While Congress was busy with the 1,603-page Cromnibus bill (full text), agencies added nearly that many pages to the Federal Register with new regulations for everything from dropped calls to migratory birds.
On to the data:
- Last week, 63 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 71 new final rules the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 40 minutes.
- So far in 2014, 3,377 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,532 new regulations this year.
- Last week, 1,475 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
- Currently at 74,014 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 77,421 pages. This would be the 6th-largest page count since the Federal Register began publication in 1936.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 43 such rules have been published so far this year, none in the past week.
- The total estimated compliance costs of 2014’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $8.18 billion to $11.65 billion. They also affect several billion dollars of government spending.
- 272 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
- So far in 2014, 640 new rules affect small businesses; 96 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- The USDA is no longer allowed to use age discrimination when handing out farm subsidies.
- Similarly, government contractors and subcontractors may no longer discriminate by sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Food producers have until January 1, 2018, to comply with new food labeling standards.
- The FCC passed a regulation that would punish phone companies if they have too many dropped calls in rural areas.
- Good news for date growers in Riverside County, California: the Agricultural Marketing Service is lowering its assessment rate.
- The FAA passed a rule to indicate that it will not change a previous rule on flight crew working hours and rest requirements.
- New rule for smoking areas in federal prisons.
- Five species of sawfish are now endangered.
- The rufa red knot, a migratory shorebird, is now a threatened species.