Timothy D. Backstrom
Of Counsel

T: 202-557-3819
F: 202-557-3836
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BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973

JD, Yale Law School, 1979



Timothy Backstrom spent some 25 years in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of General Counsel (OGC) working on pesticide, toxic substances, and air quality issues before coming to Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®). He offers an extraordinary understanding of how EPA operates, as well as established relationships with many key players at EPA. He brings substantial litigation experience in both federal courts and administrative adjudications. He served for many years as the OGC’s designated administrative law expert and, among many accomplishments, he headed the trial team when EPA intervened in a hearing concerning a request for an exemption from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the northern spotted owl.

Besides insider knowledge of EPA, Mr. Backstrom delivers an unusual depth of expertise on pesticide registration issues and air toxics regulation, and a unique understanding of the EPA program requiring registration and testing of fuels and fuel additives. Having a technical background has allowed Mr. Backstrom to develop significant scientific expertise in toxicology and risk assessment. In the context of pesticide adjudications, he has presented and cross-examined numerous scientific witnesses. For many clients, he has identified additional options or theories that were not previously under consideration to resolve regulatory issues and to advance their business objectives.

Mr. Backstrom offers legal advice and representation on matters involving:

  • Requirements for registration of pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
  • Compensation for use of data to support registration under FIFRA.
  • Regulation of chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
  • Registration and testing of fuels and fuel additives under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
  • National emission standards for hazardous air pollutants under the CAA.
  • Consultation requirements for endangered and threatened species under the ESA.
  • Listing of chemical substances under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
  • Obtaining and protecting information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
  • Procedural requirements for rulemaking and for adjudication under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Prior to joining B&C in 2007, Mr. Backstrom served in the EPA OGC as Senior Counsel in the Air and Radiation Division. He was responsible for a variety of rulemakings implementing the 1990 CAA Amendments, including promulgation of maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP), case-by-case MACT determinations, delisting of particular HAP and source categories, and review of particular National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). He also managed complex litigation concerning MACT policies and procedures and fuel additive regulation.

Mr. Backstrom previously served in the Pesticide and Toxic Substances Division of OGC, where he was responsible for the negotiations that led to the elimination of mercury compounds previously used in paints and coatings. He supervised extensive Federal court litigation concerning the pesticide dinoseb, and was a principal EPA representative in administrative hearings concerning the emergency suspension and cancellation of dinoseb and the herbicides 2,4,5-T and silvex.

Representative Engagements:

  • Assisted a manufacturer of a fuel additive product with an unusual composition in securing registration in an existing fuel/fuel additive group, thereby resolving a critical barrier to successful marketing of the product.
  • Assisted the manufacturers of a class of pesticide products in overcoming a prior determination by EPA that these products violated specific provisions in the Food Quality Protection Act, resulting in successful reregistration.
  • Assisted a pesticide manufacturer in retaining the ability to market its product despite allegations by public interest groups that EPA had not met the requirements of FIFRA and the ESA when it registered the product.
  • Provided decisive assistance to pesticide registrants and a trade association in identifying legislative history from more than 40 years ago that contradicted a construction of FIFRA currently advocated by EPA.
  • Successfully amended the registration of a pesticide manufacturer’s product after EPA contended that the registration in question did not include adequate information on certain trace impurities.

Bar & Court Admissions:

District of Columbia Bar, 1979

Bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

Bar of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Bar of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia



Lynn L. Bergeson, Charles M. Auer, Co-Editors; Timothy D. Backstrom, Lisa R. Burchi, Lisa M. Campbell, Sheryl L. Dolan, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Margaret R. Graham, Oscar Hernandez, Ph.D., Carla N. Hutton, Kathleen M. Roberts, Contributing Authors, New TSCA: A Guide to the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and Its Implementation, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (2017).


Lisa M. Campbell, Timothy D. Backstrom, and James V. Aidala, "EPA’s Evaluation and Determination of Epidemiological Data for Chlorpyrifos," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources PCRRTK Newsletter, Volume 18, Issue 5, August 2017.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Timothy D. Backstrom, "Appellate Court Vacates Conditional Nanosilver Registration," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources PCRRTK Newsletter, Volume 18, Issue 5, August 2017.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Timothy D. Backstrom, and Bethami Auerbach, “Something Inside That Shoebox Really Stinks,” Focus, February 2017. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, Bethami Auerbach, Lisa M. Campbell, Timothy D. Backstrom, Sheryl L. Dolan, Jane S. Vergnes, Richard E. Engler, Jayne P. Bultena, Karin F. Baron, Charles M. Auer, "The DNA of the U.S. Regulatory System: Are We Getting It Right for Synthetic Biology?," Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Synthetic Biology Project Report, October 15, 2015.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Timothy D. Backstrom, "EPA Issues Stop Sales Order for Unregistered Food Containers Containing Nanosilver: What Are the Implications?," Nanotechnology Law & Business, Volume 11, Issue 3, 2014.

Speaking Engagements:

"OMB and OIRA and Why They Are Important to EPA Actions under FIFRA," CropLife America (CLA) and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) Legal and Regulatory Workshop, Washington, D.C. (October 15, 2014).

“Developments in Environmental Law and What to Expect in the New Administration.”  Panelist on ABA, Environmental, Mass Torts & Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (February 2, 2013).

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