What is a Municipal Setting Designation (“MSD”) in Texas?

An MSD is not a stand-alone regulatory fix for a contaminated property.  An MSD does not by itself provide regulatory closure for a site, so it does not substitute for a COC under the VCP or a NFA under the DCRP.  Rather, it is intended to be used as a component part of the State’s regulatory closure process.  MSDs are authorized under Subchapter W of Chapter 361 of the Texas Health & Safety Code. 

A State-certified MSD indicates that a site with contaminated groundwater qualifies for more lenient risk-based assessment and cleanup standards due to municipally-improved restrictions on potable use of affected groundwater.  It effectively changes applicable protective concentration levels (“PCLs”) under TCEQ remediation rules.  It is the TCEQ’s position that it will not utilize MSDs in connection with DCRP cleanups. 

You can learn more about the Texas Municipal Setting Designations at the TCEQ’s website at: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/remediation/msd.html

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