WASHINGTON, D.C. ― The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a final rule, effective Oct. 1, 2019, which updates the cost recovery fees that the BLM charges for processing certain actions undertaken by its mineral programs.
Specifically, this final rule updates the fees charged to recover costs incurred in processing certain documents associated with oil, gas, coal, and solid mineral activities on public lands, including fees associated with mineral patent adjudications. Consistent with updates to the fee schedules in prior years, this final rule increases the fee schedule based on inflation.
The BLM is authorized to charge cost recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule. The fee schedule is adjusted annually based on the change in the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product, or IPD-GDP, from the 4th Quarter of one calendar year to the 4th Quarter of the following calendar year. The IPD-GDP is published annually by the Department of Commerce.
Under this final rule, 24 fees will remain the same and 24 fees will increase. Of the 24 fees that are being increased by this rule, 13 will increase by $5 each, seven will increase by $10 each, two will increase by $15 each, and two will increase by more than $15 each. The fees increasing by more than $15 are the fee for adjudicating a mineral patent application containing more than 10 claims, which will increase by $75, from $3,215 to $3,290, and the fee for adjudicating a patent application containing 10 or fewer claims, which will increase by $40, from $1,605 to $1,645.
The updated fees are based on a common mathematical formula used by businesses nationwide to adjust their expenses. This fee update rule uses the change in the IPD-GDP from the 4th Quarter of 2017 to the 4th Quarter of 2018, which reflects the rate of inflation over four calendar quarters.