National Service Center for Environmental Publications

Frequent Questions about Using the National Service Center for Environmental Publications

  • I need my document immediately. Can I get expedited shipment?
    • Yes, we can send your order FedEx or UPS, if you provide your Federal Express or United Postal Service account number at the time you place your order. You can contact NSCEP at 1-800-490-9198 between the hours of 11:00 am to 3:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday, to place your order and provide account information to an operator.
    • You can fax a copy of the order form with your account information to (301) 604-3408, 24/7.
    • Your order will be processed the first business day after receipt. Please include your phone number so that the operator can verify your account number and continue processing your request.
  • I live outside of the United States. May I still order from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications?
    • We can ship international orders but there may be some restrictions. Please expect a delay in receiving your order, as deliveries can take up to 10 weeks in some locations.
    • Please feel free to place your order electronically as described on our Ordering instructions page.
  • I added items to my private library, but when I went back to order them later, it was empty.  How did they get deleted?
    • If you did not remove entries from your private library, the most likely cause is that you are either using a different browser or on a different device. You may have also cleared your cache, which will delete the items in your list. Your list of selections is found using cookies, which are unique to a given machine and browser.
    • You may need to enable JavaScript and cookies in your browser for full functionality of the private library.
  • I placed an order for a document, but the entry is still visible in my private library.  How do I know that my order was received?
    • While one of the functions of your private library is to act like a shopping cart for online orders, it can also be used as a means of temporarily bookmarking any document, even ones that are unavailable as hardcopy.  Unlike a commercial online shopping cart, ordering a document does not remove it from your private library.
    • When ordering, upon completion of your order, you should receive a confirmation/tracking number. If you do not see the number displayed on a thank you screen, your order may not have been processed.  Please resubmit your information.
    • If you continue having difficulties, please contact NSCEP at 1-800-490-9198.
  • Can I order more than five titles or more than one of a given title?
    • By default you may order one copy each of up to five titles within a two week period.  If you have a need for multiple copies, please contact NSCEP at 1-800-490-9198 during the normal business hours of Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. EST.
  • I can't find my document in the catalog – now what?
  • I'm having problems finding documents in the electronic repository. Is there help available?
    • Please refer to the Using the Right Search page for assistance.
    • If you cannot resolve the problem and/or need more assistance, please contact NSCEP.  If you provide your email address, we will respond to your request for assistance in a timely manner.
  • How do I download or print one page or selected pages from the electronic database/repository?
    • Save and/or print individual pages via your browser.
    • Please refer to the Printing Tips page if you require assistance. For printing larger segments of a document, it is recommended that you download in “PDF” format and use the PDF reader to select the pages you wish to print. If you experience difficulties it may be because your bandwidth is insufficient. If this is the case, you may wish to print or download your document in smaller sections.
    • After reading this Frequent Questions page, if you are still experiencing problems, please contact NSCEP. You will receive a response in a timely manner, if you provide us your email address so we can respond.
  • Are there paper copies of the online documents available to order?
    • When searching the catalog, in the results list you will see an icon that represents the USPS if the document is available in hardcopy.  If you used one of the browsable lists or found the document using an outside search (Google, Bing, etc.) to go directly to a document, use the "Get a Copy" button to show what forms of the document can be delivered.  If you do not see the USPS icon, that indicates that NSCEP does not have a hardcopy version of the document.
    • Instructions are available for searching for EPA publications which are available in print
    • If the document is not available from the NSCEP, you may try contacting the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) to see if they may have it.  Note: NTIS may charge a fee to provide copies of publications.
  • What is a Publication Feed (RSS) and how do I use it?
  • Still Can't Find What You are Looking For?
    • Try Searching EPA National Library Catalog.  If a publication is owned by one of EPA's libraries, the library catalog record will contain that information.  In the field labeled “Holdings,” there will be a four-letter code that represents the owner library. The name of the library is also written out below the holdings information.
    • EPA staff may check items out from their local EPA library, or request a publication via Interlibrary Loan from another EPA library. Members of the public can request publications via Interlibrary Loan by working with a public, university, government or corporate library in their area.
    • Contacting the NSCEP Help Desk/Order Desk: If you experience difficulty in using the search functions or in locating documents that you seek, you may also wish to contact the help desk at: 1-800-490-9198.
  • How can I link to EPA Publications in NSCEP?
    • Once you have located the document page for the document you wish to link to, click on the "I" icon on the far right of the control bar. This allows you to get the URL for the document.
      screen shot of the nepis document page, with the information icon highlighted.
    • From the box, copy the Short URL. Use this URL to link to the document. The correct direct URL for this example would be:
      A screen shot of the information box for NSCEP, highlighting the short URL