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Locals angry over suds storm from nearby creek

Locals angry over suds storm from nearby creek

BLACK CREEK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- These are bubbles you'd only hope to see in your washing machine.

But they're down miles of Black Creek, and coming up into people's yards and homes, including Sam Smith's.

"Well at first I thought it was just some sorta prank or something," Smith said.

He didn't want to be on camera but gladly showed us how the suds storm in his backyard, stuck in trees and up along the steps he built.

You can see in a photo he snapped from this morning, the street in front of his house is completely covered.

"I'm pretty upset about it. You know, just because I've done so much work and stuff to the property this year. And I was really hoping to be able to use it next year to fish or have picnics or camp out down there," he said.

What exactly got into the water is unclear at this time.

The EPA is now investigating, saying they've pinpointed the source back to the Henkel Consumer Products Plant in West Hazleton -- formerly known as the Dial Plant.

In a statement, they said: "Samples were taken and sent to the DEP labs in Harrisburg for evaluation. An investigation by the department is underway. The Greater Hazleton Sewer Authority is also involved in the investigation.

You can see an open pipe directly beneath the Henkle property with a line of suds coming down towards the creek.

"It used to smell like an outhouse but now it smells like fabric softener, just like if you got done drying your clothes," said Gary Zanolini.

Zanolini owns a business up the road and says the creek has been polluted for years from the Valmont Industrial Park Henkel and other companies sit on.

"Who knows what's in that creek, you know what I'm saying? They could dump anything in there from wherever," said Zanolini.

Now he and others hope that investigators will figure out what happened and those responsible will be held accountable.

"They could clean it up and make a trout stream out of it, that would be nice for the future generations. We'll see what happens."

As for Smith, he's hoping for changes in an even bigger way.

"I'd like to see Mr. Trump reinstate some of his EPA regulations and money to the EPA because really are affected by decisions that companies make to save a dollar," he said.

We have reached out to Henkle Corporation but they have not returned our request for comment.

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