By TAPINTO PATERSON STAFF
PATERSON, NJ – Long a thorn in the side of area residents due to how easily it has been accessible to vandals and others participating in unneighborly activity, the Allied Textile Printers (ATP) site will soon be fenced in, according to a statement issued by Mayor Andre Sayegh.
“We are grateful to the EPA for funding the work that will allow us to further ensure the safety of our residents,” Sayegh said. “The ATP site is a blighted area covered in graffiti and illegal activity and a solid fence will improve the quality of life for residents of the area as well as visitors to the Paterson Historic Great Falls.”
The project, seeking to better protect 6.75 acres of historically significant industrial ruins within the boundaries of the Great Falls National Historical Park that is currently considered a brownfield site due its many industrial uses and the presence of asbestos-containing building materials brought in over more than 150 years of active use, is expected to be completed by January.
“EPA stands with the City of Paterson in close cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s State Historic Preservation Office, and the U.S. National Park Service, in addressing contamination at this historic site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA is taking measures to restrict access to the site in order to prevent people from potentially coming into direct contact with the asbestos and lead contamination and to mitigate the chances of fire, which could spread the contamination to the surrounding area. EPA’s work will be done hand in hand with Paterson to ensure that there are no adverse effects on historic properties.”
The project will include the replacement of fencing around the ATP site, replacement of existing swing gates located on Van Houten Street, installation of fencing around a portion of the river, as well as the cutting and removal of vegetation for work completion. It is also the first of several upcoming phases to achieve the overall cleanup, rehabilitation and reuse of this significant historic site, where Paterson’s first industries and mills were established beginning in 1793.
“This federal support for Paterson is an important step toward promoting public safety and improving the Paterson Great Falls National Park,” said Rep. Pascrell, who wrote the law establishing the Great Falls as a national park in 2009. “We want to deter folks from dwelling in the ruins for their safety and to preserve these historical assets around the Falls for generations to come. I commend our mayor, Andre Sayegh, for his leadership and perseverance on this front. This is tremendous news for Paterson and can help improve the quality of life for neighbors to the site.”
Construction of the Quarry Lawn and River Walk Project is slated to begin in Spring 2021.