Municipal Setting Designations

Municipal Setting Designation Resolution

If you interested in obtaining a resolution from the City of Grand Prairie in support of a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD), the Public Health and Environmental Quality Department requires the following information:

  1. A letter requesting support of a resolution and the reason for which the City’s support is needed, including, if applicable, the number and address of City wells within five miles of the subject property. The letter must include who the applicant is, the address of the subject property, and the reason why a MSD is being sought.
  2. A legal description of the property to include a survey plat of the property.
  3. An aerial photograph depicting the property and the surrounding land uses.
  4. A narrative description of the plume, its delineation, and concentrations found in soils or groundwater and the applicable protective concentration levels without a MSD. Include a map, if available, of the plume to the extent it has been delineated.
  5. A copy of the ordinance or resolutions, including any second or third readings, from the City in which the MSD is sought.
  6. If the plume, if applicable, is under residential, state whether a soil vapor intrusion study has been completed and its results.

Submit this information electronically and in hard copies to the Public Health and Environmental Quality Department. For additional information please contact, Cindy Mendez at 972-237-8055 or by e-mail to

What is a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD)?

A 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 (drinking) 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. An MSD can alter the cleanup criteria required by the State for the subject property.

An MSD may be approved by the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) pursuant to Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 361, Subchapter W. The law was created in 2003 by the 78th State of Texas Legislature under House Bill 3152.

The TCEQ is the State agency responsible for protection of human health and the environment and was directed by the legislature to process and review MSD proposals. TCEQ reviews MSD proposals to verify compliance with applicable laws and regulations and to evaluate potential risk on current and future regional groundwater resource needs and obligations of users.

City staff shall not be tasked with conducting an environmental risk assessment of the application. The State may not approve an MSD if the city council of the municipality in which it is located supports the application by resolution and prohibits the potable use of groundwater in the MSD by ordinance.

In order to facilitate the local approval process, and to ensure public participation in that process, the City of Grand Prairie enacted a MSD procedural ordinance in January 2006. It is not required that an application be filed with the TCEQ prior to applying to the City for approval.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Texas municipal setting designation law states that a person, including a local government, may submit a request to the executive director of the TCEQ for a MSD for property if the property is within the corporate limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality authorized by statute that has a population of at least 20,000. 

Additionally, a public drinking water supply system must exist that satisfies the requirements of Chapter 341 of the Texas Health and Safety Code and that supplies or is capable of supplying drinking water to the property for which designation is sought and property within one-half mile of that property.

What happens after I submit my application?

Upon receiving the application, the Public Health and Environmental Quality Department will distribute copies of the application to various departments for staff review. Staff will review the application noting any discrepancies in the application, and advising of any city interests that may potentially be impacted by the proposed (MSD).

After the staff review process is complete, the department will make a determination as to whether the application is complete. If it is complete, the Director will schedule a public meeting.

If the department determines that the application is incomplete, he will return the application to the application, noting the deficiencies in writing. The applicant will have 30 days from the date of the deficiency letter to correct the deficiencies and resubmit the application. If the applicant fails to submit a corrected application within the allotted time, the application shall be deemed to be withdrawn and the application fee forfeited.

After the public hearing, the department will schedule a public hearing.

Do I need to be at the public hearing and the public meeting?

Yes. The purpose of a public meeting is for the applicant to provide information to the affected community about municipal setting designations and the application, and to obtain input on the application prior to a formal hearing before the City Council. The applicant or applicant’s representative must appear at the public meeting.

If the applicant fails to appear at the public meeting either in person or by representative, the application shall be deemed withdrawn and the application fee forfeited.

The public hearing will be conducted during a City Council meeting. The applicant or applicant’s representative must appear at the public hearing and present the request for a municipal setting designation approval. If the applicant fails to appear at the hearing either in person or by representative, the application shall be deemed withdrawn and the application fee forfeited.

How is an application approved?

In order to approve an application, the City Council must adopt an ordinance prohibiting the potable use of designated groundwater from beneath the property.

The ordinance will become effective upon pre-certification from the TCEQ.

Council may include other reasonable restrictions on the use of groundwater in the municipal setting designation.

A certified copy of the ordinance will be provided to the applicant when it becomes available.