Texas Historical Commission
On behalf of DCP Midstream (DCP), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey for the proposed Sagebrush Booster Fuel Pipeline project in Andrews County, Texas. The proposed development includes approximately 2.25 miles of pipeline. The project is entirely on University Lands managed by The University of Texas System. As University Lands is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, all work was conducted to comply with the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 7152.
The proposed area of potential effects (APE) includes 2.25 miles of proposed 8-inch pipeline located in southern Andrews County within The Embar Oil Field, east of Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 181 and approximately 3.25 miles south-southeast of the FM 181/State Highway (SH) 115 intersection. Impacts associated with the construction of the pipeline will typically occur within a 75-foot-wide construction right-of-way (ROW), except at the northern terminus of the pipeline where the ROW expands to approximately 120 feet to accommodate a short secondary pipeline that parallels about 860 feet of the main pipeline. Subsurface impacts are anticipated to extend 4 to 5 feet below the existing ground surface for the pipeline. The project APE on University Lands is 2.25 miles in length, 75 feet wide, and encompasses approximately 21.3 acres.
The investigations included a literature and records review and an intensive pedestrian survey of the APE. The background review revealed that Turpin and Sons (TAS) performed an archaeological survey in 2014, which crosses over the northern portion of the project area. No sites were recorded during this investigation (Turpin 2014). Two additional surveys and three archaeological sites are located within 1 mile of the current project area; however, none of these overlap the project. There are no cemeteries, National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) listed properties/districts, or historical markers within 1 mile of the APE. The review of Texas Department of Transportation Historic Overlay maps revealed no possible historic-age structures within or immediately adjacent to the project area.
A 100 percent pedestrian inspection with shovel testing was conducted for the 2.25-mile-long APE located on University Lands, within a 100- to 110-foot-wide survey corridor centered on the proposed pipeline centerline. Overall, the intensive pedestrian survey documented a relatively level, open environment, with sand dunes through the central portion providing the only topographic relief. The APE is within the active Embar Oil Field and has been disturbed by the construction of oil and gas field infrastructure (e.g., well pads, access roads, and pipelines), grading and clearing, utilities (subsurface and overhead), and wind erosion/scouring. These impacts have resulted in significant disturbances throughout the project area. A total of 17 negative shovel tests were excavated within the project area during the intensive pedestrian survey and site delineation, and one site (41AD73) was newly documented.
Site 41AD73 is a prehistoric open campsite consisting of two flakes and a scatter of burned limestone. No subsurface deposits were encountered and cultural material is present directly atop Early Pleistocene-aged soil. Site 41AD73 is recommended as not eligible for listing on the NRHP or as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) based on the paucity of artifacts, absence of temporal diagnostics, and a lack of both contextual integrity and potential for intact subsurface deposits. In accordance with the ACT, SWCA has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify cultural resources within the APE. As no properties were identified that warrant SAL designation, SWCA recommends that no further cultural resources investigations within the project APE are necessary and the proposed project should be allowed to proceed as planned.
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