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Cultural Resources Survey of the Lone Star Express II Pipeline Project - Loop 2, in Nolan, Taylor, Callahan, and Eastland Counties, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Gray & Pape, Inc., of Houston, Texas, on behalf of Lonestar NGL Pipeline, LP, conducted an intensive pedestrian cultural resources survey within permitted areas of the 117.85-kilometer (73.23-mile) long Lone Star Express II Pipeline Project – Loop 2, in Nolan, Taylor, Callahan, and Eastland Counties, Texas. The lead agency for the project has been identified as the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District (Permit No. SWF-2019-00234). Thus, survey efforts concentrated on areas anticipated to be under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (permit areas). Within Loop 2, the total Area of Potential Effects within the permit areas measures approximately 125.9 hectares (311 acres). This area encapsulates approximately 29 kilometers (18 miles) of the proposed project alignment. The procedures to be followed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill the requirements set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act, other applicable historic preservation laws, and Presidential directives as they relate to the regulatory program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (33 CFR Parts 320-334) are articulated in the Regulatory Program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Part 325 - Processing of Department of the Army Permits, Appendix C - Procedures for the Protection of Historic Properties. All fieldwork and reporting activities were completed according to a scope of work submitted to the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas Historical Commission and accepted standards set forth by the Texas Historical Commission and the Council of Texas Archeologists and in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. A records and literature review of the project location prior to the survey identified 17 previously recorded archaeological resources, one cemetery, one historic marker, and 17 previously conducted surveys within a 0.8-kilometer (0.5-mile) radius of the Loop 2 segment. Of those, six recorded archaeological resources are within 91 meters (300 feet) of the project corridor and four previous surveys intersect the project alignment. Fieldwork on Loop 2 was initially conducted in Spring 2019, with supplemental investigations taking place in August, October, and November of 2019. Survey of Loop 2 required approximately 2,320 person-hours to complete and involved archaeological reconnaissance and shovel testing throughout anticipated permit areas within the project corridor. In total, approximately 677 shovel tests were excavated within permit areas and beyond in cases of site delineation, of which six within the APE were positive for cultural materials. A total of 14 mechanical auger tests were conducted within Permit Area 6 at Mulberry Creek. All were negative for cultural materials. Five previously recorded resources: 41NL318, 41TA353, 41TA354, 41TA314, and 41CA27; six new resources: 41TA396, 41TA397, 41TA398, 41TA399, 41CA42, and 41CA43; and two isolate finds were identified within Loop 2 permit areas. Materials were identified adjacent to one additional previously identified resource, 41TA371, located outside of Project Permit Areas. The material consisted of only two artifacts found on the surface in a disturbed context. Thus, the site was not expanded into the current Area of Potential Effects. Four resources are of a historic age or have a historic component: 41NL318, 41TA396, 41TA397, and 41TA399. Historic components generally consist of early to mid-twentieth century and twentieth-century materials representative of trash dumps. Site 41NL318 contains a remnant of a private drive/road and associated wooden bridge. The remainder of the resources are prehistoric. Prehistoric site contents consist nearly entirely of surface scatters of artifacts, with artifact classes largely the same across each, consisting mainly of debitage, with varying numbers of cores and bifaces. On very few occasions, a preform or utilized flake were also observed. In general, the resources appear to represent raw material procurement areas due to the abundant chert deposits available in the rocky soil. Activities are believed to have been largely limited to the procurement and testing of cobbles and expedient manufacture of bifaces. It appears that more refined tool manufacture was taking place elsewhere. Resources 41NL318, 41TA353/354, 41TA396, and 41TA314 contained the only diagnostic prehistoric artifacts identified during survey. Site 41TA353/354 contained Elam and Carrollton type projectile points and Site 41NL318 contained a Clear Fork Uniface, all of which can date to the middle to transitional Archaic. Sites 41TA396 and 41TA314 each contained a likely Marshall dart point which dates to the Late Middle Archaic. No artifacts were collected. No cultural features or historic-age standing resources were encountered in the field. The resource areas identified within the pipeline survey corridor have been previously disturbed by adjacent pipeline construction. Shovel test results at nearly all permit areas identified subsoils, cemented soils, or bedrock and gave indications of soil deflation or truncating, erosion, and past land modifications such as terracing and grading. Mulberry Creek in Taylor County, Permit Area Number 6, was targeted for deep testing based on geomorphological data, and field results and discussions with the Field Archaeologist. Deep test results indicated a lack of A horizon soils and showed no potential for deeply buried cultural material or paleosols within the anticipated depth of impacts at the location. Based on the overall lack of soil deposition, few diagnostics, and lack of integrity, it is the opinion of Gray & Pape, Inc. that the portions of recorded resources that are located within the proposed right-of- way do not retain the potential to provide significant research value and are thus recommended not eligible for the National Register, under Evaluation Criterion D or for State Antiquities Landmark status. Gray & Pape, Inc. recommends no additional archaeological work for these resources or surveyed permit areas of the project. However, Gray & Pape, Inc. recommends that an unanticipated discoveries plan be put into place in the event that such discoveries take place during construction.
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