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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/.ita.2018.1.15

Abstract

SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) was retained by CrownQuest Operating, LLC, to complete an intensive cultural resources investigation for the proposed CrownQuest City of Midland Oil and Gas Project (Project). The Project includes newly proposed oil and gas well pads, crude oil pipeline, and associated access roads on City of Midland property in Midland and Glasscock Counties, Texas. These new components will be constructed within an existing upstream oil and gas system. The 149.9-acre (60.7-hectare) Project area is located approximately 15 miles southeast of Midland, Texas, immediately south of Highway 158, and is situated along and between Johnson and Pemberton Draws.

The Project involves a political subdivision within the state of Texas (City of Midland). The Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) applies because the Project’s activities occur on property owned by the City of Midland and will involve more than 5 acres / 5,000 cubic yards of land disturbance or may potentially affect known archaeological sites. It is SWCA’s understanding that the Project does not currently have a federal nexus, and it is not subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The purpose of this investigation was to identify and assess any cultural resources, such as historic and prehistoric archaeological sites and historic buildings, structures, objects, and sites (such as cemeteries) that might be located within the boundaries of the proposed Project and evaluate their significance and eligibility for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark. The investigations included a background and historic map review of the Project area and immediately surrounding region followed by pedestrian survey with visual examination and shovel test excavations at proposed Project activity areas. All investigations were conducted in accordance with the ACT and standards and guidelines established by the THC and Council of Texas Archeologists. Following the review and acceptance of the final cultural resources report, all records and photographs will be curated with the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio, per requirements of the ACT in accordance with the CTA guidelines. The cultural resources investigation was conducted under ACT Permit No. 8506.

Fieldwork was performed from July 30 to August 4, 2018. The Project setting was mainly eroded and heavily disturbed uplands with occasional exposures of bedrock and caliche. Pedestrian survey was augmented by hand excavating 253 shovel tests and seven auger tests, which were terminated at the maximum reachable depth or at soils likely predating human occupation, typically around 45 cm below surface. The most pervasive land disturbance observed was related to petroleum exploration and extraction activities that have generally impacted ground surface integrity.

During the investigation SWCA archaeologists did not observe any prehistoric or historic cultural resources within the Project area. The location near site 41MD4, identified during the background review, could not be visited by SWCA survey staff due to a fire in the facility. The site boundary defined does not extend into a proposed Project activity area and the closest associated Project item is already disturbed. On that basis it is not considered to be a Project concern.

Based on the negative findings of the intensive cultural resources survey, SWCA recommends that no further archaeological investigations are warranted within the assessed portions of the CrownQuest City of Midland Oil and Gas Project area.

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

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