Municipal Settings Designation
Jennifer Clancey, Program Manager
City of Houston MSD Application
MSDs prohibit the use of impaired shallow groundwater as potable water. In the City's ordinance, potable water is defined as, water that is used for irrigation, production of food or drink products intended for human consumption, drinking, showering, bathing or cooking purposes. An MSD does not remove any liability from the property owner, nor does it shift any liability to the City.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature authorized the creation of MSDs, which would designate an area in which the use of contaminated groundwater is prohibited from use as potable water. The law is administered by TCEQ. The intent of the legislation is to encourage redevelopment of vacant or abandoned properties while protecting the public health.
On August 22, 2007, City Council approved an Ordinance amending Chapter 47 of the Code of Ordinances by adding Article XIII relating to groundwater, which will provide a process for supporting or not supporting a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) application to the State. The City's program becomes effective November 1, 2007.
General Site Eligibility:
- The plume is stable (i.e. no change) or decreasing in concentration
- The plume is delineated to the GWGWing PCL
- The site has been enrolled in a state or federal cleanup program
- The site has been thoroughly investigated with sufficient data
- The source of contamination has been removed
You can view the City's MSD sites in the Geographic Information and Management System (GIMS) mapping tool. Click on the map graphic above which will take you to the GIMS website. Under the layer button in the GIMS toolbar (far right icon) click on the Environmental layer and select Municipal Settings Designation and all the City's MSD sites will show in a light red. For status information on the City's MSD sites, you can click on either of the first two links under "Information" below. The fist is a pdf citywide map of the status of all the sites, and the second is an excel spreadsheet with information regarding all the sites.
- MSD Site Status Map
- MSD Site Status
- MSD Site Shapefiles
- Public Water Supply Serviceability Policy Statement
- Fee Schedule
- Certified Mail Spreadsheet Template
- Regular Mail Spreadsheet Template
- City Ordinance
- Ordinance Amendment
- Webinar: Houston MSD Update 3/28/12
- Resolutions of Support Application
- City of Houston Civi Clubs 2014
- Frequently Asked Questions for Application Process
- Frequently Asked Questions for MSD’s (English)
- Frequently Asked Questions for MSD’s (Spanish)
Other Websites of Interest:
You can request an electronic copy of the full application by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information concerning the application or process of an MSD in Houston, call:
PW&E/Planning & Development Services Division