CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

This week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 76 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 61 new final rules the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 13 minutes — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • All in all, 2,670 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,706 new final rules.
  • Last week, 1,339 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 57,956 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 79,175 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. Two such rules were published last week, for a total of 28 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, 231 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
  • So far this year, 510 final rules affect small business; 67 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • The first economically significant rule of the week is part of the Affordable Care Act. It enacts a $548 million “Reduction in Disproportionate Share Hospital Allotment.” Since this affects government spending and not compliance costs, I am scoring this rule as zero-cost in our running compliance cost tally. The rule does add new reporting requirements, but without estimating the paperwork and man-hour costs of complying with them.
  • The other economically significant rule is another rule for migratory bird hunting, and includes the same estimated consumer surplus of $317.8 to $416.8 million as all of this year’s other migratory bird hunting regulations. Since the rule says nothing about compliance costs, I am also scoring this rule as zero-cost.
  • New requirements for mango imports from Australia include “a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration that the conditions for importation have been met.”
  • Lawyers rejoice: prostate cancer is now on the official list of World Trade Center-related health conditions.
  • The Mount Charleston blue butterfly, a Nevada native with a one-inch wingspan, is now an endangered species. The Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be designating critical habitat.
  • The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued a 24-page rule defining “retail pet store.”
  • Regulations are often behind the curve; the Agricultural Marketing Service is updating its food container regulations to “align the standards to reflect current industry practices.”
  • If you grow Vidalia onions in Georgia, you are required to submit a monthly report to the Agricultural Marketing Service. A new rule establishes “the first business day after the tenth day of the month” as the report’s due date.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.