The Congressional Review Act deadline for the possible midnight regulation rush has now likely passed, though the Federal Register once again topped 2,000 pages last week. That makes four weeks out of the last five the page count has gotten that high, which is unusual. If there is a slowdown in the next few months, we’ll know if the midnight rush was real or not. For now, it’s too early to tell. In the meantime, new regulations in the last week ranged from food labels to selling electricity.
On to the data:
- Last week, 70 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 68 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 24 minutes.
- With 1,344 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 3,262 regulations in 2016. Last year’s total was 3,406 regulations.
- Last week, 2,013 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,065 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 34,189 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 82,984 pages. This would exceed the 2015 Federal Register’s all-time record adjusted page count of 81,611.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 15 such rules have been published so far in 2016, four in the last week.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $3.59 billion to $5.43 billion.
- 113 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
- So far in 2016, 261 new rules affect small businesses; 43 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- New federal rules for how many airplanes may take off and land at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Ditto for nearby JFK Airport.
- The Tornillo-Guadalupe bridge between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico is now a federally designated commercial zone.
- Disclosure requirements for cable and satellite tv operators.
- New energy conservation standards are on the way for commercial HVAC equipment.
- Every now and then, the Small Business Administration updates its standards for which businesses are eligible for its corporate welfare. Here is the latest round.
- Don’t trade snapping turtles on international markets.
- Pricing regulations for selling electricity wholesale.
- A 59-page FDA rule on putting things into food on purpose will have first-year costs between $680 million and $930 million.
- Two new food labeling regulations will update the nutrition facts labels on most packaged food, and change the definition of serving sizes. They are a combined 307 pages, with annual costs ranging from $200 million to $800 million.
- The federal government has a Mexican Hass Avocado Import Program.