Things sped up last week after 2016’s slow start. The Energy Department issued the year’s first two economically significant regulations, and other new regulations cover everything from responsible people to injurious slamanders.
On to the data:
- Last week, 70 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 32 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 24 minutes.
- With 102 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 2,550 regulations in 2016.
- Last week, 1,607 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,113 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 2,720 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for exactly 68,000 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Two such rules have been published so far in 2016.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $321 million to $1.118 billion.
- 13 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
- So far in 2016, 25 new rules affect small businesses; 5 of them is classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- The EPA is temporarily allowing “Aspergillus flavus AF36 in or on dried figs.”
- 2016’s first economically significant regulation is a 115-page Energy Department rule for commercial HVAC equipment. The present value of its compliance costs range from $7.7 billion to $14.9 billion. Annual cost estimates range from $231 million to $1.028 billion. This factor-of-four difference translates roughly to “we have no idea.”
- The year’s second economically significant rule is a 99-pager, also from the Energy Department, for residential boilers. The cost estimate is not exactly a model of clarity, but the cost of complying with 2015 standards appears to be $90.2 million, with future standards adding costs as they phase in, totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars. I am sticking with the $90.2 million number for our running compliance cost tally to keep the number as low as possible.
- Good news for college professors and researchers from Chile, Singapore, and Australia who want to visit or emigrate to the U.S.: the Homeland Security Department is loosening your visa requirements.
- Continued implementation of the 2004 U.S.-Australia free trade agreement.
- Restrictions on importing Ancient Roman artifacts.
- A new rule from the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau takes 67 pages to define the term “responsible person.”
- Don’t go hunting for northern long-eared bats.
- If you want to import shell eggs, you may now submit your request electronically.
- Injurious salamanders.
- Good news: a plant species called the Johnston’s frankenia is no longer an endangered species.