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Cultural Resources Investigations for the Proposed Delek Big Sandy Hannathon Crude Oil Gathering System, Big Spring, Howard County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
At the request of Olsson Associates (Olsson), and on behalf Delek Logistics Operating, L.P. (Delek), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey on a portion of the proposed approximately 11.4-mile-long Delek Big Sandy Hannathon (BSH) Crude Oil Gathering System (Project) in Big Spring, Howard County, Texas. Investigations were conducted in support of Delek’s acquisition of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 404 permit in accordance with 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 United States Code 306108) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR 800). All investigations were conducted in accordance with the standards and guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior, Texas Historical Commission, and the Council of Texas Archeologists.
The proposed pipeline will be constructed primarily by conventional trenching methods. Horizontal directional drilling will be employed at certain sensitive resource crossings and existing infrastructure (e.g., rivers and highways). Horizontal bores will be employed to cross smaller infrastructure, such as county roads and railroads. Construction will occur within a typical right-of-way (ROW) width of 100 feet, which will consist of a 50-foot-wide permanent easement and 50-foot-wide temporary construction ROW. Construction of the proposed pipeline will employ best management practices for clearing vegetation, excavating the pipeline trench, welding and laying the pipe, backfilling the pipeline trench, re-establishing pre-construction contours, and restoring permanent vegetation.
Investigations included a cultural resources background review and an intensive pedestrian survey augmented by shovel testing to systematically identify, record, delineate, and, if possible, determine the significance of any cultural resources located within the area of potential effects (APE). Rather than surveying the entire 11.4-mile-long alignment, the cultural survey targeted anticipated USACE permit review areas (PRAs) within the APE. Specifically, this approach identified areas of anticipated impacts to U.S.-regulated waterways or nearby previously identified cultural resources. Using these criteria, SWCA identified and surveyed 10 individual PRAs within the proposed pipeline alignments. During the investigations, SWCA surveyed 1.74 miles of proposed pipeline alignment at the 10 delineated PRAs (22.83 acres).
As a result of the recent survey effort, SWCA archaeologists identified no cultural resources at the 10 PRAs. The survey revealed that the APE is extensively disturbed by previous oil and gas extraction activities and existing two-track and gravel roads that make up parts of the oil and gas extraction infrastructure. Additionally, at the majority of the defined PRAS, field investigations revealed only minor drainages with little to no channel development.
In accordance with 33 CFR 325, Appendix C, Section 106 of the NHPA, and 36 CFR 800.4 (b)(1), SWCA has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify historic properties within the anticipated PRAs. Based on the negative results of the survey, it is the opinion of SWCA that the proposed BSH Project will have NO EFFECT on any archaeological historic properties listed on or otherwise eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at 10 PRAs associated with the BSH Project. Consequently, no further cultural resources work is recommended for the current BSH Project as currently configured.
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