National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Institute of Standards and Technology (US Agency)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The National Institute of Standards and Technology was founded in 1901 as the nation’s first federal physical science research laboratory. Over the years, the scientists and technical staff at National Institute of Standards and Technology have made solid contributions to image processing, DNA diagnostic “chips,” smoke detectors, and automated error-correcting software for machine tools. Just a few of the other areas in which the National Institute of Standards and Technology has had major impact include atomic clocks, X-ray standards for mammography, scanning tunneling microscopy, pollution-control technology, and high-speed dental drills.

IST carries out its mission in four cooperative programs:

the NIST Laboratories, conducting research that advances the nation’s technology infrastructure and is needed by U.S. industry to continually improve products and services;

the Baldrige National Quality Program, which promotes performance excellence among U.S. manufacturers, service companies, educational institutions, health care providers, and nonprofit organizations; conducts outreach programs and manages the annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes performance excellence and quality achievement;

the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of local centers offering technical and business assistance to smaller manufacturers; and

the Technology Innovation Program, which is planned to provide cost-shared awards to industry, universities and consortia for research on potentially revolutionary technologies that address critical national and societal needs. (Note: This is a newly created program that has been authorized by Congress.)

Between 1990 and 2007, NIST also managed the Advanced Technology Program.


NIST’s FY 2008 resources total $931.5 million, including $673.6 million in appropriations for its four major programs, $127.4 million from other agencies, $48.3 million in service fees, and $82.2 million in congressionally directed projects and construction grants.

NIST’s appropriations in Fiscal Year 2008 for its four major programs is $673.6 million:

$439.6 million for Scientific and Technical Research (STRS) in the NIST Laboratories and Baldrige National Quality Program;
$89.6 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP);
$65.2 million for the Technology Innovation Program (TIP).
$79.2 million for construction and major renovation and repair of NIST facilities (CRF).
In addition, NIST’s FY 2008 appropriations include another:

$893,000 for a congressionally directed project funded under the STRS account, and
$51.3 million for congressionally directed construction projects and another $30 million for a construction grant program — both in NIST’S Construction and Research Facilities account.
NIST also expects to receive about $48.3 million in fees for reimbursable services such as calibrations, measurement standards, and laboratory accreditation. Other federal agencies support an estimated $127.4 million of research in the NIST Laboratories during FY 2008.

Total NIST resources in FY 2008, including all above amounts, is estimated at $931.5 million.


NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST’s mission is carried out primarily through the operation of facilities in two locations: Gaithersburg, Maryland (234-hectare/578-acre site) and Boulder, Colorado, (84-hectare/208-acre site). NIST employs about 3,000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrative personnel. About 1,800 NIST associates complement the staff.

NIST has a history of implementing safe and effective environmental practices and innovative environmental technologies. We are committed to protecting human health and natural resources.

NIST will:

Comply with applicable environmental laws, regulations and other requirements,

Provide sound stewardship of our environmental resources,

Promote the use of safe technologies and operation practices that minimize our impact to the environment,

Respond immediately to emergencies and minimize any adverse impacts,

Continually improve our environmental performance through procedures established in the NIST Environmental Management System (EMS),

Set environmental objectives and target goals, and measure our progress to these goals,

Take corrective actions following procedures established in the NIST EMS,

Implement an effective pollution prevention program (minimize the generation of wastes, reduce and recycle materials, investigate and evaluate new practices and procedures and dispose of wastes in an environmentally responsible manner), and

Ensure the responsible use of energy and water throughout NIST by implementing innovative practices and procedures for conservation.
It is incumbent upon all NIST personnel, associates and contractors to assess their own roles and responsibilities and fulfill the obligations set forth in this environmental policy statement to the utmost of their abilities. This policy is supported by all members of the NIST Senior Management Board. It will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

NIST Environmental Management System: Significant Aspects

Mercury Reduction

Objective: Reduce the quantity of mercury used at the Gaithersburg and Boulder Campuses, and consequently, reduce the potential for mercury spills.


Develop and implement management procedures to minimize the purchase of new mercury containing equipment.
Encourage turn in and replacement of existing mercury containing equipment.
Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Objective: Reduce the discharge of sediment/pollutants into the NIST storm water conveyance systems. Meet the NIST Phase II Stormwater NPDES Permit requirements.


Conduct Personnel Education and Outreach Efforts regarding stormwater issues.
Include NIST in local Public Participation events in the surrounding communities.
Establish a program to Monitor Discharges to the NIST stormwater systems.
Continue the current Construction Site Runoff Control Program at NIST.
Continue the current Post-Construction Runoff Control Program for all future construction projects at NIST.
Develop site specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for operations at NIST that have potential impacts to stormwater runoff.
Chemical Inventory

Objective: Update and improve the comprehensive chemical inventory system throughout NIST Gaithersburg.


Work with Division Safety Representatives to improve the chemical inventory system at NIST.
Minimize chemical purchases and waste disposal by improving NIST researcher’s access to the comprehensive chemical inventory at NIST Gaithersburg and encouraging the use of existing stock.





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