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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On 13 January 2015, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) jurisdictional areas within Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s (Chesapeake) proposed San Lorenzo Creek bridge right-of-way (ROW) in southwestern Dimmit County, Texas (Project Area). Although the Project Area will be located entirely on private property and will be developed with private funds, its construction will require the usage of a Nationwide Permit (NWP) issued by the USACE. As a result, the portions of the undertaking within the USACE’s purview also fall under the regulations of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended. Horizon conducted the cultural resources survey of the USACE jurisdictional areas on behalf of Chesapeake in compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA. The purpose of the survey was to determine if any archeological sites were located within the USACE jurisdictional areas and, if any existed, to determine if the project had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

The cultural resources survey resulted in the reassessment of a small portion of previously recorded site 41DM190. This site, an extensive prehistoric campsite, was found to possess dense surficial deposits of lithic debris, stone tool fragments, and fire-cracked rock (FCR). It was also found to possess subsurface cultural deposits extending to depths of at least 27.6 inches (70.0 centimeters [cm]) below surface. As Horizon’s investigations were limited to only a small portion of the site and its full horizontal and vertical extent have not been thoroughly assessed, it is Horizon’s opinion that the NRHP eligibility status of site 41DM190 is currently undetermined.

Based on the extensive size of the site, previous impacts to the immediate area of the proposed bridge ROW, as well as construction methods that will pose minimal impacts to any cultural deposits contained within the terraces of the site, it is Horizon’s opinion that the construction of the proposed San Lorenzo Creek bridge will have no adverse effect on significant cultural resources listed on or considered eligible for listing on the NRHP within the USACE jurisdictional area. Horizon therefore recommends that Chesapeake be allowed to proceed with the construction of the proposed bridge, relative to the jurisdiction of the USACE and Section 106 of the NHPA.

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