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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Tar-Like Substance Spilled Onto Grey County Roads

Grey County | by Matt Hermiz  

County seeks tips to identify driver.

Grey County is looking for tips to help locate the driver of a vehicle responsible for spilling a tar-like substance onto more than 60 kilometres of its roads.

County officials say sometime early in the morning of June 6 a significant spill occurred on Grey County Road 40 and Grey County Road 3, leaving an unknown tar-like substance on the road surface.

The spill was not reported by the driver.

County staff say it appears the issue began when the vehicle was in Chatsworth, then it travelled down Grey Road 40, turn south at Grey Road 3. It then continued through Ayton and into Wellington County.

A Chatsworth Township resident notified Grey County officials about the spill just prior to 9:30 a.m. June 6.
County officials say crews from two patrols were sent to investigate and ensure the road was safe. Sand was applied to the surface to try and dry the substance and add more traction. Grey County staff performed stop tests multiple times to ensure the road was safe.

County officials say the material hardened on the road as it dried, similar to tar. Now that it has dried, county officials say they're having success removing it with sweepers.

The county has notified the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks about the spill.

The estimated cost of responding to the spill and cleaning it up is around $8,000.

"Our issue is it costs us and the taxpayers a lot of money to go and clean this up," says Grey County's Director of Transportation Services Pat Hoy. "We had this happen a couple of years ago in Hanover. And quite a few residents had it on their cars and had to end up filing insurance claims to get it cleaned off ... it can cause a lot of damage to vehicles as well."

Hoy adds this was a serious and dangerous incident and fortunately no one was hurt.

"But we still need to find out who is responsible and what happened to cause such a widespread spill,” Hoy explains. “We’re asking for the public’s help. Anyone with information about the spill, or anyone who witnessed it, are asked to contact Grey County.”

Hoy suspects it was likely a large vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer, that was likely the source of the spill given it spanned some 60 kilometres.

Anyone who has information about the incident can contact Grey County by email at or via phone at 1-800-567-4739.

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