Scott Pruitt, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency, listens before President Trump arrives to speak during a roundtable on energy at the White House Roosevelt Hall in June. (Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post)
This publication has been updated.
The lobbyist whose wife rented to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt a room in a Capitol Hill condominium for $ 50 per night helped to organize a July 11 meeting at the agency related to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, according to the records and an EPA official.
Dennis Treacy, a former executive vice president of Smithfield Foods who is now a member of the Smithfield Foundation board, first contacted an official at the EPA Office of Intergovernmental Relations last May to organize the session as part of his role as citizen representative of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.
Subsequently, Williams & Jensen J. Steven Hart's president – whose wife, Vicki, was renting a room for Pruitt called on the administrator's aides to encourage them to attend the meeting, according to an agency official who spoke under condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisals. [19659006LareuniónasícomounregistrodecabildeoWilliams&JensenpresentadoelviernesafirmandoqueHartpresionóalaEPAduranteelprimertrimestredeesteañoennombredeSmithfieldFoodssugierequeloslazoscomercialesdeHartconlaEPAeranmásextensosdeloquepreviamentedescribióEnentrevistasconTheWashingtonPostyotrosmediosHartdijoquenopresionóalaagenciaen2017o2018
The declaration form states that Hart pressed lobbying on behalf of Smithfield in "related support programs Chesapeake Bay EPA Issues". "A statement from the firm noted that" an independent review of the company's lobbying activity before the quarterly filing deadline concluded that Mr. Hart had lobbied in contact with the Environmental Protection Agency in the first quarter of 2018. "
Both Hart and Smithfield Foods issued statements Friday saying the meeting was not related to the firm's official business, Politico reported for the first time the new lobbying record and the July 11 meeting.
According to the emails After receiving electronic mail from The Post, Hart told Pruitt's chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, that he would accompany Treacy to that meeting.
"Ryan – Dennis has [asked] me to join him tomorrow," Hart wrote on the 10th. of July." He's a good guy and you can trust him. "He enters as a commercial representative at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, another of his controversies.
The EPA's Chesapeake Bay program office oversees an extensive cleanup effort, which coordinates activities between the federal government, several Mid-Atlantic states, and the District. The Trump administration proposed cutting the program's funds last year by 93 percent, but it remained virtually intact.
In his initial email to EPA officials, Treacy said that while serving in the Virginia state government, in Smithfield and in groups such as the Virginia Chamber of Commerce: "I have acquired a unique and focused vision of protection I've seen it everywhere. "
Hart, who on Friday informed his colleagues that he would retire as president of his company due to the negative press surrounding Pruitt's unusual housing rental agreement with his wife, said in a statement Saturday that he had "helped to a friend who served on the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and this is incorrectly related to Smithfield Foods. " His statement continued: "I was not paid for this help and any suggestion that I put pressure on Smithfield Foods is incorrect."  The Smithfield Foods statement said that the meeting was not held at the request of the company. "The objective, although laudable, was not assumed under the direction of Smithfield Foods or on behalf of it," he said. "These activities were carried out at the request of a former executive and current member of the board of the Smithfield Foundation, Dennis Treacy, in his personal capacity."
Correction: an earlier version of this misnamed publication Chesapeake Bay Commission.
& # 39; A factory of bad ideas & # 39 ;: how Scott Pruitt undermined his mission at the EPA
Pruitt updated a large custom SUV with bulletproof vests on their seats
EPA aide who also received large increases bought for housing on his behalf