The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the nation’s leader in collaborative technology development, is pleased announce it has entered into a new partnership with the National Association of Surface Finishing (NASF) to enhance the National Metal Finishing Resource Center (NMFRC). The new partnership will allow the NMFRC, a long standing on-line resource for environmental compliance assistance for metal finishers, to grow and provide new features and content. The new relationship will provide NASF members greater and seamless access to NMFRC resources. The modernized and re-branded NMFRC was unveiled last week at NASF’s Annual Tradeshow and Conference SUR/FIN 2016.
The NMFRC (www.nmfrc.org) was established in 1995 by NCMS under a program jointly funded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has continued to grow as part of the EPA Compliance Assistance Centers Program providing environmental regulatory content and tools to assist the metal finishing industry to meet their compliance requirements at both the State and Federal level. While EPA continues to provide grant funding for NMFRC, the level has been reduced in recent years. The NASF recognized the benefit to the metal finishing industry and its members and as such, pledged to support NMFRC to ensure its sustainability. Christian Richter, NASF Executive Vice President summarized the new partnership with NCMS as a “win-win for NASF as it assures our members will continue to have a valuable one-stop resource for the latest compliance information and best practices for reducing pollution.” During the next two years, NMFRC will undergo a major renovation, including co-branding with NASF and upgrading its resources.
The NMFRC provides environmental regulatory assistance to the metal finishing industry with focus on all environmental media (air, water, waste) covering both Federal and State statutes and regulations. NMFRC also provides extensive information on pollution prevention (P2) and best management practices and training resources. Key regulatory areas covered include National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (e.g., chromium plating and anodizing), hazardous waste rules, metal finishing effluent discharge standards, and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting.
Betsy Smidinger, Acting Director for EPA’s Office of Compliance commented “EPA appreciates and values its partnership between the Compliance Assistance Centers and industry trade associations like NASF and its educational foundation, AESF. Our partnership helps assure industry-specific environmental compliance information continues to be readily available to the industry members”.
The evolution of NMFRC is underway and key changes are outlined below:
- Modernized and co-branded website to promote NASF resources, membership, events, training, announcements, news. NMFRC web traffic currently exceeds 250,000 annual visitors.
- The NMFRC Resource Library is home to more than 15 years of Plating and Surface Finishing (P&SF) searchable articles and SUR/FIN papers, as well as articles and papers from many other sources. Under the new partnership, the content of the library will be expanded to include thousands of additional articles and papers, free to NASF members and for a nominal fee to non-members.
- NMFRC has successfully operated the Ask the Expert feature for more than 15 years. Under the new partnership, NASF will establish additional technical and regulatory topics and solicit experts from their membership to participate in the Ask the Expert feature. This is an opportunity to interface with industry experts and showcase new ideas and technologies.
- NASF and NMFRC will share training products and services, and pursue Federal grants that create new resources to benefit NASF members and advance sustainable environmental practices across the metal finishing industry.
During 2016, the tasks described above will be initiated and completed, while operation of Ask the Expert feature will be ongoing. NASF members are now able to freely access the expanded NMFRC Library and the updated compliance assistance resources. “I am very excited about our partnership with NASF as it brings our two organizations together for the common good of the metal finishing industry and the environment for us all to enjoy,” says Bill Chenevert, NCMS Director, EPA Compliance Assistance Centers.