CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

This week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 82 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 80 new final rules the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and three minutes — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • All in all, 2,160 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,684 new final rules.
  • Last week, 1,707 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 47,077 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 78,989 pages, which would be good for fourth all time. The current record is 81,405 pages, set in 2010.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. No such rules were published last week, for a total of 17 so far in 2013.
  • The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $5.78 billion to $10.39 billion.
  • So far, 149 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
  • So far this year, 353 final rules affect small business; 33 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • The FDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is suspending animal care regulations that require a magician who uses a single rabbit in his act to get a license for it, submit proof that he regularly takes it to the vet, undergo random home inspections, and submit a 28-page disaster plan for how to handle different emergencies. The agency will presumably exempt small operators like magicians when it re-issues the rules. I previously wrote about this regulatory kerfuffle here and here.
  • If your family is on food stamps, the federal government shares your information with local school districts.
  • The USDA not only requires licenses for dairy imports, it also imposes tariffs and quotas. The goal is to financially benefit dairy farmers, though a side effect is higher prices and less choice for consumers.
  • If you grow tart cherries in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wisconsin (but not elsewhere), be aware of new handling regulations.
  • The Social Security Administration will henceforth use the term “intellectual disability” instead of “mental retardation.”
  • 20 new EPA regulations.
  • The Navy has issued some exemptions to its regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.