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RULE §26.25Memorandum of Understanding with Texas Department of Transportation

    (C) posting notices with local churches.

  (4) An exhumation project is itself not a type of investigation that requires an outreach effort or curation of materials at a state-certified facility.

(n) Archeological Sites and Cemeteries found after Award of Contract.

  (1) When potential historic properties are identified during implementation of a TxDOT project or unanticipated effects on historic properties are determined, work in the immediate area of the discovery shall cease, and TxDOT shall be notified of the discovery; if appropriate, security measures will be initiated to protect the discovery.

  (2) TxDOT will notify the THC within 48 hours of the discovery.

  (3) For unanticipated discoveries of archeological materials that do not contain human burials, TxDOT will undertake each of the following additional actions:

    (A) TxDOT will verify that the discovery does not contain human burials. As necessary, TxDOT will obtain and perform this investigation under an emergency permit or other appropriate Antiquities Permit category.

    (B) Upon confirmation that the discovery does not contain human burials, TxDOT may allow construction at the site to proceed.

    (C) TxDOT shall complete or update a State of Texas Archeological Site Data Form based on the available information.

    (D) TxDOT will find that the property comprises an archeological historic property.

    (E) TxDOT will develop a mitigation proposal to resolve the adverse effects of the undertaking on the archeological historic property. This proposal shall not necessarily involve any further excavations at the historic property.

    (F) The level of effort described in the proposal shall be commensurate with the nature of the resource, based on the available information.

    (G) TxDOT will develop the proposal in coordination with THC and obtain the appropriate Antiquities Permit for this work.

  (4) For unanticipated discoveries involving human burials, TxDOT shall follow the applicable requirements of the Health and Safety Code, Title 1, Section 711.

    (A) Work may resume in areas outside the boundaries of the cemetery.

    (B) Work may resume in a cemetery area if that cemetery has been removed in compliance with the applicable requirements of the Health and Safety Code, Title 1, Section 711.

(o) Standard Treatments for Particular Resource Types. Isolated wells or cisterns unassociated with other remains will be treated as follows:

  (1) Isolated wells or cisterns that post-date 1900 A.D. do not warrant notification of THC or additional investigation. Removal or sealing of these features does not constitute an adverse effect.

  (2) Isolated wells or cisterns that pre-date 1900 A.D. require research and documentation of their location, construction, condition, and original context. Upon completion of the research and documentation, these features may be backfilled and capped. These activities do not constitute an adverse effect.

(p) Artifact Recovery and Curation.

  (1) Artifact recovery.

    (A) Artifacts or analysis samples (such as soil samples) that are recovered from survey, testing, or data recovery investigations by TxDOT or their contracted agents that address the research questions must be cleaned, labeled, and processed in preparation for long-term curation unless the artifacts or samples are approved by THC for discard under this chapter and Chapter 29 of this title (relating to Management and Care of Artifacts and Collections).

    (B) To ensure proper care and curation, recovery methods must conform to the applicable requirements of this chapter and Chapter 29 of this title.

    (C) Artifacts recovered from underwater testing and data recovery projects require conservation as stated in §26.15 of this title and the conservation facility must be included in the permit application and data recovery plan.

  (2) Artifact curation.

    (A) TxDOT or its permitted contractor may temporarily house artifacts and samples during laboratory analysis and research, but upon completion of the analysis, artifacts and accompanying documentation must be transferred to a permanent curatorial facility in accordance with the terms of the antiquities permit.

    (B) Artifacts and samples will be placed at an appropriate artifact curatorial repository which fulfills the applicable requirements of Chapter 29 of this title, as approved by THC. When appropriate, TxDOT will consult with THC to identify for disposal collections or portions of collections that do not have identifiable value for future research or public interpretation. Final approval regarding the disposition of collections will be made by THC.

    (C) TxDOT is responsible for the curatorial preparation of all artifacts to be submitted for curation so that they are acceptable to the receiving curatorial repository and fulfill the applicable requirements of this chapter and Chapter 29 of this title, as approved by THC.

(q) Documentation for Archeological Sites and Cemeteries.

  (1) Projects subject to review for archeological sites and cemeteries under this MOU will be documented by TxDOT in the manner described in this section. Documentation in the project file for each such project will include, at a minimum:

    (A) a description of the project, defining the APE or the investigated portion of the APE in three dimensions;

    (B) a project location map, plotting the project location on 7.5' Series USGS quadrangle maps;

    (C) information regarding the setting that is relevant for the assessment of the integrity of any archeological sites within the APE;

    (D) information on previously-recorded archeological sites in the project location;

    (E) description and justification of the level of effort undertaken for the investigation; and

    (F) results and recommendations.

  (2) All TxDOT survey and testing reports will also include:

    (A) description and justification of field methods, including the sampling strategy;

    (B) description and quantification of any archeological materials identified;

    (C) accurate plotting of any sites found on 7.5' Series USGS quadrangle maps;

    (D) submission of electronic TexSite archeological site survey forms to the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory; and

    (E) recommendations regarding whether any site merits further investigation.

(r) Quarterly Reports for Archeological Sites and Cemeteries. Reports will be submitted by TxDOT to THC at least once per quarter, within 60 business days after the end of the calendar quarter. The report will list all projects for which TxDOT has documented that no historic properties and cemeteries are present in the project's area of potential effect, and those projects that will have no adverse effects on archeological historic properties and cemeteries.

(s) Public Outreach Regarding Archeological Sites and Cemeteries

  (1) TxDOT will conduct programmatic outreach in order to:

    (A) broaden understanding of Texas archeology and history and TxDOT's role in studying these topics;

    (B) capitalize on partnerships to reach more stakeholders and maximize outreach success;

    (C) create opportunities to do outreach using content from many different projects; and

    (D) use outreach to establish and maintain a link between TxDOT's public involvement and consultation efforts.

  (2) The outreach program will take the following forms:

    (A) TxDOT will develop and implement a communications plan;

    (B) TxDOT will increase stakeholder outreach by conducting studies of existing and potential audiences, sharing information and opportunities with partners, partnering with other agencies on educational and outreach activities, and participating in conferences and events to raise awareness of TxDOT's work;

    (C) TxDOT will create special projects or campaigns to support the goals of the program;

    (D) TxDOT will streamline public involvement by working with other internal offices to identify and engage with parties who may wish to engage in consultation on FHWA undertakings under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; and

    (E) TxDOT will monitor the effectiveness of its efforts and make appropriate adjustments to achieve the outreach goals.

(t) Projects Excluded from Review for Non-Archeological Historic Properties.

  (1) For the purposes of this subsection, the term historic properties will refer only to non-archeological historic properties.


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