W&M continued to capitalize on our depth of experience with Municipal Setting Designations (MSDs) in North Texas by obtaining approval for the first MSDs in the cities of Wylie and Farmers Branch.
W&M has been working with the Wylie Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for two years addressing environmental issues on distressed properties that were planned for redevelopment. One such property performed cleaning operations that had resulted in a release of dry cleaning solvent (perchloroethylene [PCE], aka “perc”) into the soil and groundwater. The EDC wanted to make the property suitable for redevelopment and W&M recognized that it was an excellent candidate for an MSD, which results in the placement of a deed restriction on the property such that groundwater cannot be used for potable purposes. With public water provided from local surface water reservoirs and no sensitive groundwater use in the area, the EDC agreed and W&M presented the concept to key City management staff and eventually to the City Council. The City adopted an enabling ordinance in January 2016 and W&M prepared a property-specific MSD Application for City staff review. The process included a public meeting to provide information to nearby property owners and other interested parties, and a presentation to the City Council. The MSD application was approved in February 2017 and documentation is being prepared for TCEQ certification. With approval of the MSD, groundwater cleanup is no longer necessary since it cannot be used and the scope of soil cleanup around the former cleaning equipment will be significantly reduced.
W&M also took the lead when a client discovered contamination from a former dry cleaner tenant on their retail shopping center property located in Farmers Branch. W&M met with City staff to discuss the benefits of an MSD to address urban contamination and as a tool to assist with the cleanup of contaminated properties that would otherwise have difficulties being sold, re-financed or redeveloped. The City concurred and enacted an enabling ordinance in 2016. W&M submitted an MSD Application in October 2016 and it was approved at a City Council hearing in February 2017. The approved ordinance will ultimately result in Site closure through the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) with no required cleanup of soil or groundwater.
These two examples illustrate how W&M can use our broad environmental experience in Texas to our client’s benefit. To date, we have successfully completed over 35 MSDs in a dozen Texas cities from the Gulf Coast to DFW, north to Wichita Falls and west to Lubbock.
For more information on MSDs or the closure process, contact Frank W. Clark, P.E. at 972-509-9611 or [email protected].