WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) implemented an updated fee schedule for mineral cost recovery on Oct. 1. Notice of the revised fee was published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2013. The final rule updated the fees charged to recover costs incurred in processing documents associated with oil, gas, coal, and solid mineral activities on public land.

The updated fees cover costs for actions, including (but not limited to) lease applications, name changes, corporate mergers, lease consolidations, and reinstatements. The fee schedule is updated annually based on the change in the Implicit Price Deflator for Gross Domestic Product (IPD-GDP) from the fourth quarter of one calendar year to the fourth quarter of the following calendar year.

The BLM is authorized to charge cost recovery fees under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and the 2005 Cost Recovery Rule. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has also directed Federal agencies to recover their costs for services.

Because of the small increase in the IPD-GDP and rounding, 30 fees will not change, while 18 will go up. Nine of the 18 will go up by $5 and seven will go up by $10. The largest increase will be $55, which will be added to the $2,940 fee charged for adjudicating more than 10 mineral patent claims. The fee for adjudicating 10 or fewer claims will increase $25, from $1,470 to $1,495.

The BLM first implemented a cost recovery fee schedule for certain oil and gas activities in November 2005.

The fee changes are the BLM's response to recommendations made in a 1988 report issued by the Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General, which found that the BLM needed to do more to recover its document-processing costs. The fees are based on a commonly used mathematical formula used by businesses nationwide to adjust their expenses. This fee update rule is based on the change in the IPD-GDP from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, thus reflecting the rate of inflation over four calendar quarters.