

  • Complete on-the-job training provided by the Designated UST Operator by July 1, 2005, and every twelve months thereafter. On and after October 1, 2018, facility employees must complete initial training before assuming the duties of a facility employee and every twelve months thereafter.  The initial training must be conducted using practical demonstrations that provides both sharing information and evaluating knowledge. The training for facility employee must be site specific and include, but is not limited to:
    • The operation of the UST system in a manner consistent with the facility’s best management practices.
    • The facility employee’s role with regard to the monitoring equipment as specified in the facility’s monitoring plan.
    • The facility employee’s role with regard to spills and overfills as specified in the facility’s response plan.
    • The name of the contact person(s) for emergencies and monitoring equipment alarms.
  • On and after October 1, 2018, facility employee training must be recorded on the Facility Employee Training Certificate.
UST SERVICE TECHNICIAN - [CCR, title 23, section 2715(f)]

Service technician” means any individual who installs or tests monitoring equipment, or provide maintenance, service, system programming or diagnostics, calibration, or trouble-shooting for UST system components. The UST “service technician” must:

  • Possess a current Tank Testers License or appropriate Contractors State License Board (CSLB) license.
  • Possess or work under the direct and personal supervision of an individual physically present at the work site who possesses a current “California UST Service Technician” certification issued by the ICC by July 1, 2005. Certification must be renewed every 24 months.
  • Obtain manufacture training and certification. Re-certification is required at the time interval recommended by the manufacturer, or every 36 months, whichever is shorter.
    • For secondary containment testing, this training should be provided by the developer of the testing equipment or test method being used, or through the manufacturer of the secondary containment component being tested.
    • For annual monitoring system certification, this training should be provided by the monitoring equipment manufacturer.
  • On and after October 1 ,2018:
    • For spill container testing this training should be provided by the developer of the testing equipment or test method being used, or through the manufacturer of the spill container being tested.
    • For overfill prevention equipment inspections this training should be provided by the developer of the inspection method being used, or through the manufacturer of the overfill prevention equipment being inspected.
  • In the event that no training or certification is provided by the manufacturer of the tested or inspected equipment, the developer of the testing equipment, or the developer of the test or inspection method, the local agency may approve comparable alternate training or certification.
UST INSTALLER - [CCR, title 23, section 2715(g)]

“Installer” means any person installing UST systems or components. The UST “installer” must:

New Requirement:

Possess or work under the direct and personal supervision of an individual physically present at the work site who possesses a current “UST Installation/Retrofitting” certification issued by the ICC by January 1, 2005. Certification must be renewed every 24 months.

Existing Requirement:

  • Possess the appropriate current CSLB license.
  • Obtain or work under the direct and personal supervision of an individual physically present at the work site that has obtained a certificate(s) of training from the manufacturer(s) of the UST system component(s) being installed. Re-certification is required at the time interval recommended by the manufacturer, or every 36 months, whichever is shorter.

Note: Installers must meet the service technician requirements to perform secondary containment testing or annual monitoring system certification.

UST INSPECTOR - [CCR, title 23, section 2715(j)]

“Inspector” means a local agency inspector or special inspector who conducts UST inspections. The UST “inspector” must:

  • Possess a current ICC “California UST Inspector” certification by September 1, 2005. Certification must be renewed every 24 months, by either passing the “ICC California UST Inspector” exam or satisfying equivalent criteria as approved by the SWRCB UST Program Manager. 

UST inspectors hired on or after September 1, 2005 must possess a current ICC “California UST Inspector” certification within 180 days from their date of hire.