In 2003, the Texas Legislature authorized the creation of Municipal Setting Designations (MSD), which designate an area in which the use of contaminated groundwater is prohibited for use as potable water. The law is administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and requires local City support to designate an MSD. The intent of the legislation is to encourage redevelopment of vacant or abandoned properties while protecting public health. On August 22, 2007, City Council approved an ordinance amending Chapter 47 of the Code of Ordinances by adding Article XIII relating to groundwater, which provides a process to support or not support an MSD application to the State (ordinance amended 7/14/2010).
Northpoint Development LLC Application: Northpoint Development LLC is seeking a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) for 86.658 acres of land located at 8230 Stedman Street, Houston, TX 77029. Industrial operations began in 1932 with a fuels oils terminal. From 1934-1936 operations expanded to include manufacturing of industrial paints, coatings, and specialty oil field chemicals. In 1982 a water soluble polymers plant began operations. The contamination consists of 1,4-Dioxane, benzene, ethylbenzene, xylenes and arsenic. A licensed professional geologist has certified that the area of contamination has been thoroughly investigated, is fully delineated and is stable.
Northpoint Development LLC is seeking an MSD for this property to restrict access to groundwater to protect the public against possible exposure to the contaminants. There is a public drinking water supply system that meets state requirements that supplies or is capable of supplying drinking water to the MSD property and all properties within one-half mile of the MSD property. A public meeting was held on October 14, 2020 via Microsoft Teams and a public hearing was held on January 11, 2022 during the Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Council Committee. Both meetings are necessary steps prior to City Council’s consideration of support.
Recommendations: It is recommended that City Council adopt a Municipal Setting Designation (MSD) ordinance prohibiting the use of designated groundwater at the Northpoint Development LLC site located at 8230 Stedman St., Houston, TX 77029, and support issuance of an MSD by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Carol Ellinger Haddock, P.E.
Houston Public Works