Former Forster site contaminated by fuel, says province

Very little information about the site has been shared by the school board because of the controversial sale of Forster to the owners of the Ambassador Bridge last month.
The old Forster high school site in West Windsor had been contaminated by fuel, according to information from the province's Ministry of Environment.

The old Forster high school property in West Windsor had been contaminated by fuel while still owned by the Greater Essex County District School Board, the CBC has learned.

Contamination was identified by the Ministry of Environment back in late 2014, when it was informed fuel had leaked into soil and ground water from a neighbouring waste processing plant owned at the time by BFI Canada.

BFI would later become part of Progressive Waste Solutions, the same company that bought the old Forster school site for $1.2 million and flipped it to the owners of the Ambassador Bridge just last month.

School officials have remained silent about the controversial sale, saying only that it was sold to Progressive because of a legal dispute with the company.

Contamination source

In a written statement, ministry officials said they learned about the "migration of fuel from the BFI Canada Inc. site." At the time the company had "completed the removal of some underground fuel storage tanks."

Testing showed contaminants in both soil and groundwater, but there was no immediate threat to human health or the environment, according to the ministry.

"As a precaution, groundwater monitoring continues at the site," the ministry wrote.

School trustees decided to close Forster school back in 2012. Officials from the district said they did not have time to respond to questions about the contamination when contacted on Thursday.

Trustees have not spoken about the sale of the property publicly, saying they have been advised to stay silent by the district's lawyers.

The controversial sale and the lack of details angered many residents in the area when the sale was made public in January.

With files from Ioana Draghici