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Congress directs BLM to collect processing fee

The Fiscal Year 2010 Interior appropriations bill, enacted into law on Oct. 30, directs the Bureau of Land Management to charge a $6,500 processing fee for each new oil and gas drilling permit application, known as an Application for Permit to Drill (APD).

The fee took effect Nov. 2. The previous fee was $4,000 per APD. The money generated by APD fees constitutes a reimbursement to the U.S. Treasury for the estimated cost of processing new APDs.

To carry out this congressional directive, the BLM has developed guidance for its field offices regarding the collection and handling of APD fees in the current fiscal year (FY 2010), which began Oct. 1, 2009. The previous collection and handling policies remain in effect except for the amount of the fee to be collected.

The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 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 public lands.

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