Just another week in the world of regulation:
- 70 new final rules were published last week, down from 81 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 24 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 1,265 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,704 new rules.
- 1,307 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 26,614 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 76,478 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 19 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $15.4 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.
- One economically significant rule was published last week. There were a total of 8 significant actions last week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. So far, 147 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
- 4 of last week’s final rules affect small business. So far this year, 247 final rules affect small businesses. 36 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:
- Changes to the Pell Grant Program would “prohibit a student from receiving two consecutive Pell Grants in a single award year.” This is estimated to save $24.3 billion over 5 years. The rule is classified as economically significant, but since it affects government spending and not compliance costs, I am scoring it as zero-cost for this year’s compliance cost tally.
- The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) was passed in 2000. Now that it’s 2012, the Postal Service published a new rule amending its seizure and forfeiture policies to make them CAFRA-compliant.
- If you are a clinical investigator, you may want to read a new FDA rule makes it easier for the agency to disqualify clinical investigators.
- The federal government has an Underground Storage Tank Program. Really, it does. But if a state doesn’t want to participate, it can opt out if it implements its own Underground Storage Tank Program. Oregon apparently didn’t like the federal program, and now its state program has just been approved.
For more data, updated daily, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.