Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt did not meet privately with the Dow Chemical CEO, contrary to reporting by the Associated Press.
A spokesperson for Dow Chemical confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that no such meeting took place. The EPA said while Pruitt was scheduled to meet with Andrew Liveris at a Houston hotel in March, the meeting was cancelled.
"I can confirm that a meeting between Andrew Liveris and Scott Pruitt never happened," said Rachelle Schikorra, a spokesperson for Dow. "The two were attending the same conference where an introductory meet-and-greet was scheduled with no topics specified. However that meeting never happened due to schedule conflicts."
"The two have never had a meeting and have never discussed any Dow products," she said.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Pruitt held a private meeting for 30 minutes with Liveris on March 9, implying that the meeting influenced the EPA's decision 20 days later on whether or not to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide manufactured by Dow.
A petition to ban chlorpyrifos brought forth by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America, a group that fights against "corporate greed," and the environmentalist group Natural Resources Defense Council was denied by the EPA on March 29.
In denying the petition, the EPA said the science remains unresolved and that further study is needed.
The EPA also said Pruitt holds many meetings with officials and businessmen, but did not meet privately with Liveris.
"The Associated Press prides themselves on accuracy, but now they are deliberately ignoring facts to mislead Americans in an attempt to undermine the Trump administration's environmental goals," said EPA spokesman Liz Bowman.
The Associated Press did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Update 6:30 p.m.: The Associated Press published an article late Friday evening that said the meeting between Pruitt and Liveris was cancelled. The original story about the meeting was not updated.