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  • Education
    • J.D., University of Tulsa, 2006, Phi Delta Phi
    • B.A., Truman State University, 2003, Psychology
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, 2007
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 2011

Adam Troutwine represents corporations, organizations, and individuals confronting environmental issues in transactional, permitting, compliance, and litigation settings.

Adam draws from his litigation experience before federal courts, state courts, and government agency tribunals to defend clients against enforcement actions and to secure contested permits. He has obtained successful outcomes for clients in agency hearings, alternative dispute resolution proceedings, and bench trials.

Adam appreciates the value of a strong working relationship between industry and regulators. He facilitates client participation in stakeholder groups that work directly with agencies to form policy and draft regulations impacting owners of underground storage tanks and the mining and energy industries.

Adam has worked on behalf of mine and quarry operators to navigate permitting processes in order to open new mine sites, has represented clients in contested hearings before state agencies, has prosecuted appeals of agency decisions to the circuit and appellate court, and has appeared before county zoning boards to secure necessary authorizations to conduct mining or quarrying activity.

He has assessed permitting needs for utility-scale renewable energy projects in Kansas and Oklahoma, oil and gas exploration and production facilities in Kansas and Louisiana, and limestone and shale mining operations in Missouri. Adam also aids real estate developers in quickly addressing environmental issues that arise.

  • In a case of unprecedented size and scope in Missouri, assisted in the representation of a limestone mining company in a strongly contested permitting matter involving a proposed mine site near a sewer treatment plant. The contested permit was appealed to the Circuit Court and Court of Appeals and remanded for a new trial at the Administrative Hearing Commission, where it was granted.
  • Successfully permitted a new shale mine in Northwest Missouri over strong opposition from neighboring property owners before the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Also obtained contested permits and zoning variances before three county planning and zoning boards.
  • Represented a solid waste collection company and a landfill operator in stakeholder meetings with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to develop administrative rules and regulatory policy.
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of all federal, state, and local permits and authorizations required to construct and operate utility scale wind farms at multiple sites in Kansas and Oklahoma.
  • Assisted in negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army, and state environmental agency to acquire, remediate, and develop a former Army ammunition plant. Issues encountered included RCRA permitting, NPDES permitting, Corrective Action Financial Assurance, and a host of other environmental issues.
  • Represented the former owner of several gas station sites in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois to complete cleanup caused from leaking underground storage tanks. Also assisted the owner in securing reimbursement for cleanup activity from state insurance funds. Throughout cleanup process, worked with state regulators to address issues that arose and, when needed, identified alternative approaches to meet risk-based cleanup levels that were more efficient and economical.
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April 26, 2013
Case Study Case Studies
Teapot Dome Oil Field Purchased by Stranded Oil Resources Corporation
Background
Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 3, better known as the Teapot Dome oil field, is well known for its connection to the Harding Administration over 90 years ago and the infamous Teapot Dome Scandal that resulted in the first sitting Cabinet member to go to prison. Teapot Dome is arguably the most famous oil field in the country and even crosses over to popular culture with references found in the famous “Drink your milkshake” line from Daniel Day-Lewis in “There will be Blood” and featured in episodes of Downton Abbey.

The United States came into possession of this property through the Louisiana Purchase and provided the 9,500-acre oil field to the United States Navy in the early part of the 20th Century to ensure petroleum reserves to the Navy as it shifted from steam to a petroleum fueled fleet.

Recognizing the Teapot Dome’s potential, oil tycoons Edward and Harry Ford Sinclair set to work on a plan to obtain control of the property. The two collaborated on an elaborate plan of under-the-table bribery schemes including securing Warren Harding as the Republican nominee, and ultimately the winner, of the 1921 Presidential election. Once sworn into office, Harding appointed the easily manipulated Edwin Derby to Secretary of the Navy and convinced him to relinquish control of the Teapot Dome to the Department of Interior via Executive Order. Finally out of the Navy’s grasp, Doheny and Sinclair recruited Secretary of the Interior and New Mexico state senator Albert Fall to provide Sinclair rights, through a non-bid lease, after paying him a sum of approximately $5 million in today’s dollars. Eventually, Senator Tom Walsh of Montana uncovered and prosecuted the participants and many, including Fall, went to prison.

After the Teapot Dome Scandal was uncovered, the United States has possessed the property without commercial exploitation. Since the mid-1970’s the oilfield was used by the Department of Energy as a commercial testing ground for new technologies and processes designed to improve drilling, oil production, and enhanced oil recovery. In 2013, the Energy Department recommended to Congress that the asset is sold for continued use as an oilfield by the private sector with special legislation passed for the sale. After a competitive bid process, Stranded Oil Resources Corporation, a subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation and Alleghany Capital Corporation, purchased the oil field in a competitive bid for $45 million.

Matter Specifics
The sale of Teapot Dome oil field was unique for a variety of reasons. The property and sale process was delicate and high profile, the transaction timeline was short, the property had not been transferred since the Louisiana Purchase, and the oil market was in flux during the transaction. As a result of the United States owning the property since the Louisiana Purchase, the due diligence on the property was extensive and being conducted for the first time. The deal negotiation, real estate and environmental due diligence, along with historical preservation nuances, required a parallel multidisciplinary approach working in a fluid and collaborative manner.

The Polsinelli team led by Alan Anderson and Britton Gibson, Energy Practice, and with multidisciplinary support from Melinda Pasquini, Real Estate Practice and Adam Troutwine and Scott Young, Environmental Practice, addressed the matter and the obstacles by coordinating twice weekly meetings with Stranded Oil personnel from their headquarters, their field offices and Polsinelli staff from various cities. This allowed the group to react quickly to issues and to accomplish their goals in a shortened timeframe with fluid collaboration with the attorneys and client. Having a deep understanding of Alleghany’s business also allowed Polsinelli to closely operate with Stranded Oil as one team.

Result
Under the terms of the sale, Stranded Oil took possession of approximately 9,000 surface acres and the operations and ownership of all mineral rights three months after winning the competitive bidding. They are scheduled to take ownership of the remaining surface acreage in May 2015.

More on the Polsinelli – Alleghany Corporation Relationship

Polsinelli serves as outside general counsel to Alleghany Corporation in relation to its subsidiary Stranded Oil Resources Corporation.


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