Office of Environmental Quality

​Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability

Municipal Setting Designation​

​MSD and Due Diligence ​Lori Trulson, PG, Manager ​214-671-8967

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 Brownfield 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 Dallas General MSD Ordinance No. 26001  establishes that program and puts the recommended regulations in place. The City Council will be required to enact a 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.

On May 25, 2005, the City of Dallas approved the Municipal Setting Designations (MSD) Ordinance. The Office of Environmental Quality is responsible for processing the applications.

On September 20, 2023, the City of Dallas approved an amendment to modify the initial filing and processing fees for a Municipal Setting Designations (MSD) Ordinance (MSD Ordinance No. 32556).  The modification of fees is based on a recent City of Dallas Cost of Services Study.  This ordinance took effect on October 1, 2023.

If you wish to view the location and additional details for property that is part of an approved City of Dallas Municipal Setting Designation, please use the City´s new map link:

Interactive MSD Mapping Site

Application (MS Word )

The following forms/guides are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf):

A Guide for Cities (TCEQ)

City Ordinance 26001 May 2005

City Ordinance 27695 September 2009

City Ordinance 30993 August 2018

City Ordinance 32556 September 2023 

MSD Applications Approved and In Process (October 2019)​​​​​​