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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

In March, May, and June of 2013, and June, July, and August of 2014, HRA Gray & Pape, LLC, of Houston, Texas, completed pedestrian cultural resources survey and limited shovel testing on a proposed 185-kilometer (115.2-mile) alignment in preparation for a new 20.3­ centimeter (8-inch) diameter ethylene pipeline to be located in San Patricio, Refugio, Aransas, Victoria, Calhoun, Jackson, and Matagorda Counties, Texas. The Phase I survey was conducted on behalf of Tetra Tech, Inc. of Buffalo, New York, under contract with Ingleside Ethylene, LLC and Occidental Chemical Corporation. Over the course of the project (Project) permitting requirements have involved the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District. The issuances of federal permits were considered undertakings subject to the provisions and review process provided in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended.

To date, all 185 kilometers (115.2 miles) of the Project have been investigated. This final report serves as a consolidation of information previously submitted to your office between 2013 and 2015. Field efforts consisting of several mobilizations were completed and the results were submitted in three previously submitted draft documents including a revised draft report and a succession of draft addenda and letter correspondences (Balakirova and Scott 2013, Perrine et al. 2014, Scott 2014). Portions of the Project were also previously documented in an earlier report for another project (Scott et al. 2013). A fourth draft document was submitted this year in 2015 (Scott 2015) and received concurrence on February 18, 2015. That document was associated with 7.6 kilometers (4.72 miles) of proposed pipeline reroute and two small workspaces totaling 1.5 hectares (3.8 acres). The 2015 survey resulted in negative findings and was not synthesized into this final report but the current Project footprint is represented in Appendix A and the 2015 addendum is included in Appendix E for your reference. All submitted documentation has received concurrence from your office and the lead federal agencies at the time of the report submittals (see report Appendix E). In addition to the pipeline workspace, approximately 21.4 kilometers (13.3 miles) of access roads was also surveyed. The total area surveyed for the Project amounts to approximately 260.8 kilometers (162.1 miles), or 1,560.2 hectares (3,855.4 acres) of survey coverage, including the current Area of Potential Effects, as well as surveyed areas that are no longer in consideration for the Project.

Fieldwork conducted in 2013 and 2014 was completed over six separate mobilizations. The first wave of mobilizations consisted of three separate mobilizations from March 6 to 26, May 15 to 29, and June 17 to 21, 2013. The second wave of survey also consisted of three mobilizations and was carried out from June 3 to 13, July 9 to 11, and August 25 to 27, 2014, after alignment changes were made to the original plan. As described above, two additional mobilizations took place, one in December of 2014, and one in January of 2015. In addition to work conducted in 2013, 2014, and 2015, a 4.2-kilometer (2.6-mile) portion of the Project was previously surveyed by HRA Gray & Pape, LLC in 2011 and reported on in a separate document (Scott et al. 2013). Field investigation was conducted entirely on privately owned properties and consisted of walkover and limited shovel testing within the Project area. During this investigation 36 cultural resources were identified or confirmed. These include 19 new archaeological sites, one historic structure, five loci isolates of three to 10 historic artifacts, six isolated finds, and five previously recorded sites (41SP256, 41RF51, 41RF52 41RF53, 41RF54). No evidence for previously recorded Site 41JK111 was identified within the Project’s Area of Potential Effects.

In general, cultural resources identified as the result of field efforts consisted of prehistoric shell middens and campsites, historic occupations and trash dumps, and historic and prehistoric isolate finds. In regard to the current Project, no further work is recommended for any of the 37 investigated resources as they are either confined to the plow zone, are now outside of the Project area, offer little information to add to the understanding of the history of the area, or will be avoided by horizontal directional drilling. Of those sites identified, Sites 41SP267, 41SP268, 41SP269, 41RF51, 41RF52, 41RF54, 41RF149, and 41CL97 have an undetermined but potential eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or as State Antiquities Landmarks. These sites consist of prehistoric occupations and shell middens (Sites 41RF51, 41RF52, 41RF54, 41RF149 41SP268, and 41SP269) and historic scatters (41SP267 and 41CL97). HRA Gray & Pape, LLC, recommended efforts to avoid these eight sites and as a result the Project alignment was either rerouted around them or they will be avoided by horizontal directional drilling. The remaining 28 resources identified during survey are considered ineligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or as State Antiquities Landmarks. These recommendations were concurred with by the Texas Historical Commission on April 29, September 29, and October 15, 2014, and by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on March 28 and May 23, 2014.

All artifacts were recovered from private property and are in the process of being returned to the landowners. This concludes the cultural resource management requirements in regard to the Project as it is currently planned. Further, HRA Gray & Pape, LLC. has reviewed recent Project plans and verified that they contain exclusion zones for sensitive cultural resources as agreed upon and documented in the report. Should Project plans change to involve areas located outside of previous survey coverage, additional work may be necessary. The need for additional work will be consulted with the appropriate agencies on a case by case basis.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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