CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • 62 new final rules were published last week, down from 70 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 43 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 1,384 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,838 new rules.
  • 1,577 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 28,191 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 76,606 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 20 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 5 significant actions last week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. So far, 152 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
  • 12 of last week’s final rules affect small business. So far this year, 259 final rules affect small businesses. 40 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • An economically significant rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implements section 2401 of the Affordable Care Act. It increases this year’s federal Medicaid spending by $820 million, and this year’s state Medicaid spending by $480 million. Since these costs are government spending instead of compliance costs, I am scoring it as zero-cost for this year’s compliance cost tally.
  • Just in time for summer, the FDA published a rule delaying implementation of an earlier rule amending its surprisingly detailed sunscreen regulations.
  • The EPA is liberalizing its [alpha]-[p-(1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl)phenyl]-[omega]- hydroxypoly(oxyethylene) tolerance requirements for pesticides. A separate rule liberalizes “residues of ?-(p-nonylphenol)-?-hydroxypoly(oxyethylene) mixture of dihydrogen phosphate and monohydrogen phosphate esters and the corresponding ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc salts of the phosphate esters and ?-(p-nonylphenol)-?-hydroxypoly(oxyethylene) sulfate, ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc salts” in pesticides.
  • If you want to get a commercial driver’s license, you should be aware of new federal minimum standards.

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