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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

During the 2020 calendar year, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted intensive cultural resources surveys for two proposed Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC (Anadarko) projects located on property owned by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) in Reeves County, Texas (Project Areas). These projects included several flowline and pipeline rights-of-way (ROWs). Both projects were privately funded and did not require any federal permitting or coordination. However, as the GLO is considered to be a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the portions of the two projects on GLO property fell under the regulations of the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). At the request of Whitenton Group, Inc. (Whitenton), Horizon conducted the cultural resources surveys of the Project Areas on behalf of Anadarko in compliance with the ACT. Overall, these surveys assessed approximately 9.7 acres of GLO land. The purpose of the surveys was to determine if any archeological sites were located within the Project Areas and, if any existed, to determine if the projects had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites considered eligible for formal designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). The cultural resources surveys were conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee (TAC) annual permit number 9226.

The cultural resources surveys of the two Project Areas resulted in the documentation of one new archeological site. Site 41RV207 was documented as a diffuse, low-density prehistoric lithic scatter situated near the apex of a gradually sloping desert upland within Anadarko’s Manassas State 55-4-21 1H-3H Gas, Oil, and SWD Pipeline Projects. The presence of early stage lithic flaking debris and the absence of any formal tools, fire-cracked rock (FCR), or cultural features on the site suggest that it functioned as a lithic procurement area rather than a campsite. The boundaries of the site were only documented within the limits of the current Project Area, and the site’s deposits could continue for a currently undefined distance to the north and south. As such, the full horizontal extent of site 41RV207 was not assessed, and its overall SAL eligibility status remains undetermined. However, based on: 1) the surficial nature of the observed cultural deposits; 2) the lack of buried, stratified cultural deposits; 3) the lack of any temporally diagnostic materials on the site; and 4) the lack of any preserved floral/faunal remains, it was Horizon’s opinion that the portion of site 41RV207 within the boundaries of the current Project Area is ineligible for formal designation as a SAL.

The cultural resources survey of the second Project Area assessed during 2020 resulted in entirely negative findings. No cultural materials were observed on the surface of the other assessed location or within any of the excavated shovel tests.

Based on the survey results, it was Horizon’s opinion that the development of the two projects would have no adverse effects on significant cultural resources designated as or considered eligible for designation as SALs on GLO property. Horizon therefore recommended that Anadarko be allowed to proceed with the construction of these projects relative to the jurisdiction of the ACT. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) concurred with these recommendations for both projects.

All recovered cultural materials (if any) and all original field notes, maps, drawings, and photographs were to be curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) in accordance with the TAC Permit-Terms and Conditions and Texas Administrative Code Title 13, Part 2, Chapter 26.C.26.17.

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