B&D excels at helping global companies—including manufacturers of automobiles, trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles, on-road and non-road engines, automotive components, transportation technologies, and other players in the automotive supply chain—manage their U.S. environmental regulatory compliance, enforcement, and litigation needs.

Our capabilities include related product and chemical, health and safety, natural resource, insurance coverage, and transactional counseling. The firm’s robust international practice extends these capabilities worldwide, both directly and through our network of carefully-cultivated local counsel in over 40 countries whom we deploy when needed.

Industry Highlights

The firm’s experience encompasses all aspects of EPA and CARB regulation, including emissions standards, vehicle testing and certification, fuel economy requirements, fleet compliance, emissions warranties, averaging/banking and trading provisions, on-board diagnostics, vehicle recalls, exemptions, import and export requirements, engine and vehicle labeling, electric vehicle and battery regulation, and FTP dynamometer, in-use vehicle performance (IUVP), and portable emissions monitoring system (PEMs) testing. It also extends to EU law and the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) regulatory standards and requirements, and to a more limited extent, Chinese vehicle regulation.

Our litigation experience spans from enforcement defense, rulemaking challenges, and administrative and judicial challenges to EPA California waivers to the applicability of preemption under the Clean Air Act and the Commerce Clause, vehicle fuel standards, such as low sulfur and low carbon fuel requirements, and matters related to defeat devices.

We address automotive regulation from a broader, corporate and environmental compliance perspective, calling upon our comprehensive experience in the area of environmental auditing and risk. More broadly, we advise on organizational and management matters. Our background includes handling International Standards Organization (ISO) standards in managing and evaluating risk, both general corporate and specific to the automotive industry. It also includes sources of standards for effective compliance programs from government agencies such as the Department of Justice’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, as well as professional organizations such as the Ethics and Compliance Initiative’s Principles and Practices of High-Quality Ethics & Compliance Programs and the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Internal Control Framework.

Representative Matters

Our automotive experience includes:

  • Serving as Deputy Monitor, Emissions & Environmental, in the implementation of the criminal plea agreement arising from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.
  • Representing the trucking industry in the litigation and settlement of the Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Consent Decree that concerned the use of engine emissions defeat devices.
  • Litigating preemption of state regulations under the Clean Air Act, “California” waivers, and emissions standards.
  • Negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), EPA, and environmental groups to provide for the electrification of non-road vehicles and infrastructure at airports in lieu of a rulemaking.
  • Advising a leading automotive manufacturer on a variety of facility and product-related environmental issues, including enforcement and internal investigations.
  • Working with EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) on the successful introduction and transition of on-road and non-road vehicles to successively more stringent tiers of vehicles emissions standards under EPA and CARB's Transition Program for Engine Manufacturers (TPEM) program.
  • Advising the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers on chemical regulatory issues.
  • Successfully litigating state regulatory provisions related to the electrification of commercial vehicle fleets.
  • Submitting numerous technical and legal comments with respect to all other EPA and CARB vehicle and engine regulations.
  • Advising the Intelligent Transportation Society of America on climate regulation, emissions standards, and privacy issues.
  • Advising on agreements for use of the test track, improvements to the track and facilities, non-disclosure agreements, and environmental related issues as General Counsel to GoMentum, the nation’s largest secure testing facility for autonomous and connected vehicle technology.
  • Serving as a delegate, along with U.S. officials, NGO representatives, and private industry, to a mission to Japan sponsored by the Mansfield Foundation and Toyota in cooperation with the Japanese Environment and Transportation Ministries whose purpose was to facilitate the exchange of technical, practical, and regulatory information related to the promotion and facilitation of electric vehicles and infrastructure in the U.S. and Japan.