The Iowa Fertilizer Plant, which broke ground in Lee County, Iowa in November 2012 is back on track. During initial survey work, archaeological artifacts were unearthed, suspending work on the site until archaeologists determined the significance of the find.
After meeting with Tribal leadership and state officials, the Army Corps. of Engineers issued a permit allowing the project to proceed.
The permit from the Corps. does stipulate that a 20 meter radius around the discovery site must be excavated with an archaeologist on hand, but so far, no human remains have been found. Another 10 acre portion of the 320 acre plot shows signs of possible habitation and will be subject to a full-scale archaeological excavation, but will not hamper progress on the facility.
Surveyors had found fragments of a broken Native American pipe which often signals a significant human burial nearby. But in this case, the pipe is thought to have been discarded, rather than buried with its deceased owner. Special cautions are in place and while excavation will have to be monitored, the Iowa Fertilizer Plant has received the go-ahead to continue construction.