The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protects human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. We help the domestic manufacturing industry stay compliant with new EPA standards and support the sustainable manufacturing community with resources and the creation of new design tools.

Compliance Assistance Centers

The Compliance Assistance Centers (CAC) program is one of NCMS’s best-known and longest-standing initiatives. The CACs are independent, industry-specific websites that provide key environmental compliance and best management practices information to help users understand environmental regulations at both the Federal and State levels.

NCMS developed and currently manages multiple CAC and State Resource Locators (SRL). The CACs and SRLs are funded through EPA grants and other sources. Each CAC covers a key industry sector, including construction, paints and coatings, transportation, metal finishing, healthcare, and many others.

Some CACs have been online for more than 15 years, providing guidance, information, access to regulations and forms, and community for stakeholders in these sectors. Many of the NCMS CACs offer Ask-the-Expert assistance, FAQs, technical libraries, compliance assistance tools and calculators, and on-line training.

The National Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF), and the AESF Foundation launched the Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center (STERC), previously known as the National Metal Finishing Resource Center (NMFRC) in 2017.

STERC is the result of a partnership among these organizations and continued grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and provides a wealth of useful environmental compliance information to the surface finishing and surface treatment industry.  The site can be accessed at