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Municipal Setting Designations

Provides information on municipal setting designations.

An MSD is an official state designation given to property within a municipality or its extraterritorial jurisdiction that certifies that designated groundwater at the property is not used as potable water, and is prohibited from future use as potable water because that groundwater is contaminated in excess of the applicable potable-water protective concentration level. The prohibition must be in the form of a city ordinance, or a restrictive covenant that is enforceable by the city and filed in the property records.

Authorizing Legislation

House Bill 3152, 78th Legislature, effective September 1, 2003 (see Enrolled version) Exit the TCEQ - Texas Legislature Online

House Bill 2018, 80th Legislature, effective May 25, 2007 (see Enrolled version) Exit the TCEQ - Texas Legislature Online

House Bill 2826, 82nd Legislature, effective September 1, 2011 (see Enrolled version) Exit the TCEQ - Texas Legislature Online


Chapter 361, Texas Health and Safety Code, §§361.801-808 Exit the TCEQ- Texas Constitution and Statutes, Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 361, Subchapter W


Draft rules were taken to the August 11, 2004 Commissioner's agenda for consideration for formal proposal. At the agenda, the decision was made to remand the draft rule.

Statutory Notification Requirements

Refer to this information on Statutory Notification Requirements for the Municipal Settings Designation Program.

Application Status

Check here for the status of submitted applications.

MSD Application Form

The MSD application form is available for download in portable document format (PDF). You can complete the application form electronically in Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader by mouse-clicking the applicable yes/no "radio buttons," mouse-clicking boxes in the form to "checkmark" them, and by typing in the requested information as applicable. Please follow the directions offered in the form to guide the completion and submission of the application form. Contact the Remediation Division at 512-239-2200 if you have questions.

MSD Guide for Cities

The TCEQ has published this Guide for Cities (GI-326) to introduce MSDs to city governments. This helpful information can also be used by potential applicants when approaching cities regarding a proposed MSD.

Contemplating an MSD?

If you are contemplating an MSD, here are some simple factors to consider:

  • Have you verified the property meets the eligibility criteria [THSC §361.803]?
  • Assess the likely assessment and remediation flexibility from the MSD:
    • What is the density of potable wells within ½ mile of MSD boundary?
    • Will assessment and remediation efforts be significantly different from what would be required without an MSD?
    • What are the other likely groundwater exposure pathway concerns (assessment levels and cleanup levels) and would they drive actions equivalent to those needed to address the groundwater ingestion pathway?
  • Have you discussed it with the municipality and retail public utility? Can you garner their support via ordinance and/or resolution?
  • Have you conducted the 5-mile inventory of private water wells registered with the TCEQ for notification and considered the notification of all the parties requiring notice?

A quick evaluation of these factors may help you determine if an MSD is right for you.

Web Page Updates

Would you like to receive an email when we update this web page or have announcements regarding MSDs? Refer to the instructions for signing up to the MSD listserv.