ESE Partners Ranks Among Top Environmental Companies of Municipal Setting Designations (MSD)

Year in and year out, ESE is consistently one of a select group of environmental service providers in Houston that facilitates MSD style of closures through the TCEQ. According to the City of Houston public records, ESE Personnel have been involved in over nine Municipal Setting Designation projects, ranking ESE statewide.  If you are an investor, buyer or seller it should be known that through an MSD closure option, many distressed or contaminated properties can be ready for redevelopment in a more timely, and cost efficient manner.

Check out an example of our MSD projects HERE.

What is a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) ?

An 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.  By eliminating or reducing state regulatory requirements, an MSD may encourage development and redevelopment of properties affected by groundwater contamination. In summary, if approved, a Municipal Setting Designation can be a quicker and more cost-efficient alternative than remediation.


Municipal Setting Designation


Click here for a list and map of current and past MSD locations in Texas.

How do I know if I need an MSD? What is the process? 

To be eligible for an MSD, a property must be within the corporate limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality with a population of 20,000 or more. In addition, a public drinking water supply system that meets state requirements must be capable of supplying drinking water to the MSD property and to all properties within one-half mile of the MSD boundary. The MSD law requires a city ordinance or restrictive covenant prohibiting potable water use at the property, and this restriction overrides or limits the existing state regulatory requirements for investigation and cleanup.

An MSD application may be submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). There are no restrictions on who may apply for an MSD. Any person, including a city or local government, may apply.

Click here for application forms and guidelines.

Benefits of an MSD

There are a multitude of benefits for a municipal setting designation: These programs may significantly reduce remediation costs and time associated with satisfying regulatory requirements enticing cities and local governments to use these programs as tools to promote growth and economic development. These tools can be especially useful in encouraging the redevelopment of brownfields, which when transformed improve property values, enhance city aesthetics, and promote public health and safety for the community.

ESE Partners has completed numerous MSDs over the years, which has enabled our clients to realize unconsidered financial opportunity in real estate and deliver investments associated with environmentally impaired properties.  We will increase the value of your property and deliver new development options through environmental risk management and engineering.


Check out our MSD article featured on Big Red Dog’s award winning blog!