Paul A. Nikas, Chief of Police
15 Elm St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Ipswich Police Cite New Hampshire Contractor after Oil Spill on Roadway
Contractor Demolishing Home Punctured Heating Oil Tank, Left Trail Nearly 4 Miles Long
IPSWICH — Acting Chief of Police Jonathan Hubbard reports that the Ipswich Police Department has cited a Portsmouth, New Hampshire contractor after he allegedly left an oil trail all over town while transporting a home heating oil tank earlier this week.
As a result of an investigation, an 56-YEAR-OLD MAN FROM PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE has been cited for violation of MGL Ch. 85 Sec. 36 Dropping Load on Way.
Acting Chief Hubbard discovered an oil trail shortly after noontime on Tuesday, and he radioed his findings into dispatch. Ipswich Fire and DPW crews immediately responded and began to treat the oil slicks with sand and drying agents.
A Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Response Team also responded to Ipswich to provide assistance.
The investigation indicated that contractors performing demolition on a Bowdoin Road home punctured a home heating oil tank and then loaded it onto a truck for transport. The tank spilled several hundred gallons of home heating oil on the roadways of Little Neck Road, Jeffrey’s Neck Road, East Street, County Street, County Road, and Essex Road, a span of approximately four miles, before the trail stopped.
Ipswich Fire Deputy Chief Jeff French obtained video from a business on County Road which showed a vehicle registered to T J Berky Builders of Rye, New Hampshire. Several tips also came in over social media.
In addition to the citation, the DEP may assess the contractor for all costs associated with this spill. It is unknown if there was any additional environmental impact beyond the roadway, but Acting Chief Hubbard notes that crews were very quick to begin the cleanup effort.
“This incident, while unfortunate, is an example of great teamwork and efficiency among the Ipswich Police and Fire Departments, Ipswich Public Works and the DEP,” he said. “Working together, we were able to quickly clean up the spill and find the vehicle in question.”