50-State Construction Licensing Compliance Guide
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Underground Storage Tank Business License

UST businesses are heavily regulated at the state and federal levels. Learn how to maintain compliance as an underground storage tank business.

Underground Storage Tank Regulations

Underground storage tank (UST) businesses are a part of the heavily-regulated construction industry. In 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced updated federal underground storage tank regulations, with compliance mandated by 2018. UST businesses include gas stations, convenience stores, and other non-retail facilities.

In an effort to ensure compliance, many states implemented a State Program Approval (SPA) designation that allows them to act as a regulatory authority, so long as state regulations meet or exceed federal regulations. UST operators in states without approved programs are required to follow federal and state requirements.

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UST Training Requirements

In order to ensure underground storage tank businesses operate safely and efficiently, there are minimum training requirements and options for operators. The EPA offers three operator categories: Class A, B, and C. All exams must be passed with at least 80% proficiency regardless of class. Class A and Class B operators must be trained within 30 days of assuming duties. Class C operators must be trained before assuming responsibilities.

Class A Operators

At a minimum, Class A operators must have the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding the operation, maintenance, and recordkeeping requirements for UST systems. Designated Class A operators must pass a comparable examination that examines proficiency in the following areas:

  • Corrosion protection
  • Emergency response
  • Environmental and regulatory consequences of releases
  • Financial responsibility
  • Notification and storage tank registration
  • Product and equipment compatibility and demonstration
  • Related reporting, recordkeeping, testing, and inspections
  • Release detection
  • Spill and overfill prevention
  • Temporary and permanent closure
  • Training requirements for Class B and Class C operators

Class B Operators

Class B operators must have the knowledge and skills to implement applicable UST regulatory requirements on standard UST systems and site-specific equipment at UST facilities. Designated Class B operators must pass a comparable examination that examines proficiency in the following areas:

  • Operation and maintenance
  • Spill and overfill prevention
  • Release detection and related reporting
  • Corrosion protection
  • Emergency response
  • Product and equipment compatibility and demonstration
  • Reporting, recordkeeping, testing, and inspections
  • Environmental and regulatory consequences of releases
  • Training requirements for Class C operators

Class C Operators

Class C operators must either be trained as a Class A or Class B operator, complete a training program, or pass a comparable exam. If a training course is chosen, it must teach or evaluate the Class C operator’s knowledge regarding response to emergencies or alarms caused by spills or releases from UST systems.

Running a UST Business

As with any business, a strong business plan will lay the foundation for the growth of your underground storage tank business. Business plans address a wide range of matters, including entity type, location, financials, and licensure needs. Many UST businesses grow quickly through franchising. Operating in more than one state means being aware of all requirements in those states to ensure you remain in compliance. No matter where you start or expand your business, you will need to register your business with the secretary of state and follow EPA guidelines.

Licensing requirements for underground storage tank businesses vary by state. It is essential to verify the process in your state to ensure you are prepared every step of the way. You will likely need to gather all relevant documentation, including financial statements, proof of a commercial activity license, a business plan, and more. You will also need to appoint a registered agent to receive notices of lawsuits and other legal or government notices. To manage those tasks more efficiently, Harbor Compliance offers licensing management software and managed services to help simplify the application process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your business.

Maintenance and Renewal

Most states and cities require licenses to be renewed on an annual or biennial basis. Renewal ensures your business complies with all state and local regulations. Renewal fees vary, so it is a good idea to be aware of what you may owe to keep your business in good standing.

If you are currently operating an underground storage tank business and are looking to outsource your maintenance and renewal duties, Harbor Compliance can help. We are available to review your business status, ensure you can operate uninterrupted, and explain what steps you need to take in order to ensure you remain compliant with state and federal regulations.

Explore Licensing by State

Click on a link below to view licensing information in your state.

**States that have State Program Approval

Meeting the underground storage tank business license requirements is not always an easy process. Fortunately, Harbor Compliance’s License Manager helps firms maintain their licenses by automating repetitive tasks such as tracking renewals and compliance deadlines. Through License Manager, you can also access LicenseIQ™ – our extensive, proprietary database of nationwide licensing requirements – to research the requirements for the states in which you work. Contact out licensing experts today to learn more.

Associated General Contractors of America
Professional association providing advocacy and organization for construction firms and workers.

National Association of Home Builders
National association for the promotion of the housing industry.

National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
National organization that represents and promotes the interests of state level contractor licensing agencies.