Arnold & Porter Obtains Successful Outcomes in Two ENERGY STAR Matters
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2013 -- Arnold & Porter LLP recently helped two consumer products companies avoid having their products placed on the government's "disqualified list" for alleged failures to meet industry standards in proceedings before the EPA's ENERGY STAR Program compliance office.
Under the government's ENERGY STAR oversight, the DOE or EPA acquires consumer products on the open marketplace and subjects them to rigorous testing. Arnold & Porter LLP represented two manufacturers whose products had failed verification testing in two different circumstances -- one in random testing by DOE, the other in testing initiated by a rival manufacturer.
In one case, the firm represented the manufacturer of a product that had already lost its ENERGY STAR status. Working with their client, Arnold & Porter's legal team developed evidence that an outdated version of the product had been tested, and presented evidence that the current version of the product satisfied ENERGY STAR standards and did not require requalification under a new model number (which would have been disruptive to the client's business). After reviewing the firm's submissions, EPA agreed to remove the client's product from the disqualified products list and allowed the company to continue sales of the product using the ENERGY STAR mark and the existing model number.
In a second case, Arnold & Porter LLP represented the seller of a product manufactured by a state-owned Chinese company. The model at issue had failed several rounds of testing and was slated to lose its ENERGY STAR status. Arnold & Porter LLP again worked with its client to identify the cause of the failures -- quality control issues at the manufacturer -- and to demonstrate that the problems affected only a narrow range of units. The firm's legal team tracked these units through the distribution process, demonstrating that nearly all suspect units had sold through, and worked with the client to develop a returns program in which customers with troubled units were offered replacement models. After reviewing the firm's submissions, EPA determined that the product would remain ENERGY STAR qualified, and the company was able to resume sales.