Beveridge & Diamond

Colleges & Universities

Colleges and universities face a unique set of environmental and land use challenges as they expand their campuses to meet the demands of faculty and students and strive to comply with environmental regulations governing their diverse activities.  In pursuing their core goals of providing high-quality educational instruction to their students, colleges and universities lease, purchase, and develop land, build roads and infrastructure, generate electricity, treat wastewater, generate hazardous waste, and create whole new industries and products.  These and many other activities have environmental compliance and land use permitting implications.  Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has extensive experience providing practical, usable advice to a geographically diverse set of colleges and universities – large and small, private and public – on a broad range of environmental, real estate, and land use issues.

Environmental Compliance

Our environmental attorneys have extensive experience with:

  • federal and state environmental enforcement actions,
  • permitting and compliance of water and wastewater treatment systems,
  • the handling and disposal or solid and hazardous waste,
  • permitting and compliance under the Clean Air Act,
  • the defense and prosecution of environmental contamination claims under CERCLA and state environmental statutes; and
  • regulation of nanotechnology and other new products.

Land Use, Development, and Real Estate

Our land use, development, and real estate lawyers provide expertise regarding:

  • local and state permitting for construction of new buildings and rehabilitation of previous uses,
  • federal review for environmental impacts,
  • site selection and transaction documentation,
  • public procurement,
  • negotiation and review of complex contracts with designers, contractors, and equipment suppliers,
  • green building, sustainable development, and alternative energy, and
  • special zoning benefits available to non-profit institutions.


When necessary, the Firm’s litigators stand ready to assist in pursuing the institution’s goals, whether they are defending against regulatory enforcement actions, litigating appeals of denied permits, or defending against claims of environmental contamination.

Recent Matters

For higher education clients, our lawyers have recently assisted with:

Federal Enforcement and Underground Storage Tanks.  The Firm helped a DC area university to resolve EPA allegations associated with underground storage tanks efficiently and expeditiously, while minimizing penalties, and helping the university to evaluate its related compliance.  

Disposal of Radiological and Medical Wastes.  The Firm has represented Howard University on environmental matters relating to handling and disposal of nuclear and medical waste. The Firm represented a major West Coast university on similar issues arising out of wastes generated by university laboratories.

Defense of Contamination Claims and Resolution of Liability.  The Firm successfully represented American University in an extensive investigation and clean-up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the previous use of university and adjoining property for World War I-era experiments using chemical and biological weapons, contributing to a comprehensive resolution to related liability issues.

Permitting of Cogeneration Facilities.  The Firm’s lawyers have experience with the permitting of cogeneration facilities at public universities.

Site Acquisition and Local Permitting.  The Firm is representing the foundation of a community college in the Boston suburbs in its relocation of a major technical school from a leased site to one owned and constructed by the foundation and leased to the college.

Real Estate Transactions.  The Firm is representing a major research institution in Massachusetts on real estate transactions.

Public higher education institutions benefit from our experience representing not only public universities and colleges but municipalities and the experience of many of our lawyers who have joined the Firm after working in state and federal government.  Colleges and universities benefit from our broad environmental and project development practice for a diverse set of clients, which also allows us to provide cost–effective assistance on a wide array of issues affecting colleges and universities.  Additional examples of our representation of higher education institutions are available upon request.