Guidance documents are statements of policy issued by your favorite alphabet soup of agencies, which more often than not translate into law, despite rarely going through the notice-and-public comment period required of most regulations. Wayne Crews’ study “A Partial Eclipse of the Administrative State” puts the number of guidance documents—just one form of regulatory dark matter—at more than 13,000 over the period 2008-2017.
Looking at what our government has done in the past can give us a good idea of what they might be up to in the future, so here is a look at how granular such guidance documents can be. Each one might be small, but when there are 13,000 of them per decade, mostly without outside review or accountability, they add up. This week takes another look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. There is such rampant foolishness at the agency I have decided to return to the well.
- Pyrophobia strikes again at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fear that people will fall off and hurt themselves on self-driving scooters? No, they will probably catch on fire.
- Ten pages of fighting over definitions between children’s toys manufacturers and children’s toy regulators, because “they’re not dolls, they’re action figures!”
- Yes, even if you are not making toys, you are still subject to the children’s toys guidelines.
- Guidelines on how fast a projectile can come out of a toy.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development coming in on a guidance document collaboration regarding drywall.
- More guidance on what will happen to you if you don’t comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
- Policy on lead, and how we are no longer using a bite test.
- Bedside sleepers, and guidance on where you should put your sleeper.
- For those of you who need help working paint strippers, here’s the guidance document for you.
- And to finish, 57 pages on public playground equipment.