News Release

For Release: September 5, 2007
Contact: Heather Feeney (202-452-5031)

BLM Updates Mineral Cost-Recovery Fee Schedule

The Bureau of Land Management published final regulations today regarding the adjustment of fees charged to recover costs for processing documents related to mineral operations on public lands.  The fees, which are being adjusted to account for inflation, cover costs for such actions as lease applications, certain exploration permits, name changes, and corporate mergers, as well as lease consolidations, transfers, and reinstatements.  Consistent with the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the fees do not cover "Applications for Permits to Drill" (APDs) or "Geothermal Permits to Drill."

“These fees support a fair return to the American taxpayer by helping the BLM cover its costs for doing business,” said Mike Nedd, the BLM’s assistant director for minerals, realty, and resource protection.

The BLM implemented a broader cost-recovery fee schedule for mineral program activities with a November 2005 rulemaking.  The 2005 rule states that fixed fees for document processing will be evaluated each year and updated as necessary to account for inflation, using a mathematical formula by which businesses nationwide commonly adjust charges for services.  The agency aims to implement the updated fee schedule at the beginning of fiscal year 2008, which starts on October 1, 2007.  The fees will continue to be evaluated annually.  A full schedule of mineral program fees is available online at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/lease_fees.html

The BLM is authorized to charge cost-recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1952.  The president’s Office of Management and Budget has also directed federal agencies to recover their costs for services that benefit identifiable recipients beyond the public at large.  In addition, the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General found that the BLM needed to do more to recover its document-processing costs.  The BLM charges fees to recover costs in a number of other programs, including outdoor recreation and rights-of-way.

The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other federal agency.  Most of this public land is located in 12 western states, including Alaska.  The BLM, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The bureau’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The BLM accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.

-- BLM --