§ 3000.11When and how does BLM charge me processing fees on a case-by-case basis?
(a) Fees in this subchapter are designated either as case-by-case fees or as fixed fees. The fixed fees are established in this subchapter for specified types of documents. However, if BLM decides at any time that a particular document designated for a fixed fee will have a unique processing cost, such as the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, we may set the fee under the case-by-case procedures in this section.
(b) For case-by-case fees, BLM measures the ongoing processing cost for each individual document and considers the factors in Section 304(b) of FLPMA on a case-by-case basis according to the following procedures:
(1) You may ask BLM's approval to do all or part of any study or other activity according to standards BLM specifies, thereby reducing BLM's costs for processing your document.
(2) Before performing any case processing, we will give you a written estimate of the proposed fee for reasonable processing costs after we consider the FLPMA Section 304(b) factors.
(3) You may comment on the proposed fee.
(4) We will then give you the final estimate of the processing fee amount after considering your comments and any BLM-approved work you will do.
(i) If we encounter higher or lower processing costs than anticipated, we will re-estimate our reasonable processing costs following the procedure in paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section, but we will not stop ongoing processing unless you do not pay in accordance with paragraph (b)(5) of this section.
(ii) If the fee you would pay under this paragraph (b)(4) is less than BLM's actual costs as a result of consideration of the FLPMA Section 304(b) factors, and we are not able to process your document promptly because of the unavailability of funding or other resources, you will have the option to pay BLM's actual costs to process your document. This will enable BLM to process your document sooner.
(iii) Once processing is complete, we will refund to you any money that we did not spend on processing costs.
(i) We will periodically estimate what our reasonable processing costs will be for a specific period and will bill you for that period. Payment is due to BLM 30 days after you receive your bill. BLM will stop processing your document if you do not pay the bill by the date payment is due.
(ii) If a periodic payment turns out to be more or less than BLM's reasonable processing costs for the period, we will adjust the next billing accordingly or make a refund. Do not deduct any amount from a payment without our prior written approval.
(6) You must pay the entire fee before we will issue the final document.
(7) You may appeal BLM's estimated processing costs in accordance with the regulations in part 4, subpart E, of this title. You may also appeal any determination BLM makes under paragraph (a) of this section that a document designated for a fixed fee will be processed as a case-by-case fee. We will not process the document further until the appeal is resolved, in accordance with paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section, unless you pay the fee under protest while the appeal is pending. If the appeal results in a decision changing the proposed fee, we will adjust the fee in accordance with paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section.