Free Veterans from Fees Act
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL A. CALDWELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, REGARDING S. 3240, A BILL TO WAIVE THE APPLICATION FEE FOR SPECIAL USE PERMITS FOR VETERANS’ SPECIAL EVENTS AT WAR MEMORIALS ON LAND ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERIVCE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ITS ENVIRONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
MAY 11, 2022
Chairman King, Ranking Member Daines, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 3240, to waive the application fee for any special use permit for veterans’ special events at war memorials on Federal land administered by the National Park Service in the District of Columbia and its environs.
The Department supports S. 3240.
The Department welcomes opportunities to commemorate and honor the brave men and women in uniform and their families who sacrifice so much in service to our country, and we are proud to host veterans, veterans’ groups, and their families for commemorations and events recognizing that service and sacrifice. S. 3240 codifies the National Park Service’s longstanding practice of not requiring application fees for special use permits for veterans’ special events at war memorials.
The National Park Service generally waives application fees for special use permits for special events commemorating veterans at war memorials. Park Superintendents, who administer the permits, have the authority to waive a special use permit application fee if the proposed use will promote the mission of the National Park Service; promote public health, safety, or welfare; or if charging and collecting the fees is not cost effective. Once a permit is issued, the National Park Service may charge additional fees or recover costs associated with the permitted activity.
S. 3240, which addresses only application fees, would codify the requirement of a waiver of the application fee for any special use permit solely for a veteran’s special event at war memorials on Federal land administered by the National Park Service in the District of Columbia and its environs. The National Park Service retains the ability to collect additional cost recovery or fees related to permitted activities.
Chairman King, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you and other members of the Subcommittee may have.