New BLM Cost Recovery Fees Take Effect
Charges Will Cover Administrative Costs of Developing Energy Minerals
In accordance with a final rule published in the Federal Register
on October 7, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin charging
cost recovery fees for several mineral extraction activities on public
lands, effective November 7.
The BLM issued this final rule to amend its mineral resources regulations
to increase certain fees and to impose new fees to cover BLM’s costs
of processing documents relating to its minerals programs. The new fees
include costs of actions such as environmental studies performed by BLM,
lease applications, name changes, corporate mergers, lease consolidations
and reinstatements, and other processing-related costs.
Such fees are already charged for mining claim recordation, but after
the new rule takes effect, these cost recovery fees will extend to other
processing fees, including those related to oil and gas, mining law administration,
geothermal, coal, non-energy leasables sand and gravel permits, and other
minerals extraction activities. The final rule provides for case-by-case
fees, as well as fixed fees.
Copies of the final rule are available at local BLM offices, or may be
accessed online through www.gpoaccess.gov.
The new rule begins on page 58854 of The Federal Register (Vol.
70, No. 194).
The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more
land – 261 million surface acres – than any other Federal
agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including
Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers
700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.
The BLM’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 Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation,
livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by
conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public