The big regulatory news from last week was the publication of the semiannual Unified Agenda, which lists most upcoming regulations from rulemaking agencies at various stages of the regulatory process. It is one of the most important transparency tools we have for keeping an eye on new regulations, which may explain why it was published just as people are getting ready for the long Memorial Day weekend, and why the user interface is surprisingly difficult to use for such a simple document. Take a look at the Unified Agenda here, and you’ll see what I mean.
On to the data:
- Last week, 49 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 46 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 26 minutes.
- So far in 2015, 1,166 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 2,944 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
- Last week, 1,780 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,333 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 29,819 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 75,301 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Nine such rules have been published so far this year, one in the past week.
- The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.36 billion to $1.44 billion for the current year.
- Ninety-eight final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
- So far in 2015, 203 new rules affect small businesses; 31 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- New blood transfusion rules.
- Often, legal cases involving regulatory agencies are not heard in courts of law. They are instead held in the agencies’ own in-house courts, with their own judges and their own procedures. While we’re sure this couldn’t possibly bias proceedings in the government’s favor in any way, the Labor Department has nonetheless updated some rules for its in-house courts.
- An update to citable legal authorities for Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
- Revisions to sanctions against Russia related to certain events in Ukraine.
- The Personnel Management Office revised its health reimbursement program for federal employees.
- The federal government runs a Biomass Crop Assistance Program.
- The Social Security Administration has new criteria for evaluating cancer.
- Two new regulations for preventing collisions at sea.
- New labeling requirements for tenderized meat.