Colorado Training Latest in PASS Lineup to be Approved

Posted by - Course Updates

Colorado’s A/B Operator UST Training has been approved by the state as new Federal EPA regulations go into effect Oct. 13. 2018.

The federal EPA UST regulations were updated in 2015 and states were given three years to revise their regulations to meet EPA standards at a minimum. Many added their own new regulations as well.

PASS has been working for several months with individual states to merge the federal and state regulations.

View the Updated Course in our Marketplace →

Mississippi Training Updated for A/B Operators

Posted by - Course Updates

The state of Mississippi has approved the PASS training for A/B operators effective immediately. In Mississippi A/B operators are “Compliance Managers,” and C operators, “Clerks,” but for the purpose of the training they are designated A/B operators and C operators

Due to new EPA Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations, which go into effective Oct. 13, 2018, all states had to update their regulations to conform to federal regulations at a minimum. Many states, including Mississippi, took this opportunity to update their own regulations also.

Mississippi’s PASS Training is current and ready to be accessed for Mississippi A/B Operators, and you can view our entry on the approved courses list here.

The Mississippi training contains both state and federal regulations. Those taking the test will be certified after they pass the training and that certification will be available online to be printed out. This certification will be recognized by the state of Mississippi.

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Our Updated Class A/B UST Operator Training is Live in Hawaii

Posted by - Course Updates, PASS Training

Hawaii State Seal

PASS is pleased to announce that our newly updated Class A/B UST operator training course has been approved in Hawaii. Our course covers all of the federal regulations and has been customized to address Hawaii’s specific requirements.   If your company has facilities in Hawaii keep PASS in mind for your UST operator training needs. !!!

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The EPA has Rules to Prevent AST Spills in Navigable Waters and Shorelines

Posted by - Regulatory Updates

EPAWhat is Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Rule better known as SPCC, and do I have to have one for my above ground storage tank? The short answer is yes!

Briefly, the SPCC purpose is to prevent the release of hazardous liquid, including petroleum, into navigable waters and shorelines. The EPA’s SPCC rule’s goal is also to protect public health and the environment. Additionally, it helps owners and operators avoid costly cleanup, which can run into the millions of dollars.

The SPCC regulation requires facilities to develop and implement SPCC Plans.  It also establishes procedures, methods and equipment requirements:

  • Preventing
  • Preparing
  • Responding to oil discharges at specific non-transportation related facilities

Individual SPCC plans must follow engineering practices and be certified by a professional engineer. In some cases, the facility owner or operator can self-certify.

There is an SPCC aggregate capacity rule that also applies.

The total aggregate capacity of AST containers under SPCC must be greater than 1,320 gallons of petroleum. The exceptions include containers of less than 55 gallons, permanently closed containers, motive power containers, or storage containers used exclusively for wastewater treatment.  (A motive power container is an onboard bulk storage container used to power a motor vehicle, or ancillary onboard oil-filled operational equipment.)

In some states, SPCC is just one level of AST compliance. For example, some states have adopted the Steel Tank Institute’s Standard Practice SP001, which helps comply with EPA mandates. SP001 is a valuable resource even if individual state regulators do not require it.

The EPA also reserves the right to regulate AST holding oils of any kind, per verbiage in the EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Regulation (40 CFR Part 112).

Also, “the SPCC regulation does not specifically use the term AST, but rather includes ASTs under the term bulk storage container,” according to the EPA.

The EPA has created a page on their website called Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations to define actions are needed, along with this guide/companion site.

New Training Offerings in Four States – Off-Premises Alcohol Seller Training

Posted by - Course Updates, PASS Training

Off-Premises Alcohol Seller Training

Today we are excited to begin offering additional Learn2Serve off-premises alcohol seller training in conjunction with, a cloud-based employee training/certification company based in Austin, TX. The latest courses added to our catalog cover:

These courses teach individuals how to protect themselves and their businesses from liability; how alcohol negatively affects customers and how to prevent intoxication; how to refuse a sale; how to prevent and handle disturbances; how to check IDs and identify minors; and how to avoid second-party sales.

Upon completion of this course and passage of the final exam, a certificate of training will be available to print.

For Louisiana, the training and exam are specifically approved and targeted for Louisiana. The end results will be to receive a Lousiana Bar Card by completing the training AND passing the exam. After completing training, Louisiana candidates will receive a code to unlock the exam.

To get started with one of these courses check out our training marketplace.

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EPA UST Walkthrough Inspection Guidelines

Posted by - PASS Tools, Regulatory Updates

EPA UST Walkthrough Inspection GuidelinesOne of the major changes in the EPA 2015 rules are requirements for UST owners/operators to perform and log monthly walkthrough inspections, and to maintain those logs for at least one year. Previously, some states only required quarterly or annual inspections, but now all states must require monthly inspections. Let’s take a moment to run through some of the new requirements.

Spill Prevention Equipment

  • Check for damage
  • Remove liquid or debris
  • Remove obstructions in the fill pipe
  • Check the fill cap to make sure it is secure
  • Check containment sumps annually
  • Check for leaks in the interstitial area of any double-walled spill prevention equipment

Release Detection Equipment

  • Ensure it is operating with no alarms or other unusual operating conditions
  • Ensure records of release detection testing are reviewed and current

Containment Sumps

  • Check for damage, leaks into the containment area, or to the environment
  • Remove any liquid or debris
  • Double walled containment sumps with interstitial monitoring
  • Check for a leak in the interstitial area

Handheld Release Detection Equipment

Examples of such equipment would be tank gauge sticks or groundwater bailers. These items should be checked for operability and serviceability.

Airport Hydrant Systems

In addition, owners and operators must inspect airport hydrant systems at least once every 30 days. If confined space entry according to the OSHA is not required monthly but may be required annually.

  • Hydrant pits – Check for damage; remove liquid or debris; check for leaks
  • Hydrant piping vaults – Check for hydrant piping leaks


Owners and operators must maintain the most recent year’s walkthrough inspection records, including:

  • a list of each area checked
  • whether acceptable or needed action taken
  • a description of actions taken to correct issues
  • delivery records if spill prevention equipment is checked less frequently than every 30 days due to infrequent deliveries

If this seems like a daunting task, we can help. Contact us to learn more about PASS Tools, our inspection and compliance management platform.


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Hawaiian USTs and Volcanoes

Posted by - UST Operator Training

Hawaiian Volcano

Currently, there are no Underground Storage Tank (UST) facilities in the path of the fissures and lava flows from the Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Kilauea erupted on May 3 resulting in several homes and businesses being destroyed, and more than 2,000 residents evacuated as fissures and lava flows continue to move further into the island. Earthquakes and aftershocks continue to rock the island.

According to a Hawaiian official, who oversees USTs in the island, the situation is “constantly changing but at last look, it was about five miles away (from the nearest UST facility).

“Years ago, lava was moving closer to a Pahala gas station. The owners/operators were asked to empty their tanks at that time but luckily that particular lava run did stop progressing towards that location.”

If the lava-flow advances, the department advises:

  • Remove/pump out remaining gasoline, diesel or other petroleum products from underground storage tanks.  Store in movable containers such as drums, tote tanks or tankers.
  • Once the tanks are emptied they must be properly vented and capped
  • Check with local distributors to see if they will accept the products for resale
  • While the tanks are empty, release detection is not required.

Hawaiian officials are protective of their unique environment. Beginning in 2045 no UST facilities can be constructed within 100 yards of the shoreline. Existing USTs in this zone will still be permitted and operate.

PASS Trainings are Being Updated to Comply With New EPA and State Regulations

Posted by - Course Updates, General, PASS Training

PASS Training and Compliance is in the process of integrating new individual state Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations with updated EPA rules. EPA rules, adopted in 2015, go into effect Oct. 13, 2018.  Individual states have completed their updates or are in the process.

EPA rules stipulate that states must, at a minimum, comply with federal regulations. Many states have more stringent rules than the EPA. Several states, such as Illinois, had regulations in place that already comply with the new EPA rules.

In most states, current certifications and those issued in the interim are honored until new testing is in place then the certifications are valid until retraining is mandated or there is a violation. Check with state regulators if unsure.

PASS training structure is simple and easy to follow. The test is straightforward, with questions designed to enforce important information

EPA rules are the backbone of PASS training, with state-specific information inserted in each training. Every PASS chapter also contains questions specific to both federal and local regulations. The test also includes state-specific forms and information available to print out and use.

State regulators review PASS training, and either approve or suggest edits.

PASS tests offer convenience because they are online 24/7 and afford test-takers the ability to take the test at any location they choose. After taking and completing PASS Training, test takers are issued a certificate that meets state requirements.

In addition to the inexpensive tests for A/B owner and operators, PASS has a comprehensive training for C operators with specific information about the basics of a facility, and how to respond to emergencies. This training also includes certification.

For further information about PASS Training, check out our Training Marketplace.

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TotalSIR for Leak Detection Compliance

Posted by - PASS Tools, TotalSIR

PASS Training & Compliance is recommending SIR as a backup system to reach compliance, according to Steve Roy, TotalSir. “If you want consistent and low-cost leak detection, SIR as a secondary reporting system is the way to go.”

It cuts across state lines for companies that are in several geographic regions and is a reliable source of reporting, Raymond Rees, PASS COO, said.

Federal and state regulations require that all underground tanks meet monthly monitoring requirements. Ninety-nine percent of all tank owners meet requirements in one of two ways:

  • Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG)
  • Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR)

ATG’s monitor tanks, and sometimes fuel lines.  This system conducts tests during the month to determine if the tank is leaking. There are a number of factors that can lead an ATG fail, an, are costly. Low-volume in a high throughput probe malfunction is one example.

SIR programs analyze monthly inventory data to find leaks or losses in the fuel delivery system or through the dispenser. The most common reason for a SIR to fail is poor inventory reporting. Accurate inventory is essential, and easy to do.

Why use SIR as Primary Compliance?

 A large number of multi-site C-store chains choose SIR as their leak detection method, for multiple reasons:

  • Uniform Compliance: Stores have various brands/models of ATG’s. SIR gives these companies a uniform compliance program.
  • Low Cost: SIR requires no capital investment with service provided at a low monthly fee
  • No extra work required: SIR use inventory data already available.
  • ATG’s fail monthly leak detection without notice. SIR has no moving parts that can fail and only requires reliable inventory data.
  • SIR tracks fuel from delivery to the dispenser, alerting management to leaks and losses, which can occur from meter drift, blenders settings, theft, or short deliveries.

SIR for backup Leak Detection Compliance

 For those who want to use ATG for primary leak detection, TotalSIR can serve as a backup.

  • If your ATG fails, many states allow a passing SIR report to be submitted in lieu of a tank tightness test, saving time and money.
  • Since SIR tracks fuel from delivery to the dispenser, it alerts management to leaks and losses.
  • Having a backup demonstrates to insurance companies, government regulators, your commitment to protecting the environment.
  • It makes sense to have low -cost backup.

PASS is partnering up with TotalSir to include SIR in PASS Tools. Interested in more information contact PASS

What is EPA UST SPA Approval and What Does it Mean?

Posted by - General, Regulatory Updates

State Program Approval (SPA) is a difficult concept at first. But is not so hard once you wrap your head around it.  Simply, SPA-approved states, take the lead. Non-SPA states rely on the EPA.

SPA is vitally important now because of revised federal and state rules going into effect this fall.  Underground Storage Tank (UST) owners and operators need to know what SPA means and how it impacts their state regulations and ultimately their facility.

From the EPA’s website: “The state program approval (SPA) regulations set criteria for states to obtain the authority to operate in lieu of the federal program. State programs must be at least as stringent as EPA’s.”

States that have applied for and received federal SPA status will not have conflicting regulations. Once the state program is approved by the EPA, the state’s regulatory body has the lead role in UST program enforcement. In states without SPA approval, states work with the EPA on enforcement.

By law, all states and commonwealths, plus the District of Columbia, must have UST leak prevention and release detection regulations, spill response and cleanup programs, and an enforcement agency.

In states without SPA status, the state has a grant or cooperative agreements with the EPA. The state program is designated as the implementing regulatory body. While federal and state regulations apply in states without SPA, state regulations are generally just as stringent as, and often more stringent than EPA’s regulations.

So what does that mean for you concerning your state and the October deadline?

Basically, it allows enforcement deadlines to change. For example, the monthly inspection requirement can be pushed back to 2020 opposed to this October.

How do you know if this is going on in your state?

The EPA has created a list of entities with SPA status, which are the majority. However, most have to reapply for SPA status due to new 2015 regulations, and they have three years to complete their application as of October 2018.  You can view the EPA’s list here, or for those more visually inclined, here is a SPA map:

EPA UST SPA Approval MapIf you need more information concerning your state or the guidelines contact your regulatory agency.

PASS UST operator training has these details for each state included in our training. Also remember, that PASS Tools is a complete UST compliance management software that to help navigate these waters.


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