Father of City’s Environmental Engineer was SNE’s Director of Manufacturing and Material Management
Wausau resident’s reaction at the meeting regarding the City employee’s family connection: “I would have preferred to have had that disclosed.”
On Monday, the City of Wausau’s Environmental Engineer — Kevin Fabel — spent nearly 45 minutes presenting an REI report to the Parks Committee which dealt significantly with past Crestline and SNE contamination and how it relates to further testing in the park.
Shortly thereafter, it was learned that Fabel’s father had actually been Director of Manufacturing and Director of Material Management for SNE. That gentleman — Ken Fabel — had 30 years of history with the companies at hand, including both Crestline and SNE.
It is uncertain if members of the city council and the Mielke administration were already aware of the family connection, or if the information was new to them.
Hundreds of thousands of gallons of pentachlorophenol product (or “penta”) had seeped through soil and contaminated the Thomas Street neighborhood’s groundwater while Crestline and SNE were in operation. That pentachlorophenol contained significant dioxins per an internal SNE memo from Pete Nygaard to Howard Dolce which had been labeled “confidential.”
SNE was an enterprise of Sentry in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Sentry and its subsidiary, WAULECO, were defendants in a lawsuit in which numerous residents of the River Street and Thomas Street neighborhood alleged that cancer, illness, and even death resulted from past contamination stemming from operations at Crestline and SNE.
Chair of the Parks & Recreation Committee, Pat Peckham, has strongly supported the use of WAULECO’s consultant, TRC, to take the City’s soil samples for future Riverside Park testing. However, the possibility of using TRC has come under strong criticism from neighborhood residents and local environmentalists alike.
Source of Top Featured Image, “Fabel is SNE Director”: Wausau Daily Herald, December 9, 1983