U.S. National Park Service spokesman says director's comments do not point to Coca-Cola influencing decision to halt plastic water bottle ban at Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona , December 1, 2011 () – National Park Service director Jon Jarvis applauded a plan to ban the sale of plastic water bottles at the Grand Canyon.

But he noted there would be consequences since the Coca-Cola Co., a bottled water distributer, was a major sponsor of the Park Service's recycling efforts.

A Park Service spokesman said Thursday that Jarvis' comments in no way meant that Coca-Cola had an influence on Jarvis' decision to halt the plan. The ban was to go into effect earlier this year.

The executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility sees it differently. Jeff Ruch says Jarvis' statement appears to confirm that corporate contributions dictated Park Service conservation policies.

Jarvis made the comments in an email obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

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