Texas Historical Commission


ohn D. Mercer and Associates on behalf of the Port O’Connor Improvement District (POCID) requested assistance from Atkins North America, Inc. for environmental and permitting services in support of the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) guidelines for the completion of an Environmental Data Form. The proposed project also required pre-construction notification under Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 Utility Line Activities, NWP 7 Outfall Structures, NWP 13 Bank Stabilization, and a possible Navigation 408 application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston District. Additionally, portions of the proposed project would be constructed on property owned by the POCID or Calhoun County and once completed, was anticipated to be operated by the POCID. The POCID, utilizing funds from the TWDB, proposed the installation of five new water wells and connecting water lines, along with a new ground storage tank and a new reverse osmosis treatment facility. An outfall line for the reverse osmosis rejected water would be constructed from the reverse osmosis facility to a discharge point in the Gulf Intracoastal Water Way (GIWW).

Atkins archaeologists conducted Cultural Resources Investigations for the Port O’Connor Improvement District Water Line, Water Well and Water Plant Improvements Project, located in Calhoun County, Texas between August 31, 2020 and September 2, 2020 under Texas Antiquities Permit (TAP) Number 9538. During the archaeological survey, a total of 34 shovel tests were placed along the 3,389 linear meters (11,119 linear feet) survey area as well as the 0.036 hectares (0.089 acres) of well pad sites. Archaeological survey work was completed by a two-person crew, including the Principal Investigator, over three days. Due to the sandy coastal soils, almost all of the shovel tests went to the research designed planned depth of 80 centimeters below surface (cmbs). While none of the shovel tests encountered archaeological sites, artifacts, or any other sign of cultural occupancy, two shovel tests showed soil horizons that could represent buried A Horizons (paleosols). However, the possible buried paleosols did not show any signs of archaeological remains nor cultural features, so one can only speculate as to any possible occupancy in the past. A large portion of the area of potential effects (APE) proved to be previously disturbed by utility lines, highways, driveways, or building construction, and any archaeological sites located in those areas would already be highly disturbed or destroyed. Additionally, no historic structures were observed within 150 ft of the APE. Because much of the APE proved to be disturbed, and since no known archaeological sites and no historic properties were located within or adjacent to the project APE, and no new archaeological sites or cultural remains were discovered during the survey, Atkins archaeologists recommended that the project be allowed to proceed as proposed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
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