CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • 84 new final rules were published last week, up from 77 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation precisely every 2 hours — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 1,114 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,674 new rules.
  • 1,675 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 24,097 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 78,238 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 17 such rules published so far in 2012 cost at least $15.2 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and a third cost estimate does not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
  • No economically significant rules were published last week. There were a total of 16 significant actions last week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. So far, 131 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
  • 21 of last week’s final rules affect small business. So far this year, 216 final rules affect small businesses. 33 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • Federal regulations require commercial drivers to undergo medical examinations to make sure they comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s physical qualification requirements. A new rule from the FMCSA “establishes a training, testing, and registration program that would certify medical professionals as qualified to conduct medical certification examinations of commercial drivers.”
  • If you were thinking of importing pomegranates from Chile, there are some new regulations you should be aware of. From the summary, “the fruit would have to be grown in a place of production that is registered with the national plant protection organization of Chile and certified as having a low prevalence of Brevipalpus chilensis [aka the Chilean red false mite – ed.]. The fruit would have to undergo pre-harvest sampling at the registered production site. Following post-harvest processing, the fruit would have to be inspected in Chile at an approved inspection site. Each consignment of fruit would have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the fruit had been found free of Brevipalpus chilensis based on field and packinghouse inspections.” If you don’t want to through all that, you may use pesticide.
  • According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Three Forks springsnail is now an endangered species, and the San Bernadino springsnail is now a threatened species. The Three Forks springsnail is about a fifth of an inch long and is only found in part of a national forest in Apache County, Arizona. 17.2 acres of critical habitat have been designated for it. The San Bernadino springsnail is a tenth of an inch long. Its only known habitat is on a privately owned ranch in Cochise County, Arizona. It gets two acres of critical habitat; this may constitute a regulatory taking if it adversely affects the ranch owner.

For more data, updated daily, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.