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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On behalf of Medallion Pipeline Company, LLC (Medallion), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive archaeological survey of portions of the Plains Connection 1 and 2 Pipeline Project that cross University of Texas Lands (University Lands) in Crane County, Texas. Medallion proposes to construct two parallel, 12-inch-diameter oil pipelines measuring approximately 0.6 mile (0.97 kilometer [km]) in length within an area marked by intensive oil and gas exploration. Both pipelines will occupy a single, 60-foot-wide (18.3-meter [m]-wide) workspace. Approximately 0.50 mile (0.8 km) of the proposed pipelines will be constructed within University Lands in Crane County, Texas. As a portion of the undertaking will be located on state-owned University Lands, cultural resources investigations were conducted to satisfy the requirements of the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8262. This report addresses only the 0.5-mile (0.8-km) segment of pipelines on Texas public lands.

Impacts associated with the construction of the pipelines will occur within a 60-foot-wide (18.3-m-wide) workspace. For the 0.5 mile (0.8 km) of cultural resources survey on public lands, SWCA investigated a 300-foot-wide (91.4-m-wide) corridor to give Medallion options for the ultimate centerline placements. The area of potential effects (APE) for the project is approximately 0.6 mile (0.97 km) long and 300 feet (91.4 m) wide, totaling 23.5 acres. The portion of the proposed project that crosses parcels owned by University Lands consists of a 0.5-mile-long (0.8-km-long) and 300-foot-wide (91.4-m-wide) segment in Crane County, Texas, totaling 18.8 acres

Investigations included a cultural resources background review and literature search of the entire APE and an intensive pedestrian survey augmented with shovel testing of the portions of the APE within University Lands. The background review indicated that five previous cultural resources surveys have been conducted within a 1-mile (1.6-km) radius of the APE. Two of the five previously surveyed project areas intersect the APE or are adjacent to (within 300 feet [91.4 m] of) the APE; the remainder of the previous survey areas are within the 1-mile buffer, but due to their distance from the APE, will not be traversed by the planned construction. Two archaeological sites (41CR43 and 41CR44) were recorded during the previous investigations; however, neither is located within the current APE. No additional archaeological sites or cultural resources, such as, cemeteries, National Register of Historic Places properties, historic markers, or historic features are located within or adjacent to (within 300 feet [91.4 m] of) the current APE.

The majority of the APE has been disturbed by oil and gas development associated with petroleum exploration and expansion, which includes well pads, crude oil and holding tanks, and surface and buried pipelines. Other disturbances include overhead and buried utilities, fence lines, vegetation clearing, earth moving, gravel access roads, and two-track roads. These impacts have resulted in significant disturbances throughout the APE.

The Texas Historical Commission / Council of Texas Archeologists survey standards for this project necessitated the excavation of 24 shovel tests along the 0.5-mile-long (0.8-km-long) segment of APE within University Lands. SWCA excavated a total of 27 shovel tests, thereby exceeding the survey standards for projects of this size. No cultural materials were recovered from any of the 27 shovel tests or observed on the ground surface.

In accordance with the ACT, SWCA has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify archaeological sites and historic properties within the investigated APE. Based on the negative shovel test results, the planned project will have no effect on cultural resources. SWCA recommends that because no cultural resources will be impacted by the project, no further archaeological investigations within the APE are warranted for the assessed portion of the Plains Connection 1 and 2 Pipeline Project on State of Texas public lands.

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