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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

During early May of 2015, TAS Inc. conducted a pedestrian survey and shovel testing of the Comanche Trail Pipeline, LLC (Comanche Trail) San Elizario Crossing in southeast El Paso County, Texas. The project will connect a natural gas pipeline in Texas with a natural gas pipeline in Mexico. Because of the international nature of the project, the survey fell under jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The survey area was located south and west of Chicken Ranch Road, 1.8 miles south of San Elizario and was confined to FERC regulated areas northeast of the Rio Grande. The project encompasses a staked right-of-way (ROW), as well as a Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) location and temporary work space to be used to pull the pipe under the Rio Grande. HDD construction will occupy an area approximately 200 by 220 ft, with an additional 2,000-ft-long by 115-ft-wide temporary work space for an area of effect (APE) of 4.2 acres. An additional 1,000 by 100 ft section of proposed centerline between the HDD location and the Rio Grande brings the total area surveyed to 5.5 acres. No evidence of prehistoric or significant historic occupation or use was found by survey and shovel testing within the APE or along the staked ROW. The Texas Historical Commission subsequently requested backhoe trenching to confirm the absence of buried cultural deposits. In July, two 15-m-long trenches were dug to depths of 2 m each. Both were culturally sterile indicating that pipeline installation should not affect significant archeological or historical remains.

A full description of the methods and results of trenching are reported in an addendum to the survey report.

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