Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may establish reasonable filing and service fees and reasonable charges, and commissions with respect to applications and other documents relating to the public lands and may change and abolish such fees, charges, and commissions.
The Secretary is authorized to require a deposit of any payments intended to reimburse the United States for reasonable costs with respect to applications and other documents relating to such lands. The moneys received for reasonable costs under this subsection shall be deposited with the Treasury in a special account and are hereby authorized to be appropriated and made available until expended. As used in this section “reasonable costs” include, but are not limited to, the costs of special studies; environmental impact statements; monitoring construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of any authorized facility; or other special activities. In determining whether costs are reasonable under this section, the Secretary may take into consideration actual costs (exclusive of management overhead), the monetary value of the rights or privileges sought by the applicant, the efficiency to the government processing involved, that portion of the cost incurred for the benefit of the general public interest rather than for the exclusive benefit of the applicant, the public service provided, and other factors relevant to determining the reasonableness of the costs.
In any case where it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Secretary that any person has made a payment under any statute relating to the sale, lease, use, or other disposition of public lands which is not required or is in excess of the amount required by applicable law and the regulations issued by the Secretary, the Secretary, upon application or otherwise, may cause a refund to be made from applicable funds.
(Pub. L. 94–579, title III, §304, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2765.)
Pub. L. 97–35, title XIV, §1401(d), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 748, provided that:
“(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective October 1, 1981, all applications for noncompetitive oil and gas leases shall be accompanied by a filing fee of not less than $25 for each such application: Provided, That any increase in the filing fee above $25 shall be established by regulation and subject to the provisions of the Act of August 31, 1951 (65 Stat. 290) [probably means title V of that Act which was classified to section 483a of former Title 31, Money and Finance and was repealed and reenacted as section 9701 of Title 31 by Pub. L. 97–258] the Act of October 20, 1976 (90 Stat. 2765) [probably should be Oct. 21, 1976, meaning this chapter] but not limited to actual costs. Such fees shall be retained as a service charge even though the application or offer may be rejected or withdrawn in whole or in part.
“(2) The Secretary of the Interior is hereby directed to conduct a study and report to Congress within one year of the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 1981], regarding the current annual rental charges on all noncompetitive oil and gas leases to investigate the feasibility and effect of raising such rentals.”