This week in the world of regulation:
Last week, 113 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 one hour and 29 minutes — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- All in all, 2,863 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,773 new final rules.
- Last week, 2,159 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 61,737 pages.
- At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 79,971 pages, which would be good for third 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. One such rule was published last week, for a total of 34 so far in 2013.
- The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.53 billion to $11.93 billion.
- So far, 257 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
- So far this year, 549 final rules affect small business; 75 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:
- This week’s economically significant rule comes from the Wage and Hour Division. It is expanding the Fair Labor Standards Act to cover domestic employees. It estimates that transfers from employers to employees, familiarization costs, and paperwork will cost between $135,712,508 and $314,712,508.
- In Wilmington, Delaware, there are several drawbridges that span the Christina river. The federal government regulates when they go up and down.
- The federal government runs a Blueberry Promotion and Research Program. It is also raising the rates it charges blueberry farmers.
- The U.S. government declared the blue-throated macaw an endangered species. It lives only in Bolivia.
- Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly is now listed as endangered, and the streaked horned lark is threatened. They also received a combined 6,000+ acres of critical habitat. If any of that land is private property, we have a possible regulatory taking.
- The spring pygmy sunfish is now threatened, and the Florida bonneted bat is endangered. Two species of cactus were also classified as endangered, bringing the week’s total of new protected species this week to 7.
- The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau established four new “viticultural areas” that winemakers can use to make their labels seem fancier. According to the text of the rules, the agency “designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.”