Texas Historical Commission
On 24 March 2015, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of Brazos Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s (Brazos) proposed 22.0-acre Railport Substation property in northwestern Ellis County, Texas (Project Area). The Project Area is located on private property, and its development will be funded by private sources. Additionally, no state or federal permitting is currently anticipated in connection with the proposed undertaking. As such, no identifiable regulatory requirements exist regarding cultural resources management. At the request of Brazos, Horizon conducted the cultural resources survey of the Project Area as part of Brazos’s due diligence process. Brazos intends to develop only 5.0 acres of the overall 22.0-acre parcel into a new electric substation. As the exact location of the proposed substation within the 22.0-acre parcel has yet to be determined, the entire 22.0-acre Project Area was assessed. The purpose of the survey was to determine if any cultural resources were located within the Project Area and, if any existed, allow Brazos the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding the development of the property.
The cultural resources survey entailed intensive surface inspection and subsurface shovel testing efforts over the extent of the 22.0-acre Project Area. The Texas State Minimum Archeological Survey Standards (TSMASS) require a minimum of 1 shovel test per 2.0 acres for projects between 11.0 and 100.0 acres in size. As the Project Area totals 22.0 acres in size, a minimum of 11 shovel tests were necessary in order to comply with the TSMASS. Horizon exceeded the TSMASS by excavating a total of 22 shovel tests across the Project Area.
The cultural resources survey resulted in entirely negative findings. No cultural materials were observed on the surface of the Project Area or within any of the 22 excavated shovel tests.
Based on the negative survey results, it is Horizon’s opinion that the development of the proposed 22.0-acre Railport Substation property will have no adverse effect on significant cultural resources listed on or considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places within the Project Area. Horizon therefore recommends that Brazos be allowed to proceed with the development of the Project Area.
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