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An Intensive Cultural Resources Survey of the 13.0-Acre Manadas Wastewater Treatment Plant Project in Laredo, Webb County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
On 29 November 2017, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of the City of Laredo’s (City) proposed 13.0-acre Manadas Wastewater Treatment Plant Project in Laredo, Webb County, Texas (Project Area). To facilitate its construction, the City is pursuing federal funding through the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). As these funds are ultimately federal monies issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the undertaking falls under the regulations of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended. Additionally, the Project Area will be located on property owned by the City of Laredo. Because the City is a political subdivision of the state, the Project Area also falls under the regulations of the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). At the request of Zephyr Environmental Corporation (Zephyr), Horizon conducted the cultural resources survey of the Project Area on behalf of the City in compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA and the ACT. The purpose of the survey was to determine if any archeological sites were located within the Project Area and, if any existed, to determine if the undertaking had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or for formal designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). The investigations were conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee (TAC) permit number 8230.
The cultural resources survey of the Project Area resulted in the documentation of 1 newly recorded prehistoric archeological site. Site 41WB842 was recorded as a prehistoric open campsite covering the entirety of the 13.0-acre Project Area. Hundreds of chert flakes, fire-cracked rock (FCR) specimens, multiple bifaces, and 2 dart point fragments were observed on the site, suggesting that it may have served as a long-term campsite. Artifacts were observed scattered on the surface of the site, as well as subsurface in shovel tests to a depth of 31.4 inches (80.0 cm). The site was only recorded within the current Project Area, and undocumented portions of the site undoubtedly extend beyond the current Project Area. Considering the high artifact density on the site, along with the presence of temporally diagnostic tools and deeply buried deposits, it is Horizon’s opinion that the portion of site 41WB842 within the current Project Area could be a contributing element to the overall NRHP/SAP eligibility of the site.
Based on the limited information about site 41WB842 gathered during the survey phase of activities, insufficient data are currently available to determine whether or not the site meets the eligibility criteria for inclusion in the NRHP and/or for designation as an SAL. As such, the site is currently considered to be of undetermined NRHP and/or SAL eligibility. Horizon recommends avoidance of all ground-disturbing activities within the documented site boundaries in order to avoid any adverse effects to archeological deposits that may meet the criteria of significance. If avoidance is not feasible, then a supplemental phase of archeological significance testing investigations may be required to fully assess the eligibility of the site for inclusion in the NRHP and/or for designation as a SAL.
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