IPSWICH — Police have cited a New Hampshire contractor after he allegedly left a nearly 4-mile trail of oil across town Tuesday while transporting a tank of heating oil from a home undergoing demolition.

Acting Chief Jonathan Hubbard discovered the oil trail shortly after noon on Tuesday, and he radioed his findings into dispatch. Ipswich Fire and DPW crews immediately responded and began treating the oil slicks with sand and drying agents. 

A Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Response Team also responded to Ipswich to provide assistance.

As a result of an investigation, a 56-year-old Portsmouth, N.H., man was cited for violation of Massachusetts General Laws pertaining to a vehicle dropping its load on the highway. 

The police investigation determined that contractors demolishing a house on Bowdoin Road had punctured a home heating oil tank, then loaded it onto a truck for transport.

The tank spilled several hundred gallons of the oil along 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 ended.

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 the 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.