Intensive Archaeological Survey of the Steel Dynamics 138-Acre Energy Corridor Project
On behalf of Steel Dynamics, Inc. (SDI), Quanta Environmental Solutions (Quanta Environmental) conducted archival research, agency coordination, a 100 percent pedestrian survey and extensive shovel testing of an approximate one mile long by 0.2- mile wide corridor for the SDI Energy Corridor Project (approximately 138-acres), located two miles northeast of Sinton, Texas. The investigations were conducted consistent with the standards and guidelines of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA 1966, as amended), the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT, Title 9, Chapter 191 of the Texas Natural Resource Code), and the recently adopted archaeological survey standards of the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA). The Project involves only privately-owned land and no state permits were required to conduct the investigations. SDI intends to construct a railroad connection spur from a proposed steel mill to the existing Union Pacific Railroad line along U.S. Highway 77. The Project is subject to Section 106 of the NHPA (1992, as amended) due to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District (Corps) Section 404/10 permit requirements (Department of the Army Permit Application #SWG-2019-00375). The Corps Staff Archeologist reviewed the permit area in accordance with Corps regulations and determined that the permit area has the potential to contain archeological sites potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (historic properties), and recommended a cultural resources survey be conducted in the permit area prior to any further ground disturbing activities. In close coordination with the Corps and SHPO, Quanta Environmental conducted an intensive pedestrian and shovel testing archaeological survey of the approximate 138-acre industrial site development tract. Per CT A survey standards, pedestrian survey transects were spaced at approximately 30-meter intervals. A total of 92 negative shovel tests (STs) were excavated in support of pedestrian survey. No cultural materials, archaeological sites or historic-age structures were identified. Quanta Environmental requests concurrence that based on the information in this draft report, the scope of work has been fulfilled. Quanta Environmental requests concurrence that no historic properties are present within the Project. Quanta Environmental respectfully requests that the Project be allowed to proceed under Section 106 of the NHPA and that all Section 106 consultation for the Project be considered concluded and complete. Quanta Environmental requests concurrence that the SDI Project Corps Permit Application (#SWG-2019-00375) be moved forward for approval with regard to Section 106 of the NHPA.