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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

AECOM conducted a Phase I cultural resources survey on June 24th, between July 28th and 30th, and on December 2nd, 2015 of the J. D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area (WMA) portion of the Port Arthur Pipeline Project (PAPL), located in Jefferson County, southeastern Texas. Fieldwork consisted of visual inspection, systematic probing, and systematic shovel testing of 5.91 miles (9.51 kilometers) and 135.3 acres (54.8 hectares) of survey area. AECOM excavated 45 shovel tests within the non-inundated portions of the project area. Because this project was located on property owned and managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the work was completed under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 7341.

Since the majority of the identified areas requiring cultural resource survey within the Big Hill Bayou and Hillebrandt and Taylor Bayous sections are only accessible by airboat, the assessment method was augmented by systematic subsurface shovel / auger testing and/or steel probes in areas identified as displaying low to high archeological site potential. The following areas were identified as representing high archaeological potential locations:

a) The northern bank of Taylor Bayou;

b) The central HDD workspace proposed for the Big Hill Bayou crossing;

c) Approximately 300-ft (90-m) to either side of Derring Gully; and,

d) Approximately 300-ft (90-m) to either side of Big Hill Bayou.

Other portions of the project area do not appear to be associated with extinct/extant bayous and/or other drainageways and was assessed a lower potential for containing intact archaeological materials. These areas were visually surveyed to identify cultural resources visible on the surface. Finally, portions of the project area have been in-filled with dredge deposits (south of Round Lake). As such, AECOM archaeologists recommend that no further systematic archaeological survey should be required for the areas identified as dredge spoil deposits.

As a result of this survey effort, AECOM archaeologists and architectural historians did not identify any historic or prehistoric archeological sites, historic buildings, standing structures, objects, cemeteries, or properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) within the boundaries of the J. D. Murphree WMA, TPWD portion of the PAPL Project.

Based on the results of the Phase I cultural resources survey, AECOM recommends that a determination of No Historic Properties Affected be applied to the portion of the PAPL Project, as currently configured and defined by both the direct and indirect Area of Potential Effects (APE), located within the J. D. Murphree WMA, Jefferson County, southeastern Texas.

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