Facility Description

April 2022


In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Amherst College Environmental Health & Safety Committee, Amherst College has made a commitment to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students and visitors, the community and our environment. In order to facilitate our objectives, Amherst College has promulgated plans, policies and standard operating guidelines that are designed to lessen the harmful impact on the environment, improve ecosystem awareness and further our commitment to recycling and waste reduction.


The Facility Description, required by the Environmental Protection Agency is a brief overview of our campus including: the number of buildings, faculty, staff and students, our physical location within the Town of Amherst, our emergency response agencies, bordering wetlands, types of fuels and other similar information that could have an impact on the environment.


The Amherst College commitment to protecting the health and safety of our community and the environment is applicable to everyone on the campus, including our faculty, staff, students, visitors and outside contractors. The College, under the direction of the President, has instituted a “Zero Tolerance” policy when it comes to environmental damage or the possibility of. It is the responsibility of each and every Amherst College faculty, staff, student, outside contractor, and visitor to follow the policies, plans and standard operating guidelines of the campus in order to protect the health and safety of the community and the environment.

Facility Description:

Amherst College is a four year liberal arts college that is located in Amherst, Massachusetts in Hampshire County at the intersections of Route 9 and 116. The college has approximately 180 buildings on site which include academic facilities, dormitories and private residences that are rented or were recently purchased by college faculty and staff. The buildings on campus are maintained by the Physical Plant which is located at 6 East Drive, just off College St. (Route 9), immediately across the intersection from Dickinson St.

Most of Amherst College sits on a hill that peaks at the intersection of Northampton Rd and College Street (Route 9) and South Pleasant Street (Route 116). At this location, College Hall stands approximately 327 feet above sea level with a view of the towns of Amherst, Hadley, Northampton and the Holyoke Mountain Range to the South. The College is bordered to the North by the Center of Amherst, to the South by Conservation Land and a bird sanctuary, to the East by Fearing Brook and Fort River and to the West by University Drive. Just behind the Physical Plant building, the College is divided by railroad tracks that separate the campus chiller and heating plants from the rest of the college buildings. Each day freight and passenger trains pass behind the Physical Plant with wide ranging cargo that may include general freight, chemicals and wood. The Amtrak train carries passengers through at least twice per day.

The core of the campus has several academic and administrative buildings such as Johnson Chapel, Pratt Museum, Life and Merrill Sciences, Frost Library, the Alumni Gym Complex, the Valentine Dining Facility as well as some of the residential halls. The outer perimeter of the college houses additional students in dormitories and some of the faculty and staff in houses and apartments.

Additionally, off-site, Amherst College has acquired and renovated a former military bunker that was purchased from another holder. The “Bunker” is the site for the Five College Book Depository, the collaboration of all five local institutions. The “Bunker” is located at 100 Military Rd, off Route 116, across from the Notch Visitor’s Center, approximately one mile south of Atkin’s Market at the intersection of Bay Road and Route 116 In Amherst. Amherst College is also responsible (in part) for the Folger Library in Washington D.C.

Amherst College has a yearly attendance of approximately 1,600 students with faculty and staff support that numbers in the order of 400. Academic departments at the college include programs such as; Anthropology, Art, Astronomy, Athletics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English, Fine Arts, Geology, Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, Math, Physics, Psychology, Religion and Theater and Dance. The College is overseen by a Board of Trustees, College President, a Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, Treasurer and other appropriate personnel common to any other similar size institution.