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The North Central Sewer Separation Project separated storm water and wastewater pipes in a section of the Columbus, Ohio downtown area. The project included investigation of 8,000 linear feet of combined sewer and sanitary sewer, with subsequent recommendations for rehabilitation and separation of storm from sanitary sewers. A portion of the funding for this project was obtained through Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's State Revolving Loan Program, also known as the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). Due to this funding source, a review was completed by various state agencies during the clearinghouse process. A stipulation was placed on the project to have an archaeological monitor witness construction of all subsurface structures, due to the historical nature of the area.

Through the course of construction, human remains were found in one of the trenches. Immediate coordination with the City Division of Sewerage and Drainage, the County Coroner, the State Historical Preservation Office, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency ensued. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was crafted between the OEPA and the SHPO regarding the site and the steps that should be taken. The MOU was created with input from the City, although the City had little authority to question the MOU's contents, beyond suggesting changes. A review of this MOU, its downfalls and benefits, is discussed.

This paper includes an overview of the project, what was found, and the steps taken to satisfy federal, state and local concerns regarding the historical findings. Lessons learned include what to do once a monitor is required on your project; what to do if and when the monitor makes a find; how to expedite the process to maintain a semblance of continuity for the Contractor and what to do when chains of command are broken and you are approached directly for information and action by someone other than the Client.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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