Texas Historical Commission
Report Title: Intensive Archaeological Survey Investigations of a Proposed New 20-Mile, 12-Inch Copano NGL Services (Markham), LLC (Copano NGL), Sweeny Pipeline Lateral in Matagorda and Brazoria Counties, Texas.
Report Date: February 2015
Report Number: WSA Technical Report No. 2015-05
Agency: USACE Galveston District, State Historic Preservation Officer
Permit Number: none
Project Description: William Self Associates, Inc. (WSA) conducted cultural resource coordination and archaeological survey investigations for a proposed new 12-inch Copano NGL Services (Markham), LLC (Copano NGL), Sweeny Pipeline Lateral in Matagorda and Brazoria Counties, Texas. WSA conducted intensive Phase I pedestrian survey with shovel testing and backhoe trenching of the proposed new 20-mile (32.18 kilometer [km]) pipeline segment, north of the cities of Markham, Bay City, Van Vleck, and Sweeny, Texas. Coordination was conducted with the Texas State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and survey investigations consistent with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA, 1992, as amended). The project may be subject to Section 106 of the NHPA due to proposed impacts to Waters of the United States (WOUS), including wetlands, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston District, and the need for project Section 404/10 compliance and permitting under the Clean Water (1972, as amended) and River and Harbors Acts. The Area of Potential Effect (APE) is defined as the approximately 20 mile (32.18 km) proposed linear alignment within a 200 foot (60 m) wide survey corridor (100 feet [30 m] on either side of the centerline) representing approximately 491 acres.
The survey consisted of a total of 147 shovel tests (eight positive) and 10 backhoe trenches (two positive). Two sites were recorded during these investigations (41MG140 and 41MG141). Historic-age site 41MG140 consists of a surficial late 19th century residential artifact scatter with a few remnant features. The site boundaries slightly overlap the survey corridor. This site is recommended as not eligible for inclusion on the NRHP or as a SAL and for no further archaeological investigations. No intact site elements remain within the survey corridor. There will be no project impacts to the remaining site elements. Archival research indicates no known link of the previous inhabitants to local or nationally significant persons, themes or events.
Site 41MG141 consists of a multi-component historic-age and deeply buried prehistoric archaeological site. As originally planned, site 41MG141 overlapped the survey corridor and areas of temporary and permanent workspace for the pipeline. Copano rerouted the proposed work space and permanent right-of-way to avoid site 41MG141. The reroute was subject to additional negative shovel tests and backhoe trenches. There will be no project impacts to site 41MG141. The historic component of site 41MG141 is recommended as not a contributing element to any po- tential NRHP eligibility of site 41MG141, and for no further archaeological investigations. The prehistoric component to 41MG141 as surveyed and mapped in this report is recommended for additional archaeological testing level investigations to determine NRHP eligibility should there be any proposed ground disturbing activities deeper than one meter below the ground surface, due to the activities of any state or federally sponsored projects or undertakings. The northeast boundary of the prehistoric component of 41MG141 is located north of the current survey corridor and remains undetermined. The formal NRHP eligibility of site 41MG141 remains undetermined. No artifacts were collected from either archaeological site due to a lack of landowner permission. No other archaeological sites, features or evidence of prehistoric- or historic-age occupation were identified outside of the two recorded sites.
Acres Surveyed: 391
Project Number: WSA 2014-60
Project Location: Matagorda and Brazoria Counties, Texas
Unevaluated Properties: 0
NRHP Eligible Properties: 1
NRHP Ineligible Properties: 1
NRHP Listed Properties: 0
Isolated Occurrences: 0
Total Project Resources: 2
Recommendations: WSA respectfully requests SHPO concurrence that any proposed state or federal ground disturbing impacts to the prehistoric component of site 41MG141 (deeper than 1 m below the ground surface) be subjected to NRHP test level archaeological investigations to determine formal eligibility to the National Register. WSA requests SHPO concurrence that the historic component of 41MG141 is not a contributing element to any potential NRHP eligibility of site 41MG141 and warrants no further archaeological investigation. WSA requests SHPO concurrence that the NRHP eligibility of site 41MG141 remains undetermined. WSA respectfully recommends SHPO concurrence that site 41MG140 is not NRHP eligible and warrants no further archaeological investigations. WSA concludes and respectfully requests SHPO concurrence that there exists a low probability that NRHP- or SAL-eligible cultural resources will be affected by the proposed pipeline project, due to existing co-located buried pipelines and other disturbances, and a preponderance of negative shovel tests and backhoe trenches at USACE jurisdictional drainages and wetlands, and other high probability areas along the approximate 20 mile proposed alignment. WSA recommends and respectfully requests SHPO concurrence that with regards to historic properties and SALs, project construction within the APE of approximately 20 miles (32.18 km) be allowed to proceed under Section 106 of the NHPA, and that all Section 106 consultation for the proposed project be considered concluded and complete.
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