EPA chief Scott Pruitt met privately with Dow Chemical (DOW -0.8%) CEO Andrew Liveris shortly before reversing the agency's push to ban a widely used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children's brains, AP reports.
Pruitt met with Liveris on March 9 during a conference held at a Houston hotel; 20 days later, he announced his decision to deny a petition to ban Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food.
EPA has not responded to questions about what Pruitt and Liveris discussed during the March 9 meeting, or whether the two also met on other occasions.
Dow has sold chlorpyrifos as a pesticide since the mid-1960s, but under pressure from federal regulators over safety concerns it withdrew chlorpyrifos for use as a home insecticide in 2000, and the EPA placed "no-spray" buffer zones around sensitive sites such as schools in 2012.
Update (6/30): AP issued a correction, saying it "reported erroneously that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris for about a half-hour at a Houston hotel," although they did have a "brief introduction in passing."
Subscribe for full text news in your inbox