Municipal Setting Designation Information

Municipal Setting Designation (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. 

In September 2003, the 78th Texas Legislature passed a Municipal Setting Designations (MSDs) law that relates to the potability of groundwater and the requirements for removing contaminants from groundwater. The law authorize the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to receive, process and certify MSD applications for properties with contaminated groundwater that are located in the cities or their extraterritorial jurisdiction. 

The TCEQ is responsible for the ultimate clean up requirements for any site applying for consideration for a MSD. The permanent prohibition of contaminated groundwater for potable purposes may limit the scope of groundwater investigations and may eliminate the need for groundwater response actions. However, it does not limit any liability from the responsible party or property owner nor alter any clean up requirements related to soil contamination, vapor intrusion or other means of contact with the contaminants as determined by TCEQ.



More information about MSDs is available on the TCEQ’s website at

MSD Completed

MSD Under Review 


MSD Frequently Asked Questions