Texas Historical Commission
During the months of July and August 2017, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of the portions of Enterprise Crude Pipeline LLC’s (Enterprise) proposed Loving to Midland pipeline right-of-way (ROW) that are located on public land in southwestern Martin County and north-central Midland County, Texas (Project Area). The development of the pipeline ROW will be privately funded and will not require any federal permitting or coordination. However, portions of the proposed ROW cross land owned by the City of Midland. Because this is public property, the portion of the proposed ROW on the City of Midland property falls under the regulations of the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). At the request of Whitenton Group, Inc. (Whitenton), Horizon conducted the cultural resources survey of the Project Area on behalf of Enterprise in compliance with 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 project had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites considered eligible for formal designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). The cultural resources investigations were conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee (TAC) permit number 8095.
Overall, the entire proposed ROW measures 106.0 miles (170.6 kilometers [km]) long by 100.0 feet (30.5 meters [m]) wide, with a total area of approximately 1,284.8 acres. However, the Project Area consists of only the segments of the proposed ROW on the property owned by the City of Midland. The original route across the City of Midland property measured approximately 2.4 miles (3.7 km) long by 100.0 feet (30.5 m) wide, with a total area of approximately 29.1 acres. A subsequent reroute of this alignment shifted the proposed ROW to the northwest and northeast, resulting in a route across the City of Midland property that measured approximately 5.2 miles (8.4 km) long by 100.0 feet (30.5 m) wide, with a new total area of approximately 63.0 acres.
The cultural resources survey of the original alignment of the Project Area resulted in entirely negative findings. No cultural materials were observed on the surface of the original alignment of the Project Area or within any of the 40 excavated shovel tests.
The cultural resources investigations conducted along the rerouted alignment of the Project Area resulted in the formal documentation of Hughes’ Site 1, which he noted in 1985 during an earlier assessment of the property containing the rerouted alignment of the Project Area. This site, 41MT78, is technically located just outside of the limits of the current Project Area and will not be impacted. However, Horizon elected to formally document it due to its relative proximity to the Project Area. It consists of sparse and diffuse scatter of burned caliche pebbles within a plowed agricultural field. No other cultural materials aside from burned caliche were observed at this location. Hughes’ Site 2 and Site 3 are located a considerable distance away from the current Project Area. As such, they were not reassessed or formally documented.
Based on the negative survey results along the original and rerouted alignments of the Project Area, it is Horizon’s opinion that the construction of the proposed Loving to Midland pipeline ROW across property owned by the City of Midland will have no adverse effect on significant cultural resources designated as or considered eligible for designation as SALs. Horizon therefore recommends that Enterprise be allowed to proceed with the construction of the proposed pipeline relative to the jurisdiction of the ACT.
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