Mitigation measures for all culturally significant locations found during an archaeological survey along the thirty-mile long proposed gas pipeline project in portions of Cleveland and McClain Counties in central Oklahoma should consider the degree of the impact, such as, no adverse affect, an adverse effect, or no effect. Other consideration, when considering mitigation techniques is how significant is the impact. Early notification of the State historic preservation officers is also important when determining historical site information and mitigation considerations.
1.Mitigation plans for location A (5 miles east of the westernmost point of the pipeline), which is already included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) would consist of the following; alternate routes that would avoid the NRHP site completely, down scaling the proposed project size, or possibly abandoning the pipeline project completely. All these proposed mitigation techniques could be used which would spare the NRHP site any adverse effects. If the pipeline project must continue along the proposed route, alternative mitigation options could be used. Possibly repairing, rehabilitating or even restoring the site where any damage has occurred during the construction phase of the pipeline. If these mitigation would not be acceptable, then relocation of the site and the salvage of all sites’ material if the site location had to be destroyed during construction.
2.Location B and C (8 miles and 9 miles, respectively, east of the westernmost point of the pipeline), were found eligible for NRHP protection. Mitigation measures at both location B and C would be the same as location A, since properties eligible for inclusions are covered under section 106 of The National Historic Preservation Act which is the same as properties already listed in the NRHP.
3.At location D (14 miles east of the westernmost point of the pipeline), an old building used as a farm house by early settler (about 100 years ago) in Cleveland county was found not eligible for the NRHP. Even thought the farmhouse was not eligible for the NRHP this does not necessarily mean that the farmhouse does not have historical value to the Locals. Consideration of Local concerns should be addressed when considering destruction of the farmhouse and possible mitigation measures. Other considerations include possible future eligibility to the NRHP, since the farmhouse is 100 years old. Possible mitigation measure could include relocation of the farmhouse or event an alternate route for the pipeline. Finally it may be necessary to demolish the farmhouse in the interest of the gas pipeline project.
4.At location E (23 miles east of the westernmost point of the pipeline) several grave sites were found: which are thought to be a part of a larger Indian burial ground. This location and all associated items would be protected by The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. Mitigation recommendation for this site would be not to disturb the graves by rerouting the pipeline, or canceling the pipeline project. Disruption of the Indian burial ground as a mitigation alternative would be unlikely.
Prearranged plans should be made for any additional historic properties found during the construction phase of the thirty-mile long pipeline. The plans should be included in any documentation during the assessment and consultation steps of the Section 106 process. It may be necessary to develop agreements or Memoranda of Understanding with the state and local archaeological agencies just in case a site is discovered during the construction phase. Care should be taken not to divulge any information to the public until the historical site is protected from thieves and from people that could damage the site.