This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
In a remarkable human achievement, scientists took the first-ever image of a black hole. The effort took eight telescopes on five continents, five petabytes of data, and an algorithm designed by a team led by MIT grad student Katie Bouman. On a smaller scale, a forthcoming executive order could help rein in “regulatory dark matter,” a cosmological term CEI’s Wayne Crews borrowed to describe regulations that “require compliance without ever having been subject to a period of public comment and review.” Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from model airplanes to the FBI’s environmental footprint.
On to the data:
- Last week, 66 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 83 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 33 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 703 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,476 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 455 notices, for a total of 5,758 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 20,275 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
- Last week, 1,286 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,745 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 15,082 pages. It is on pace for 53,106 pages. The 2018 total was 68,082 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such rule has been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $139.1 million to $175.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 24 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 129 new rules affect small businesses; 9 of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, with 29 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:
- New environmental regulations for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- The Small Business Administration has a new definition of “small business.”
- New regulation or word association game? Zodiac Seats France Cabin Attendant Seats
- The Federal Aviation Administration is withdrawing a rule for model aircraft.
- More NASA penalties.
- John Connor and the Federal Communications Commission have teamed up to issue a new regulation for Advanced Methods To Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls.
- Acquisition rules for law enforcement-related goods and services.
- Marine mammal casualties related to spacecraft launches. Possibly inspired by the plot of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home?
- A new rule for Greek travelers, just in time for NBA star Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo’s playoff run to begin. Go Bucks!
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is removing some expired regulations.
- 16 species added and species removed from the Endangered Species List.
- Antiseptic rubs.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.