The purpose of a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) is to certify properties in order to limit the scope of or eliminate the need for investigation of or response actions addressing contaminant impacts to groundwater that has been restricted from use as potable water by ordinance/restrictive covenant.
In September 2003, the Texas Legislature amended the State of Texas Health and Safety Code to authorize Municipal Setting Designations. The MSD Legislation provided a mechanism for allowing a developer to limit or avoid conducting a cleanup of contaminated groundwater if access to the groundwater has been restricted from use as potable water by an ordinance. The intent of the legislation is to encourage redevelopment of vacant or abandoned properties while protecting the public health.
The legislation requires that a person seeking to obtain an MSD must submit an application to the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The legislation also requires that the person seeking the MSD must meet certain pre-certification requirements.
One pre-certification requirement is that the MSD application must be supported by the city council of the municipality in which the property for which the MSD is sought is located. Another pre-certification requirement is that the property for which the MSD is sought is subject to an ordinance that prohibits the use of designated groundwater from beneath the property as potable water.
The City of Wichita Falls General MSD Ordinance Article XI. - Municipal Setting Designation Sec. 106-1039 through Sec. 106-1048 establishes that program and puts the recommended regulations in place. The City Council will be required to enact an ordinance and resolution for each property for which the MSD is sought (on single or multiple properties), thereby prohibiting the use of groundwater from beneath that property.
The following forms/guides are available to assist someone that is seeking to apply for an MSD within the City of Wichita Falls.