CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  •  76 new final rules were published last week, up from 75 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 13 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 876 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,563 new rules.
  •  2,191 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 19,487 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 78,577 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 15 such rules published so far in 2012 cost at least $15.2 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.
  •  There were 18 significant actions this week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. Two of them are economically significant. So far, 112 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
  •  15 of this week’s final rules affect small business. So far this year, 165 final rules affect small businesses. 28 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published this week:

  • OSHA is revising its standards for hazard communication. The changes include “revised criteria for classification of chemical hazards; revised labeling provisions that include requirements for use of standardized signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statements; a specified format for safety data sheets; and related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard, and requirements for employee training on labels and safety data sheets.” The estimated annual cost is expected to be $201 million.
  •  Regulations from the health care bill continue to hit the books.  One new rule, which sets standards for health insurance exchanges, is expected to cost $900 million in 2012. The total estimated cost from 2012-2016 is $3.4 billion.
  • The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has a new rule on “Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

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