Environmental Management


  • Physical Address
  • Municipal Plaza Building
    114 W. Commerce, 6th Floor
    San Antonio, TX 78205   
  • Mailing Address
  • P.O. Box 839966
    San Antonio, TX 78283-3966
  • Phone
  • 210.207.8022


  • Razi Hosseini, P.E.
    Director/City Engineer
  • Anthony Chukwudolue, P.E.
    Deputy Director
  • Christie Chapman
    Assistant Director
  • Nefi Garza, P.E.
    Assistant Director
  • Luis Maltos, P.E.
    Assistant Director
  • Paul Berry
    Chief Communications Officer

Municipal Settings 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 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.

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.

ground water msd image


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 April 07, 2016, City Council approved an ordinance which provides a process for supporting or not supporting a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) application to the State.

General MSD Site Eligibility
  • The plume is stable (i.e. no change) or decreasing in concentration
  • The plume is delineated to the Protective Concentration Levels (PCLs) for groundwater ingestion pathway ( GWGWing).
  • 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
  • No MSD will be granted to a project within ½ mile of a San Antonio Water System (SAWS) primary pump station. The SAWS primary pump station consists of all equipment located within the property boundary. 
Interactive MSD Mapping Site

More Information

For more information concerning the application or process please contact:

Robert P. Espinosa, Program Coordinator
Public Works - Environmental Management Division
Ph. 210. 207.1448 · contact form