million trained operators and a decade of enforcement later, does the mandate that should have
revolutionized underground storage tank (UST)
operational compliance really work?
If so, how do we know?
THE BACK STORY
In 2012, most state UST agencies adopted Class A, B and
C operator training rules, largely because they had to. States
needed to adopt the new federal laws or risk intervention
from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
possibly losing state program approval. Their adoption times
varied, but now, every state and U.S. territory follows UST
operator training rules.
Most people assumed mandatory operator training would
improve a program that focused on compliance through
better, smarter equipment — not necessarily better, smarter
people. Before the national training mandate, anyone with
zero experience or measurement of competency could own
and operate a UST system.